BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In "A New Way Forward: Native Nations,
Nonprofitization, Community Land Trusts, and the Indigenous Shadow
State," published in the current issue of Nonprofit Policy Forum,
University at Buffalo graduate student Samuel W. Rose considers
what Native American governance bodies should do, now that the
political and legal avenues that served their interests well for
years no longer work.
The article is online at http://www.bepress.com/npf/vol2/iss2/3/.
It describes the emergence of so-called "self-determination"
policies of the federal government with regard to native peoples.
These policies, which emerged in the 1970s, involved transferring
programs and decision-making power to the American Indian
governments themselves, Rose says, rather than having a
paternalistic federal government make decisions for them.
"These policies contributed greatly to the rise and
strengthening of American Indian governments," he says, "however,
the paper addresses another common thread in law and policy that is
unwilling to grant too much to native peoples. This strain, too,
has been growing, and is reflected in legal decisions of the past
"I am concerned with two major questions," he says. "The first
is what American Indian governments should do now that the
political framework that supported self-determination and
self-governance is falling apart. The second is what avenues should
be pursued in the governance and development of American Indian
peoples now that the political and legal avenues that served their
interests fairly well over the past half century, are no longer
In addressing these issues, Rose demonstrates how nonprofit
organizations, specifically community land trusts (CLTs), can
maintain the cohesion of and further the development of native
peoples, especially through the development of community land
trusts originally inspired by traditional American Indian land
Rose says CLTs recognize mixed ownership of real property
between an individual and the larger community, so they promote
individual autonomy while maintaining a degree of social
"Basically I try to show how CLTs can be used by native peoples
and their governments to provide services to their citizens,
develop their economies, and expand their land-holdings off of the
reservation," he says.
"I also tried to show how they can be used by native peoples in
urban environments to promote community cohesion in cities," Rose
says, adding that he feels this approach is important and useful
because it recognizes the strengths and flaws of the existing
self-determination system, and attempts to address the deficiencies
of that system by avoiding the conventional political and legal
issues that have historically plagued law and policy in regards to
Rose is a member of the Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama and a
native of Schenectady, N.Y. He is a student in the master of urban
planning program in the UB Department of Urban and Regional
Planning, UB School of Architecture and Planning, and is expected
to receive his degree in 2012. He was assisted in his planning
project by a grant from the University at Buffalo's Baldy Center
for Law and Policy, and advised by Associate Professor Robert M.
Silverman, PhD, of the Department of Urban and Regional
Rose is simultaneously pursuing a doctorate in anthropology at
UB focused on "the increasing urbanization of contemporary American
Indian peoples and in issues of identity and legitimacy within the
broader American Indian community."
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public
university, a flagship institution in the State University of New
York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's
more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through
more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree
programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of
the Association of American Universities.