If you are experiencing problems downloading PDF or HTML fulltext, our helpdesk recommend clearing your browser cache and trying again. If you need help in clearing your cache, please click here . Still need help? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
In the “self-governance era” of indigenous-state relations, there is a growing interest in the first-order question of tribal governance: who are the members of recognized tribes, and how are they chosen? Tribal constitutions contain formal tribal membership criteria but are not ordinarily in the public domain. This article presents findings from a study of the membership rules used in more than seven hundred current and historical tribal constitutions and codes. It offers a comparative analysis to explain significant differences between North American and Australasian tribal constitutionalism, particularly in the administration of descent, multiple membership, and disenrollment. It advances the argument that tribes self-constitute in ways that are more relational and less ascriptive than is suggested in current political theory and policy; that existing representations of tribes obscure nontribal expressions of indigeneity, on which tribes depend; and that these expressions should be officially supported in public law and policy.