exercising sovereignty

The More Indigenous Nations Self Govern, The More They Succeed

Year

Harvard Kennedy School Professor Joseph Kalt and senior director Director Megan Minoka Hill say the evidence is in: When Native nations make their own decisions about what development approaches to take, studies show they consistently out-perform external decision makers like the U.S. Department of Indian Affairs. Kalt and Hill say that’s why Harvard is going all in, recently changing the name of the Project on American Indian Economic Development to the Project on Indigenous Governance and Development—pushing the issue of governance to the forefront—and announcing an infusion of millions in funding.  

When the project launched in the mid-1980s, the popular perception of life in America’s indigenous nations—based largely in reality—was one of poverty and dysfunction. But it was also a time when tribes were increasingly being granted increased autonomy from the federal government and were increasingly starting to govern themselves. Researchers also noticed that unexpected tribal economic success stories were starting to crop up, and they set about trying to determine those successes were a result of causation or coincidence. Kalt and Hill say the research has shown that empowered tribal nations not only succeed economically themselves, they also become economic engines for the regions that surround them. The recent announcement of $15 million in new support for the program, including an endowed professorship, will help make supporting tribal self-government a permanent part of the Kennedy School’s mission.  

Resource Type
Citation

Ralph Ranalli (Host). (June 8, 2023). The More Indigenous Nations Self Govern, The More They Succeed. Harvard Kennedy School PolicyCast Ep. 254. Harvard University. Audio podcast episode. Retrieved from: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/faculty-research/policycast/more-indigenous…

Transcripts for all videos are available by request. Please email us: nni@arizona.edu.

State of Indian Nations 2023 Address (SOIN23)

Producer
National Congress on American Indians
Year

Each year, the President of the National Congress of American Indians presents the State of Indian Nations address to members of Congress, government officials, tribal leaders and citizens, and the American public. Typically delivered during the week that the President of the United States delivers the State of the Union, the State of Indian Nations is a speech that shares the positive and future-oriented vision of Tribal Nations.

Topics
Citation

National Congress on American Indians. State of Indian Nations 2023 Address (SOIN23). Feb. 21, 2023. Youtube video. Accessed April 28, 2023. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL3uNQxDYBw

Transcripts for all videos are available by request. Please email us: nni@arizona.edu.

Blood Quantum and Sovereignty

Producer
Native Governance Center
Year

"Blood Quantum and Sovereignty" is a beginner-level conversation focused on why blood quantum is controversial, as well as how it came to be used as an enrollment and citizenship criteria for Native nations. Produced and recorded by Native Governance Center on March 30, 2022.

Featuring: Wayne Ducheneaux II, Megan Hill, Dr. Elizabeth Rule, Dr. Jill Doerfler, Gabe Galanda

Resource Type
Citation

Native Governance Center. "Blood Quantum and Sovereignty." Mar 30, 2022. Video. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldvC2bWRXu4, accessed March 8, 2023)

 

ANCSA: A complete or incomplete story of sovereignty

Year

Shortly after the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act passed into law in 1971, headlines started appearing in local newspapers that hinted at a growing confusion among Alaska Native communities: “Indian Country hard to define,” stated one Tundra Times edition. “ANCSA and tribalism?” asked another.

The articles were referring to the new, unusual Indigenous legal landscape that ANCSA had established, and the ambiguity surrounding tribes’ jurisdiction going forward.

“Exactly what authority might tribes exercise? ” asked one Tundra Times op-ed. Many were confused about how this legislation would affect tribal sovereignty in Alaska.

Fifty years later, there are still parts of this question that remain unanswered.

Resource Type
Citation

Sullivan, Meghan. ANCSA: A complete or incomplete story of sovereignty. January 22, 2022. Indian Country Today. Retrieved from: https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/ancsa-a-complete-or-incomplete-story-of-sovereignty

Native Nation Building: It Helps Rural America Thrive

Year

This second paper in the Aspen Institute's Thrive Rural Field Perspectives series shows that when tribes center sovereignty, Indigenous institutions and culture in their development processes they increase the probability of reaching their development goals and can build community wealth that is more in line with tribal values and lifeways. The authors also highlight how Native nations and rural communities, working both side-by-side and together, can strengthen the potential for thriving rural regions.

Resource Type
Citation

M Jorgensen & S Gutierrez. 2021. Native nation building: It helps rural America thrive. Community Strategies Group, Aspen Institute, Washington, DC. November.

Navigating the ARPA: A Series for Tribal Nations. Episode 3: A Conversation with Bryan Newland - How Tribes Can Maximize their American Rescue Plan Opportunities

Year

From setting tribal priorities, to building infrastructure, to managing and sustaining projects, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) presents an unprecedented opportunity for the 574 federally recognized tribal nations to use their rights of sovereignty and self-government to strengthen their communities. As the tribes take on the challenges presented by the Act, the Ash Center’s Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development is hosting a series designed to assist tribes, to help tribes learn from each other and from a wide array of guest experts. During this discussion, the third in the series, each panelist presentation will be followed by a brief Q+A session to maximize the opportunities for audience participation.

This session is titled “A Conversation with Bryan Newland – How Tribes Can Maximize their American Rescue Plan Opportunities” and will feature:

  • Bryan Newland, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs U.S. Department of Interior
  • Del Laverdure, Attorney and Former Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior
  • Moderated by Karen Diver HKS 2003, M.P.A., Board of Governors, Honoring Nations, Harvard Project.

