Manual Tribal government today: politics on Montana Indian reservations

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This is a model of how to write about tribal politics today. It is sympathetic yet balanced, and devoid of ideological posturing. The authors are a political scientist.
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They find success stories such as Fort Peck and Flathead, and failures of governance coexisting with potential wealth, such as the Crow.

Rocky Boy's and Fort Belknap represent the all-too-common depressing story of a community trapped in a cycle of poverty. The Northern Cheyenne case is particularly interesting because they argue that politics reflects a choice between two values economic development versus traditional values , and the tribe has legitimately decided against development. The focus throughout the book is squarely on politics on the reservation. Outsiders-- whether natural resources corporations, the State of Montana, or the Bureau of Indian Affairs-appear in the book when they interfere in reservation affairs, but the authors emphasize the choices that Native Americans make or fail to make for themselves.

Though they do not say so directly, the authors' guiding light is really the Federalist Papers: constitutionalism, a separation of powers, legitimacy and effective leadership are all important in governance.

Trump advisors aim to privatize oil-rich Indian reservations

One might criticize this stance as a form of intellectual imperialism, though when one sees the failures of the Crow reservation in particular, it's clear that a greater concern for these institutional rules would be useful regardless of culture. The reservations have resident members each, making them the size of small towns in population terms. One might ask whether the conventional categories of municipal government mayor and council, town administrator, etc.

In the study of contemporary Aboriginal peoples, this book is a breath of fresh air. Most books dealing with tribal government and modern native people talk about Native conflicts with the European colonizers and the US government.

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While this is certainly a worthy topic and one that needs to be brought to attention of far more people throughout the world, this book answers a question that has been left untouched: "Do these tribal governments promote soverignty and do they respresent their people in a positive way? Second, the book talks about the phenomenon of conflict within tribes, as well as conflict between tribal governments and their members.

It does not ignore the effect that outside policies and peoples have had on tribal governments, but it is not the main focus of the text. This has largely been ignored in academic scholarship, and this reveals how complex contemporary Native society is and also a good starting point for other explorations, such as Native activism that deals specifically with their tribal governments.


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Finally, the book is humble in its demeanor, which is unfortunately, becoming more uncommon in academic scholarship today i. Ward Churchill. The authors are non-Native, and admit that they are NOT trying to provide a definitive answer or conclusion for tribes, but are simply trying to provoke further examination and discussion on the topic. They never claim to hold an academic or intellectual monopoly or superiority over others. Overall, this book a refreshing view of Native peoples, their contemporary governments, and the issues that plague Indian Country.


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It is also interesting for myself in seeing what the future might hold for Canadian Native tribes, who are still struggling to obtain soverignty and self-government. Go to Amazon. Back to top. Get to Know Us.

State Recognition of American Indian Tribes

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Native Law and Legal Strategy - Native Peoples, Native Politics -- Radcliffe Institute

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Tribal Government Today: Politics On Montana Indian Reservations

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