Returning Tribal Government to the Traditional Wisdom of the People: Applying Traditional Principles Appropriately for the Twenty-First Century


  • Stephen M. Sachs Political Science IUPUI


Today, a great many Indian Nations are struggling to overcome inappropriate forms of government that were directly or indirectly imposed by the U.S. government. These alien modes of governance conflict with traditional tribal culture and values, causing ineffective governance, and contributing greatly to community disharmony.

Among the most interesting recent and current attempts to improve tribal government, are the application of an inclusive participatory community planning process by the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma, in the 1990s, and the ongoing process of government development at Navajo Nation. Both of these efforts, along with those of a number of other Indian nations, involve movements to reinculcate traditional values into tribal political institutions, in ways that are appropriate for the conditions of the current and unfolding era.

Author Biography

Stephen M. Sachs, Political Science IUPUI