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.
SESSION EIGHT, “CONSTITUTIONS II: SOME PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS”
NAVAJO GOVERNMENT DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION AGENDA (dated for January which is when Dr. Manley Begaye Jr. started seminar about Nation Building. Feb. 26 and 27 are continuation of January seminar.)
DR. MANLEY BEGAYE JR
The effective ingredient for effective Constitutions are Identity, Powers, Rights & Responsibilities, Structures.
In Constitutions, defining citizenship mabye the most pressing problem. There is an uneasy history of Blood Quantum, which is a plan by the federal government to do away with American Indians.
The Constitution of the Coquille Tribe of Oregon shows you who they are. And if we don’t write in our Constitution about our land then we won’t know what is our land.
there are three methods of defining Citizenship: Blood Q!uantum, Descendancy, Citizenship (birthplace, domicile, community connections, language capacity, religion, culture, etc.)
The young Maoris asked elder Maories, Who are the real Maoris and the elders replied, No one. We all strive to real Maoris all our lives.
So it takes life time to be a real Navajo.
Here is another question – Who is the Self in Self Government? It matters because of nataani. It goes back to that. Where should authority be concentrated?
so the challenge of governance is really hard. One consideration is size. Some nations are so small that they may not be able to do everything themselves. They may decide to share certain functions with other nations such as dispute resolution, service provision, and the management of natural resources.
and remember, the decision to join together is an act of self government.
In the Tlicho Constitution, it states, “The official languages of the Tlicho Nation are Tlicho and English. All Tlicho have the right to speak and communicate in both official languages with the Tlicho government and it institutions.”
Traditional White Mt Apache is centralized, strong chief executive, weak council (typically selected by executive), judicial function in hands of executive, executive oversight of economic activity.
Traditional Lakota in 1850 was decentralized, relatively weak executive (four Shirt Wearers), relatively strong council (the Big Bellies selected the Shirt Wearers), separation of strategic decisions from day-to-day business management (delegated authority with read power).
The Consideration of Cultural Match involves shared understandings and a sense that “we are one people”. define a nation’s boundaries and clarify who should be included in a constitution’s coverage. And shared understandings and a sense that “we are one people” also can form the basis of shared institutions that span multiple communities and distances; this can allow small communities to develop effective institutions such as court systems or bureaucracies.
WHY IS CULTURAL MATCH SO IMPORTANT?
share goals are culturally dependent; shared norms of conduct are culturally dependent; shared norms of authority are culturally dependent; shared institutions of policy and dispute resolution are subject to “free riding.”
WHICH POLITICAL STRUCTURES ARE RIGHT FOR THE NATION?
WHERE SHOULD AUTHORITY BE LOCATED? SHOULD AUTHORITY BE CONCENTRATED IN SINGLE INDIVIDUALS?
NATIONS SHOULD EXERCISE AS MUCH SOVEREIGN POWER AS POSSIBLE. THE MORE THE BETTER.
WHAT ABOUT USING REAL NAVAJO GOVERNMENT, INSTEAD OF ALL ROBERTS RULES OF ORDER, WHICH CAN BE MANIPULATED BY THOSE COUNCIL DELEGATES THAT REALLY KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT IT.