consensus decision-making

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Jim Gray: Making Change Happen

Former Principal Chief James Gray of the Osage Nation makes a guest speaker appearance to the January In Tucson class “Making Change Happen”.  In Chief Gray’s own words, he shares his direct experiences with indigenous governance for the Osage people and gives a larger context to the historic…

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Tribal Governments Come In Many Forms

Tribal Governments Come In Many Forms

When the U.S. and Canadian governments suggest and support Western-style governments for indigenous nations, they are trying to improve Native government and make it more compatible with national government. Indigenous nations have diverse political arrangements and forms of government. When…

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Political Autonomy and Sustainable Economy

Political Autonomy and Sustainable Economy

A unique attribute of Indian political ways was noted early on by colonial observers. Indians, Indigenous Peoples more generally, were engaged in everyday political action as full participating community members. Every person had the right to be heard. Decisions were made through discussion and…

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As old ways faded on reservations, tribal power shifted

As old ways faded on reservations, tribal power shifted

Long before the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act transformed tribal government, before nepotism and retaliation became plagues upon reservation life, there were nacas. Headsmen, the Lakota and Dakota called them. Men designated from their tiospayes, or extended families, to represent their clans when…

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Valuing Tradition: Governance, Cultural Match, and the BC Treaty Process

Valuing Tradition: Governance, Cultural Match, and the BC Treaty Process

Self-governance negotiations are an integral part of British Columbia's modern day treaty process. At some treaty tables, impasses have resulted from differences on how to include traditional First Nations governance within treaty. Although some First Nations are determined to pursue traditional…

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What Does Indigenous Participatory Democracy Look Like? Kahnawà:Ke's Community Decision Making Process

What Does Indigenous Participatory Democracy Look Like? Kahnawà:Ke's Community Decision Making Process

With the 1979 Community Mandate to move towards Traditional Government, the community of Kahnawà:ke has consistently requested more involvement in decision-making on issues that affect the community as a whole. The Kahnawà:ke Community Decision Making Process is a response to the community's call…