Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Thu, Aug. 13

22nd Arizona Indian Town Hall To Discuss Tribal Governance Issues

The Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs proudly announces that the 22nd Arizona Indian Town Hall will be held on June 3-5, 2002, at the Chaparral Suites, Scottsdale, Arizona. The Arizona Indian Town Hall was initiated in the 1960s to encourage American Indians and non-Indians in the state to work together to make policy recommendations in state and local affairs. In these forums, the 21 Indian Tribes/Nations and other interested parties address vital issues to link resources and seek partnerships to aid in policy formation.

This year’s Indian Town Hall theme is sure to provoke strong discussions: “Building Strong Tribal Economies Through Effective Governing Strategies.” Tribes’ internal governing mechanisms will be addressed at the Indian Town Hall. How do tribal cultures, languages, and lifeways come into play in tribal government? Do you believe that, as some university studies indicate, tribes with governmental structures that most closely match their traditional leadership models have a better chance of building and sustaining strong economies? Does having an intergovernmental relations committee in their central governmental structure give tribes a better means of interacting with the state and other neighboring governments [cities, counties, etc.]?

Do tribally-chartered corporations or direct tribal ownership of businesses work better to sustain economies?

Participants will also examine how state institutions, such the House Native American Affairs Committee, the Governor’s Office, legislative study committees, Indian Nations and Tribes Legislative Day, the Arizona Department of Commerce and the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs work to enhance tribal-state relations and promote tribal economic development. What do tribes, state and local community members, and the private sector expect from these state entities? How can these state institutions better serve the needs of American Indians?

Finally, the Indian Town Hall will explore how these governing structures can be better used to build effective intergovernmental relations that both spark economic development and ensure that all citizens receive services. How can the mechanisms used by all governments to deal with people outside their jurisdiction—the judiciary, sovereign immunity, and other institutional structures—be better utilized by tribes to both enhance economic development and protect their way of life? This year, ACIA will invite tribal, state and local government leaders, legal and judicial experts, economic development experts from the tribal, state and private arenas, traditional leaders, and successful practitioners to engage in a two-day forum designed to tackle these thorny issues and develop real-life recommendations. In order to provide an effective mix of participants ranging from tribal and state leaders to interested community members, and to ensure statewide participation in the Indian Town Hall discussions, we limit participation to 100.

For more information, call ACIA at (602) 542-3123. email

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