Alaska’s largest tribal government is revamping its constitution with an eye toward greater efficiency and cultural context.
The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska will hold a constitutional convention at this spring’s tribal assembly.
Delegates representing the Central Council’s more than 30,000 tribal members will meet April 19-21 at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall, Juneau.
Will Micklin, council second vice president, chairs the committee preparing for the convention.
“(We’re) trying to imbue what began as very utilitarian documents that are very brief and speak only to broad authority and try to imbue that with an expression of our culture and our ways of life,” he said.
Like other federally funded organizations, the council expects challenges maintaining its programs. Micklin said inflation also is driving up costs. He hopes constitutional changes can encourage efficiencies.
He said the changes should also help increase involvement.
“We’re looking to put actionable information in the hands of our assembly members for longer periods prior to the opening of our tribal assembly so that they can review, consult with their communities and have a more deliberative period before we actually have to take action,” he said.
The constitutional convention was called at last year’s tribal assembly by Central Council President Richard Peterson.
The council lists 21 registered communities. Most are in Southeast, but they include Anchorage, San Francisco and Seattle.