Constitution must have cultural appropriateness & effectiveness

HERE AT NAVAJO GOVERNMENT DEVELOPMENT OFFICE IN WINDOW ROCK, ARIZ., WHERE NAVAJO GOVERNMENT DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION IS CONTINUING THEIR “INDIGENOUS NATION BUILDING: LEADERSHIP, GOVERNANCE, CONSTITUTION, AND DEVELOPMENT SUCCESS” SEMINAR BY DR. MANLEY BEGAYE JR.

DR. MANLEY BEGAYE JR
The key issues of Constitution: Statement of nation’s identity, Who are we? Citizenship/Membership – when part of club, you are member and when part of nation, you are citizen. words carry a lot of weight. so perhaps change to citizenship instead of membership. it makes a big difference. the US government mandates Certificate of Indian Blood and that uses member, which was a way to reduce our sovereignty. French people dont say I’m a member of france. Powers, Rights, Responsibilities – who does what? How are decisions made? And again, how do we resolve disputes? How do we keep politics our of disputes? how do we make sure government serves needs of people? how do we choose our leader? if we had written constitution we might have had way to resolve the recent dispute. Constitution gives legal form to what established by law which is usually the government. so what are functions of government? to make laws that serve the pple. To determine law term policies.

WHAT IS GOOD GOVERNMENT?
How do we want to live, goes into constitution.

CONSTITUTIONS VARY
Some are good, some are not. but do you have set of governing tools adequate to the challenges you face. Some tribes have constitutions that are unwritten and if they are unwritten, does everyone understand and respect, especially the leaders. And if you don’t have a constitution that organizes and guides your actions, what should you do?

As I was reading the news, it seems like the Legislative branch was going into the Executive Branch and even the Judicial Branch, unlike Navajo Supreme Court issued decision. Potawatomi Chairman Rocky Barrett said, “A tribal government without good rules is just a bad family renunion.”

constitution should advance whole nation economically, spiritually…it has to be culturally appropriate. are the rules of the government clear? do they have the support of the people? can they get the job done?

who are we? it has to be in the constitution.

CULTURAL MATCH – do the people believe this form of government is right for them? We had government structure forced upon us after Hweedle and now we are trying to work that government.

Cultural Match refers to the fit between the form of government and the people’s beliefs about how authority should be organized and exercised.

EFFECTIVENESS – is the organization of government up to the challenges the nation faces? Can you make good decisions in a timely manner? can you successfully resolve community disputes? can you serve your constituents – yet still demdand the very best from the nation and its citizen? CAN YOU GET THE JOB DONE?

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