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107 Colum. L. Rev. 1049 (2007)
Good (Native) Governance

handle is hein.journals/clr107 and id is 1085 raw text is: COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW
VOL. 107                         JUNE 2007                             NO. 5
Angela R. Riley*
American Indian nations are largely unconstrained by the U.S. Consti-
tution, 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 tri-
bal 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 govern-
ance 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 na-
tions ought to reject conventional notions of good governance. It proposes,
instead, good (Native) governance, which does not require that Indian na-
tions 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 main-
tain fairness, balance, and inclusion in tribal communities. It concludes
that good Native governance is the best way for tribes to facilitate self-govern-
ance, protect tribal sovereignty, and ensure their continued cultural and po-
litical existence.
* J.D., Harvard Law School; B.A., University of Oklahoma. Associate Professor of
Law, Southwestern Law School; Justice, Citizen Potawatomi Nation Supreme Court; Tribal
Hearing Officer, Morongo Band of Mission Indians. This Article benefited greatly from
presentations at North Dakota School of Law and the Harvard Law School Native
American Alumni Emerging Scholars Forum. Southwestern Law School provided
generous research support, and Kal Raustiala offered important insights at the project's
inception. Many thanks to Kristen Carpenter, Tim Coulter, Michael Dorff, Matthew
Fletcher, Phil Frickey, Bryant Garth, Carole Goldberg, Paul Horwitz, Austin Parrish, Gowri
Ramachandran, Wenona Singel, Josh Swartz, and Kevin Washburn for their comments.
Deep appreciation goes to my outstanding research assistants Alex Maleki, SoYun Roe, and
Diana Webster, who made this Article possible. Finally, chi-megwetch to Cuauhtemoc Ortega
and Grant Mainland of the Columbia Law Review for their hard work and belief in this


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