Presentation slides:  U.S. Treasury Deadline Update

 

Invisible Borders of Reservations, Tribal Treaties, and Tribal Sovereignty

Producer
Arizona State Museum
Year

This 3-part discussion about the invisible borders of reservations, tribal treaties, and tribal sovereignty is led by Dr. Miriam Jorgensen, Research Director of both the University of Arizona Native Nations Institute and its sister organization, the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development; the honorable Karen Diver, former chairwoman of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and current director of business development for Native American Initiatives at the University of Arizona; and Dr. Kelsey Leonard of the Shinnecock Nation, assistant professor in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Topics
Citation

Jorgensen, Miriam, Karen Diver, and Kelsey Leonard. "Invisible Borders of Reservations, Tribal Treaties, and Tribal Sovereignty" Webinar. Arizona State Museum. Oct. 23, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1KyaGdRzR4

Genetic Research with Indigenous Peoples: Perspectives on Governance and Oversight in the US

Year

Indigenous Peoples are increasingly exerting governance and oversight over genomic research with citizens of their nations, raising questions about how best to enforce research regulation between American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian peoples and researchers. Using a community-engaged research approach, we conducted 42 semi-structured interviews with Tribal leaders, clinicians, researchers, policy makers, and Tribal research review board members about their perspectives on ethical issues related to genetics research with Indigenous Peoples in the US. We report findings related to 1) considerations for Indigenous governance, 2) institutional relationship upholding sovereignty, 3) expectations for research approvals, and 4) agreements enacting Indigenous governance. Participants described concerns about different ways of exerting oversight, relationships and agreements between Indigenous Peoples and researchers, and gaps that need to be addressed to strengthen existing governance of genomic data. The results will ultimately guide policy-making and development of new strategies for Indigenous Peoples to enforce oversight in research to promote ethically and culturally appropriate research.

Topics

"Modern Tribal Governments, Constitutions, and Sovereignty" Session at NCAI's Annual Convention

Producer
National Congress on American Indians
Year

This session, convened by NCAI at its 2014 Annual Convention, chronicled the growing movement by tribal nations to reform and strengthen their constitutions in order to reflect and preserve their distinct cultures and ways of life, more effectively address their contemporary challenges, and achieve their long-term priorities. It shared the constitutional stories of four tribal nations who have either reformed their constitutions or currently are in the process of doing so.

The session includes 5 presentations from prominent Native nation leaders and scholars:

  1. Sherry Salway Black and Ian Record provide a brief overview of tribal constitutionalism and the current movement among tribal nations to engage in constitutional reform.
  2. John “Rocky” Barrett, longtime chairman of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, shares how the Citizen Potawatomi Nation long struggled with an imposed system of governance and how it turned to constitutional reform to reshape and stabilize that system so that it is capable of helping the nation achieve its strategic priorities.
  3. Erma Vizenor, former Chairwoman of the White Earth Nation, provides a detailed history of White Earth’s Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) system of governance, and why and how White Earth decided to create an entirely new constitution in order to make its system of governance more culturally appropriate and functionally effective.
  4. Richard Luarkie, former Governor of the Pueblo of Laguna, offers a detailed chronology of the Pueblo’s constitutional and governmental odyssey over the past few centuries, and how the Pueblo is in the process of reforming its constitution to fully exercise its sovereignty and make its system of governance more culturally appropriate.
  5. Justin Beaulieu, Coordinator of the Constitution Reform Initiative for the Red Lake Nation, describes the process that Red Lake designed to engage Red Lake citizens about the nation’s current constitution and what they would like to see in a new constitution.

 

 

Resource Type
Citation

“Modern Tribal Governments, Constitutions and Sovereignty”. (October 2014). Presentation. National Congress on American Indians's Partnership for Tribal Governance. Atlanta, GA. Retreived from https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBjQrzrj0Iyu5miLAFGEg9VS6BhS_JS58

Transcripts for all videos are available by request. Please email us: nni@arizona.edu.

Indigenous Foods Knowledges Network: Facilitating Exchange between Arctic and Southwest Indigenous Communities on Food and Knowledge Sovereignty

Year

On a sunny morning in June of 2019, our hosts at the Athabaskan Nay'dini'aa Na'Kayax' Culture Camp, located near Chickaloon Native Village in south-central Alaska, set up a table near the smoke house and demonstrated how to fillet salmon. It was salmon season in Chickaloon, and young campers were learning how to process fish: how to fillet, smoke, and preserve it in oil. First, children and youth from the camp were given the chance to practice their knife skills, with adults standing behind them and offering encouragement and gentle correction of technique when it was needed. Adults also taught the children Ahtna words (Ahtna is part of the Athabaskan language group) and stories as they prepared the salmon. After the children had all had a turn, camp leaders offered our group of visitors the chance to try. Amy Juan, a member of the Tohono O'odham Nation (located within the Sonoran Desert in south central Arizona) , eagerly stepped forward. "I've always wanted to learn how to fillet fish!" she said, explaining that since she came from a desert people, she had never had the chance to try.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Johnson, N,. Jäger, M.B., Jennings, L., Juan, A., Carroll, S.R., & Ferguson DB. (March 2020). Indigenous Foods Knowledges Network: Facilitating Exchange between Arctic and Southwest Indigenous Communities on Food and Knowledge Sovereignty.” Witness Community Highlights Arcus.org/witness-the-arctic