Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Critics Emerge as BIA Reviews New Blackfeet Constitution


Three years after its government splintered into disarray, most people on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation agree that its constitution needs to change. But a few weeks after the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council voted to send the draft of a new constitution to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for review, a vocal group of critics has emerged.

Tribal member Gabe Grant and a group called “The Real People” have said the authors who drafted the new constitution didn’t do enough to gather community input. They also accuse the authors of pushing for “open enrollment,” a highly contentious issue on the reservation regarding who can be a tribal member and reap the benefits that come with such a designation.

“We are open to change; we want constitutional change,” Grant said. “But this constitutional reform effort is a smoke screen for open enrollment.”


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