By Eric D. Lemont

Seeing that 1975, whilst the U.S. govt followed a coverage of self-determination for American Indian international locations, plenty of the 562 federally famous international locations have seized the chance to manipulate themselves and make sure their very own fiscal, political, and cultural futures. As a primary and the most important step during this approach, many countries are revising constitutions initially built by means of the U.S. govt to create governmental constructions extra attuned to local people's special cultural and political values. those new constitutions and the governing associations they bring are fostering better governmental balance and responsibility, expanding citizen aid of presidency, and supplying a less attackable starting place for financial and political improvement. This e-book brings jointly for the 1st time the writings of tribal reform leaders, teachers, and felony practitioners to provide a entire evaluation of yankee Indian countries' constitutional reform approaches and the rebuilding of local international locations. The e-book is prepared in 3 sections. the 1st half investigates the ancient, cultural, monetary, and political motivations in the back of American Indian international locations' fresh reform efforts. the second one half examines the main major parts of reform, together with standards for tribal membership/citizenship and the reform of governmental associations. The ebook concludes with a dialogue of the way American Indian international locations are navigating the method of reform, together with overcoming the politics of reform, maximizing citizen participation, and constructing non permanent and long term courses of civic schooling.

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Extra info for American Indian Constitutional Reform and the Rebuilding of Native Nations

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Depending on the historical and institutional organization of a tribal community, the legislature may be composed of more than two houses representing different social and political groupings. The drawback of the multiple-house approach is that there are more steps and time expended to process and approve legislative acts. Legislation may not move quickly, if at all. Furthermore, more time and commitment is required from tribal members who serve in the legislature, although this may not be an issue if the members are representing and protecting strong and traditional interests within the community.

10. Smith, Tribal Development, 71–90; Joseph S. Anderson and Dean Howard Smith, “Managing Tribal Assets: Developing Long-Term Strategic Plans,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 22 (Summer 1998): 139 –149; Stephen Cornell and Joseph P. Kalt, “Sovereignty and Nation Building: The Development Challenge in Indian Country Today,” American Indian Culture and Research Journal 22 (Summer 1998): 187–214; Peter Ferrera, The Choctaw Revolution: Lessons for Federal Indian Policy (Washington, DC: Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, 1998).

If tribal communities want to remain engaged with their present constitutions or bylaws, then they will need to work through those rules. indb 30 3/8/06 3:52:22 PM Remaking Tribal Constitutions 31 may make working through the existing arrangements cumbersome. Other tribal constitutions may allow considerable leeway in making major revisions, largely by not specifying the rules for a major constitutional revision, and in those cases tribal communities and governments may wish to develop ad hoc methods of reform, such as constitutional conventions, or representative constitutional committees to propose changes.

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