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1 Tribal Membership Governance and the Cultural Production of Indigeneity: Reflecting Inter‐indigenous Recognition in Public Policy

From: Tribal Constitutionalism: States, Tribes, and the Governance of Membership

Kirsty Gover

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 07 August 2020

In the settler states, recognition of indigenous peoples has traditionally proceeded on one of two models: the race model (prioritizing indigenous ancestry) and the nation model (prioritizing tribal membership). This chapter suggests that both models are inadequate, because neither acknowledges inter-indigenous recognition. By reference to tribal constitutions and codes, it shows that many tribes use a concept of indigeneity in their membership criteria. Many allow the enrolment of non-descendants and prefer indigenous persons when they do so. This shows that when they self-constitute, tribes position themselves within a broader cultural association of indigenous communities, enclosed by an indigenous non-indigenous boundary of their own making. Existing models of tribalism, indigeneity, culture, and recognition in political theory and public policy do not adequately account for the relationships between tribes and indigenous persons.

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