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The White Earth Nation

Ratification of a Native Democratic Constitution

Gerald Vizenor

Publication Year: 2012

The White Earth Nation of Anishinaabeg Natives ratified a new constitution in 2009, the first indigenous democratic constitution, on a reservation in Minnesota. Many Native constitutions were written by the federal government, and with little knowledge of the people and cultures. The White Earth Nation set out to create a constitution that reflected its own culture. The resulting document provides a clear Native perspective on sovereignty, independent governance, traditional leadership values, and the importance of individual and human rights.

This volume includes the text of the Constitution of the White Earth Nation; an introduction by David E. Wilkins, a legal and political scholar who was a special consultant to the White Earth Constitutional Convention; an essay by Gerald Vizenor, the delegate and principal writer of the Constitution of the White Earth Nation; and articles first published in Anishinaabeg Today by Jill Doerfler, who coordinated and participated in the deliberations and ratification of the Constitution. Together these essays and the text of the Constitution provide direct insight into the process of the delegate deliberations, the writing and ratification of this groundbreaking document, and the current constitutional, legal, and political debates about new constitutions.

Published by: University of Nebraska Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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1. Sovereignty, Democracy, Constitution: An Introduction

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pp. 1-8

Sovereignty. Democracy. Constitution. These are mere words. But words, and the often variable meaning or meanings assigned to them by human beings, matter. Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes put it succinctly in Towne v. Eisner when he said...

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2. Constitutional Consent: Native Traditions and Parchment Rights

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pp. 9-62

The American Wild West was a cruel, creepy, and venal entanglement of conquest, discovery, diseases, outright extortion, separatism, and genocide of Native American Indians. Most Native cultures resisted the imperious waves of occidental invasions...

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3. The Constitution of the White Earth Nation

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pp. 63-79

The Anishinaabeg of the White Earth Nation are the successors of a great tradition of continental liberty, a native constitution of families, totemic associations. The Anishinaabeg create stories of natural reason, of courage, loyalty, humor, spiritual inspiration...

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4. A Citizen’s Guide to the White Earth Constitution: Highlights and Reflections

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pp. 81-94

These eight essays were first published in Anishinaabeg Today: A Chronicle of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, the official newspaper of the White Earth Nation. The articles were written with the intention of sharing information with the Anishinaabeg citizens of White Earth Reservation...

Bibliography

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pp. 95-98

Contributors

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pp. 99-100


E-ISBN-13: 9780803244658
E-ISBN-10: 0803244657
Print-ISBN-13: 9780803240797

Page Count: 112
Publication Year: 2012

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Subject Headings

  • White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians.
  • Ojibwa Indians -- Legal status, laws, etc.
  • Ojibwa Indians -- Politics and government.
  • Ojibwa Indians -- Government relations.
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