Monday, July 09, 2007

Good (Native) Governance

Angela Riley's new paper "Good (Native) Governance" is out in the Columbia Law Review. Great stuff. Here's the abstract:

American Indian nations are largely unconstrained by the U.S. Constitution, and are only bound to follow provisions similar to those contained in the Bill of Rights by statute. Even then, the Supreme Court has affirmed that tribes are not required to apply or interpret civil rights protections directly in line with state and federal governments. Accordingly, they may, in a sense, utilize their tribal sovereignty to preserve their differentness—even when tribal laws are seemingly inapposite to American civil rights norms. Building on arguments presented in a companion piece, (Tribal) Sovereignty and Illiberalism, this Article undertakes a critical examination of tribal governance in light of changing international norms regarding good governance, which increasingly define the parameters of the obligations governments owe to their citizens. Even in light of the emergence of good governance and a rapidly evolving human rights landscape, this Article posits that Indian nations ought to reject conventional notions of good governance. It proposes, instead, good (Native) governance, which does not require that Indian nations either fully depart from or emulate the West. Rather, this piece contends that good Native governance mandates that tribal nations utilize Native principles of government—drawn from tribal culture and tradition—that allow for the evolution of tribal government in ways that restore and maintain fairness, balance, and inclusion in tribal communities. It concludes that good Native governance is the best way for tribes to facilitate self-governance, protect tribal sovereignty, and ensure their continued cultural and political existence.


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