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Indian Tribal Governance. IPE 2012. December 5, 2011 Stephanie Swierczek. Presentation Overview. Demographics Historical Timeline Government Relations Reservations The Tohono O’odham. Demographics. 4.5 million self-identified American Indians 562 tribes in 34 states

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indian tribal governance

Indian Tribal Governance

IPE 2012

December 5, 2011

Stephanie Swierczek

presentation overview
Presentation Overview
  • Demographics
  • Historical Timeline
  • Government Relations
  • Reservations
  • The Tohono O’odham
  • 4.5 million self-identified American Indians
  • 562 tribes in 34 states
    • Largest tribe the Navajo: 308,000 members, reservation the size of West Virginia
  • More than 25% of Indians live in poverty
  • Unemployment 13.6%
  • Worst health status of any group in US
  • Highest rates of homelessness and overcrowding
  • 650,000 children in public schools, 50,000 children in underfunded BIE schools
  • 1492-1828: Colonial Period
    • European colonies and later the US Government treat tribes as foreign governments and acquire Indian land through treaties with them.
  • 1828-1887: Removal, Reservation and Treaty
    • Forced migration of eastern tribes to the West, and western tribes onto reservations. Indians made to trade land for continued self-governance.
  • 1887-1934 : Allotment and Assimilation
    • Dawes Act of 1887 breaks communally held tribal land into individual parcels. Two-thirds of reservation land (90million acres) given as ‘surplus’ to settlers.
  • 1934-1945: Indian Reorganization
    • Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 ends Allotment. Restores land to tribes and begins governance and economic rehabilitation. Side effect of forcing Anglo values and governance structures upon tribes.
  • 1945-1968: Termination
    • Congress terminates federal recognition and assistance to more than 100 tribes. Devastating economic effects on tribes. Emphasizes relocation of Indians into cities.
  • 1968-Present: Self-Determination
    • Resurgence of tribal involvement in Congress ends termination era, favors tribal self-determination by handing implementation of federal programs to the tribes themselves.
governance the tribe
GovernanceThe Tribe
  • Citizenship by tribe
  • Diverse government structures
    • Indian Reorganization Act of 1934
  • Leadership
    • Indian Nation representation
      • National Congress of American Indians
governance tribal relations with the federal government
GovernanceTribal Relations with the Federal Government
  • Indian Nations as sovereign governments
  • Relationship similar to that between federal government and the states
    • Tribe/State relations
  • Indian Commerce Clause
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Federal recognition
  • Citizenship
  • Federal Trust
  • Taxes
  • 50million acres of land (2% of US)
  • Navajo Nation largest – 16million acres
  • Smallest parcel 1.32 acres
  • Some have vast natural resources, others have none.
  • Not all reservation lands are contiguous
  • Not all tribes have a reservation
  • Federal programs benefiting American Indians are often tied to the reservation, forcing people to choosebetween critical social welfare programs and the chance at better opportunities off the reservation.

How can tribes build beneficial relationships with states and localities?

What do they have to offer their neighbors, and vice versa?

the tohono o odham demographics and reservation
The TohonoO’odhamDemographics and Reservation
  • Population 20,100
    • Thousands more in Mexico
  • Per capita income $8,100/year
  • Unemployment 35% - 75%
  • Reservation 2.8million acres/4,460 sq miles
  • Capital in Sells, AZ
  • No natural resource wealth
  • Two casinos
the tohono o odham three branches of government
The TohonoO’odhamThree Branches of Government
  • Executive
    • Chairman Ned Norris Jr. and Vice Chairman
  • Legislative
    • Two tribal council reps for each of 11 districts
  • Judicial
the tohono o odham issues facing the tribe
The TohonoO’odhamIssues Facing the Tribe
  • The Border (video)
    • Divided community
  • Illegal Immigration
    • Federal presence
    • $3million spent annually
    • Tradition of assisting desert travelers
  • Drug Trafficking (video)
    • Crime/Militarization
    • Tribe member involvement

how would you respond to the crises the tohonoo’odham face? How would you weight security vs. traditional values, as they struggle to do?