A local longhouse often needs to subdivide its enrollment by classifying its tribes into two or more groupings called “nations.” Each nation may segregate one gendered program from another (boys’ program from the girls’ or dads’ program from the moms’) or segregate a very large gendered program into two or more smaller but manageable groups (e.g. 36 boy tribes into three nations of 12 tribes each).
Administration of the Nation
Each nation is governed by a body known as the Nation Council. The council oversees nation operations, plans & coordinates nation events, and sets goals. Each nation council consists of two bodies:
- Nation Officers
- Nation Tribe Chiefs
The highest administrators within each nation are the Nation Officers. The Nation Officers serve as the nation’s executive leadership and are elected by, and from within, the Nation Council. The Nation Officers work closely with, and are representatives to, their local longhouse council. Although the number of Nation Officers and their assigned duties varies from one nation to another, or from one local program to another, most nations have at least the following key officers:
- