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Across the world, Native nations are addressing the challenge of self-government. As they seize new opportunities to exercise self-determination, many are asking, “Are our current governing tools up to the task?”

A number of Indigenous communities’ answer to the question is “no.” In response, some are writing constitutions for the first time. Others are tackling constitutions written long ago. Some are challenging assumptions embedded in governance systems they did not design. Many are re-engaging with their own Indigenous governance traditions as a guide to constitution making or constitutional reform. Together, they are developing innovative political arrangements for exercising self-rule that sustain culture and community, promote tribally specified development goals, and create appropriate mechanisms for interacting with other governments. In sum, they are rethinking what it means to govern and how they want to do so.

This site provides Native nations with a comprehensive set of tools (interviews, research, and examples) to support the process of constitutional reform.

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WHAT IS A CONSTITUTION?

The meaning, roles & history of Indigenous constitutional governance

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What kind of constitution do we need?

How to engage in constitutional solutions

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How do we MAKE change HAPPEN?

Governance reform processes & methods

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How do we live with our new constitution?

The impact of constitutional change on tribal government

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CONSTITUTIONS IN ACTION

A database of constitution excerpts organized by article, full constitutions, and further resources for constitutional reform

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Contact Us:

Native Nations Institute

nni@arizona.edu

520-626-0664