Continuing Developments In Returning Traditional Values To Contemporary American Indian Nation Governance: The 2009-11 Navajo Nation Council restructuring and its potential implications


  • Stephen M. Sachs Professor Emeritus of Political Science, IUPUI


In recent years numerous Indian nations have been struggling to overcome colonially imposed, inappropriate forms of government. They have applied various means in the attempt to apply traditional values to contemporary government, to bring back traditional inclusive participation and restore harmony and good governance to their communities, appropriately for the current era, with a concern for future tribal development. At Navajo Nation, which has been experimenting with various governmental modifications for many years, the Diné Policy Institute’s 2010 “Recommendations for Re-Structuring The Navajo Nation Council,” show how the ongoing restructuring of the Navajo Nation Council can be a vehicle for bringing back traditional community leadership, with greatly increased governmental representativeness through enhanced community involvement. In demonstrating what can be achieved at Navajo Nation, the Recommendations throw light on methods that can be adopted by many nations to reindigenize their governance processes.

Author Biography

Stephen M. Sachs, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, IUPUI