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The Brothertown have a long history of governance that some might find non-traditional.  

On Lake Winnebago, with the Steamship “Manchester” (background) which the Brothertown built and was the first Steamship on the lake.

Outsiders who look for a centralized command-and-control-type of government will see that our leadership lines and our judicial system are centuries old.

Nonetheless, our tribe has a history of moving forward through consensus.  As a result, we have sometimes moved too quickly.  For instance, we sought individual ownership of our land as allotments more than 40 years before the Dawes Act required it of all tribes.  We have sometimes also moved too slowly.  We might have begun the fight for restoration legislation at the same time we fought for administrative recognition, rather than 32 years later.

However, we move forward only when we have consensus.  That we can continue to achieve consensus across 2 centuries and though we no longer live next door to each other is a sign that our tradition of non-tradition works.

Consensus is our tradition.  It is how the peoples of six tribes were able to come together, stay together, and move together (four times in 60 years), and 2 centuries later, still work and move on together as a tribal family.

Engaged Brothertown Indian Nation Members at a Council meeting

Learn more about the Brothertown Indian Nation’s Tribal Council and Peacemakers.