Traditional Jurisprudence and Protection of Our Society: A Jurisgenerative Tail
American Indian Law Review, Forthcoming
74 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2018 Last revised: 20 Mar 2019
Date Written: March 14, 2018
This Article organizes thoughts from a long period of work and life exploring some of what uniquely guides traditional Euchee and Muscogee society. My participation in Euchee ceremonial life is a lens by which I view tribal, federal, and human rights law and processes. I hope to begin articulating a modern traditional Indian jurisprudence and find some source(s) to aid in preservation of Native society. In order to truly reform federal Indian law, not only must traditional tribal jurisprudence be acknowledged, but the processes used by ceremonial people must be understood and utilized in a transformative effort. I am informed by discussions with friends from other tribes who hold similar beliefs to my Euchee people; I write from the perspective, however, of a Polecat Euchee ceremonial stomp ground member. I believe the validity of my observations depends upon tribal specificity, meaning I do not simply refer to “Indian” traditions but rather to Euchee, Muscogee, or Shawnee traditions.
Traditional jurisprudence must be a foundation of the current international indigenous rights efforts regarding sacred sites and artifacts, religious practices, and culture. If Indian advocates are unable to articulate what we believe and the nature of the society being destroyed, it is more difficult to argue for its continuity. More importantly, we must be able to explain to ourselves what we believe, teaching our own people and incorporating those beliefs into our tribal institutions. Doing so will ensure an indigenous based social-legal system that carries us into the future. I hope this process will also be of interest to my friends and colleagues exploring federal Indian law and international human rights.
Keywords: Traditional jurisprudence, ceremonial, UNDRIP, International, Euchee, Muscogee, tribal court
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