Currently, the Red Lake Tribal Constitution resembles an Indian Reorganization Act-era Constitution (almost 80 years ago) when federal policy essentially required Indian tribes to adopt boilerplate, European-style governing "constitutions" in order to be fully acknowledged as sovereign, legal entities by the United States government. In the past two decades, many Indian tribes have successfully undergone the extensive process to revise their Constitutions to better allow them to seek progressive solutions to problems, pursue economic stability and revitalize their cultures, languages, and traditions.
Over the past several years, in an effort to implement a consistent and collectively-accepted foundation for the Red Lake Tribal government to lead and serve, the Red Lake Tribal Council has been researching options to revise the current Tribal Constitution to accurately reflect the values, customs, and priorities of the Red Lake Anishinaabe people and communities. In August of 2012, the Tribal Council passed a resolution which approve the Constitutional Reform Initiative ("CRI" or "Initiative") which directs the Economic Development & Planning Department to seek a formal relationship with the Bush Foundation and aggressively carry out the Initiative's action plan. One primary component of the action plan, developed in March of 2013 (Resolution 43-13), called for the formation of Constitutional Reform Initiative Committee with the significant responsibility of recommending and drafting a revised Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians' Tribal Constitution.
The CRI Committee is a 13-member group of Red Lake Band Members who represent a cross-section of the Band membership. Each area of representation on the Committee has been carefully selected by the Tribal Council to ensure the revised Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians' Constitution is crafted to mirror the importance of the Ojibwe language, culture, and way of life embraced by the Red Lake Band membership, while also realistically addressing the current and evolving needs of the Tribe. The Committee will be working over the next two years (at least) and is responsible for formally recommending a revised Tribal Constitution for approval to appear on the Election Referendum ballot. The work of this Committee is not to advocate for a particular outcome, but to gather all information pertaining to specific areas, and make a determination as to the best option to include in the revised constitution.
|Eugene Stillday||Elder and Cultural Advisor|
|Keith Lussier||Legal Advisor|
|Michael Beaulieu||Little Rock Representative|
|Thomas Cain, Jr.||Little Rock Representative|
|Lorena Cook||Red Lake Representative|
|Stephanie Cobenais||Red Lake Representative|
|Sheldon Brown||Redby Representative|
|Jerald Loud||Redby Representative|
|Tharen Stillday||Ponemah Representative|
|Brenda Child||Minneapolis Representative|
|Pamela Johns||Minneapolis Representative|
|Pamela Pierce||Duluth Representative|
We, the Constitutional Reform Committee, will engage and empower the communities of the Red Lake Nation to improve and strengthen the Constitution.
Our vision is to reaffirm respect and strengthen ideas of self-governance in the Red Lake Nation’s Constitution, a document passed down to us from our ancestors in 1918 and later revised in 1958.
Red Lake Constitution Reform Initiative
P.O. Box 588
Red Lake, MN 56601
Office: 218-679-1501 - Justin Beaulieu or 218-679-1502 - Eva Kingbird
Offices located in Red Lake Agency Building
Justin Beaulieu, Constitution Reform Coordinator
Eva Kingbird, Constitution Reform Administrative AssistantLori Maxwell, Office Assistant
15-Nov-2016 11:26 AM