With the 1979 Community Mandate to move toward Traditional Government, the community of Kahnawà:ke has consistently requested more involvement in decision-making on issues that affect the community as a whole. The Kahnawà:ke Community Decision-Making Process is a response to the community’s call for a more culturally relevant and inclusive process for making community decisions and enacting community laws. The process is a transitionary measure to assist and facilitate the legislative function of Kahnawà:ke governance and draws on ancient principles of respect, equality and "one mind" inherent in the Great Law of Peace. This presentation illustrates the development of the process and how consensus-based decision making functions in the modern setting of Kahnawà:ke with the goal of illustrating Indigenous participatory democracy in action.
This lecture by Dr. Kahente Horn-Miller is sponsored by the Georges Lurcy Lecture Series Fund, the Corliss Lamont Lectureship Fund, the Eastman Fund at Amherst College and the Amherst College Departments of American Studies and English.
Kahente Horn-Miller holds a Ph.D. in Humanities and an M.A. in anthropology from Concordia University. She has had articles published in various academic journals on such topics as citizenship issues, political science, indigenous women’s issues and Haudenosaunee culture and traditions. In 2011, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke appointed Horn-Miller as the Coordinator for the Kahnawà:ke Legislative Coordinating Commission (LCC), which is the body that administers the Community Decision-Making Process. She is the first person to hold this position as a full-time appointment.