I am inspired by the numerous local level grassroots organizations that work to ensure access to voting for people of color, indigenous people, lower-income persons, and recent immigrants. I have learned so much about tribal politics and voting over the last few years through my relationships with Brenda Child and Pamela Johns, members of the Red Lake Constitutional Reform Initiative. Similarly, scholar and activist Jill Doerfler’s work with the White Earth Nation as they proceed through reform efforts is extremely inspiring. Each aspect of these three women’s work is not only important to Ojibwe people in Minnesota, but for all of Indian Country as increasing numbers of tribes have begun to seek constitutional reform to better reflect tribal traditions and customs as well as a changing demographic base.
Kasey is a faculty member in the Department of American Studies, University of Minnesota. She is also a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation of Oklahoma, affiliated with the Tuolumne Me-Wuk Indians in California.