Northern Cheyenne Tribe: Traditional Law and Constitutional Reform

Producer
Tribal Law Journal
Year

This profile by Sheldon C. Spotted Elk examines the U.S. government's infringement on the Northern Cheyenne's political sovereignty. Most significantly, it examines the relationship between the oral history of the Northern Cheyenne and its impact on traditional tribal governance and law. Following the Northern Cheyenne's adoption of a modern constitution, many members fought to continue living under a traditional constitution. Ultimately, the Northern Cheyenne adopted a written, IRA-compatible constitution while maintaining an oral constitution. The delicate balance allows the Northern Cheyenne to address modern issues while also keeping the fundamental traditional and customary law of the tribe alive.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Spotted Elk, Sheldon C. "Northern Cheyenne Tribe: Traditional Law and Constitutional Reform." Tribal Law Journal. Volume 12: 2011/ 2012. UNM School of Law. Albuquerque, New Mexico. 2012. Article. (https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1082&context=tlj, accessed May 30, 2024)

Related Resources

Thumbnail or cover image
Northern Cheyenne Constitutional Reform

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe is a sovereign nation. It is a federally-recognized Indian tribe with powers and authority to govern the activities of its members. The Tribe is governed by a Constitution and Bylaws first adopted on November 23, 1935. In the early 1990s, in order to meet the demands of…

Image
Tribes across the country are re-examining their constitutions

Erma Vizenor is not exactly a revolutionary. But like America’s founders, she’s on a mission to ratify a new constitution in her homeland – the White Earth tribal nation. Most Americans don’t realize that tribes have their own constitutions, which set down rules for everything from tribal…

Image
Report on Best Practices in Developing Effective Processes of American Indian Constitutional Reform

The Executive Session on American Indian Constitutional Reform is a national working group of constitutional reformers from 12 American Indian nations and leading academics. The Executive Session meets twice a year to rethink strategies for strengthening tribal constitutions and constitution-making…