The White Earth Constitution, Cosmopolitan Nationhood, and the Fruitful Ironies of Relational Sovereignty

Joseph Bauerkemper


When informed by the work of indigenous writers and intellectuals, efforts to reimagine structures and processes of political organization and affiliation might foster reconfigured, enhanced, and expanded recognitions of Native sovereignties while also facilitating the deliberation and pursuit of justice in various contexts and on various scales. This essay explores this possibility by focusing first on some of the ways in which Native writing is currently studied within the academy and second on a particularly noteworthy piece of Native writing: the Constitution of the White Earth Nation. The essay suggests that in its narration of tribal sovereignty as both inherent and federated the Constitution of the White Earth Nation regards indigenous nationhood as a cosmopolitan endeavor.


American Indian, Native American, constitution, federalism, sovereignty

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Copyright (c) 2015 Joseph Bauerkemper