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Tribal Equity Toolkit

The Tribal Equity Toolkit 3.0: Tribal Resolutions and Codes to Support Two Spirit and LGBTQ Justice in Indian Country is the first of its kind—providing sample legal language for adapting tribal resolutions and codes to recognize the rights of all tribal citizens. A third edition of the toolkit was published with the support of a growing coalition of national organizations convened by Western States Center, National Congress of American Indians, and the Center for American Progress.

The Tribal Equity Toolkit 3.0: Tribal Resolutions and Codes to Support Two Spirit and LGBTQ Justice in Indian Country is the first of its kind—providing sample legal language for adapting tribal resolutions and codes to recognize the rights of all tribal citizens. A third edition of the toolkit was published with the support of a growing coalition of national organizations convened by Western States Center, National Congress of American Indians, and the Center for American Progress.


TET3 Cover

 

“This Toolkit provides us with an opportunity to reflect on how we, as Tribal Leaders and Tribal Communities, are either perpetuating policies that are damaging to the fabric of our Nations or enshrine, in policy and Tribal Law, our continued commitments to justice. It gives our communities another set of tools for restoring ourselves.”

— Robert Kentta, Siletz Tribal Member, Cultural Resources Director, Tribal Council Member, and Gitauk-uahi (Two Spirit)

As sovereign nations, tribal governments maintain the power to determine their own governance structures, pass laws, and enforce laws through police departments and tribal courts. Tribal governments provide multiple programs and services, including, but not limited to: social programs, first-responder services, education, workforce development, and energy and land management. They also build and maintain a variety of infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and public buildings.

 

Historically, many Indian tribal governing documents (like tribal constitutions), are patterned after the U.S. constitution. This means that the underlying assumptions of who is being served, who is a citizen, and other normative assumptions undergird many tribal governance documents.  These founding documents—like the U.S. Constitution—often assume that citizens are genderless (therefore men) and have no sexual orientation (therefore are straight), leaving those that do not fit the assumed normative criteria unrecognized and unprotected by law.  

 

Related content:

Our Families LGBT/Two Spirit Native American Stories, Basic Rights Oregon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geFgT-X7Ajc

Supporting Two Spirit/Native American LGBT People:
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2016/10/17/144818/supporting-two-spiritnative-american-lgbt-people-2/

 

We would like to acknowledge the following partners that have made this work possible:

 

Western States Center, Center for American Progress, National Congress of American Indians, Center for Native American Youth at The Aspen Institute, National Center for Transgender Equality, National LGBTQ Taskforce, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Movement Advancement Project, Transgender Law Center, Family Equality Council, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network), Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG National, PFLAG Phoenix Native American Chapter, SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders), Native American Program of Legal Aid Services of Oregon, Basic Rights Oregon and Lewis & Clark College.

 
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