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Achieving Local Governance

A Global Example Happening on the Navajo Nation

Success requires ownership of the process, buy in and cooperation from central government, different phases of capacity building, additional review and support legal changes such as with local taxes, bonding, land protection, taking over central government progams


The intent of LGA wasn’t to have totally self-managed chapters. On the contrary, the thinking was that chapters could partner and form into chapter agreements. They could maybe even create a hospital or do an accounting function together. You could 5 chapters come together to work in the economic development department. That was the intent, but again, a lot of those functions were never tried and a lot of the land protection functions were never tested or built. So, 20 years later this is still infant legislation that hasn’t gone anywhere near its potential. Much of the work needs to be done to educate the central government and ensure that you’re not blocking chapters, but you’re really helping in guiding them. The intent is not for the central government to totally tell the chapters what to do. There was a lot of work to get this compromise piece of legislation. I think the chapters coming together could do this. There is a real need for economic development and diversification. Chapters are the best at still driving development and imagine an agency having their own economic development department and each one trusted with their own innovative selves and they don’t have to be alike. You could get some cool stuff going on.

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