Recognised tribes are increasingly prominent players in settler state governance, but in the wide-ranging debates about tribal self-governance, little has been said about tribal self-constitution. Who are the members of tribes, and how are they chosen? Tribes in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States are now obliged to adopt written constitutions as a condition of recognition, and to specify the criteria used to select members. This book presents
findings from a comparative study of nearly eight hundred current and historic tribal constitutions, most of which are not in the public domain.
Kirsty Gover examines the strategies adopted by tribes and states to deal with the new legal distinction between indigenous people (defined by settler governments) and tribal members (defined by tribal governments). She highlights the important fact that the two categories are imperfectly aligned. Many indigenous persons are not tribal members, and some tribal members are not legally indigenous. Should legal indigenous status be limited to persons enrolled in recognized tribes? What is to be
done about the large and growing proportion of indigenous peoples who are not enrolled in a tribe, and do not live near their tribal territories? This book approaches these complex questions head-on.
Using tribal membership criteria as a starting point, this book provides a critical analysis of current political and sociolegal theories of tribalism and indigeneity, and draws on legal doctrine, policy, demographic data and tribal practice to provide a comparative evaluation of tribal membership governance in the western settler states.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 300
Weight: 628 g
Dimensions: 241 x 165 x 25 mm
An important book: this is the leading scholarly account of key issues of membership and governance facing - and rocking - tribal nations in their modern rebirth as significant economic political forces. * P.G. McHugh, Sidney Sussex College and Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge *
The great virtue of this book is the way it tackles the difficult question of indigenous identity and membership in all of its complexity through a rich comparative approach. By paying attention to the changing empirical and institutional structures on the ground and the practical struggles of different indigenous political communities in four different countries, Gover is able to weave a subtle and persuasive normative argument about how best to frame ongoing
debates over indigenous membership. We need to break out of the standard ways of thinking about these issues and Gover's book is a major contribution to our doing so * Duncan Ivison, Professor of Political Philosophy and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Sydney *
To render something visible by naming it and to theorize what is already practical, are the achievements of Gover's brilliant study. * Tim Rowse, Journal of Law and Society *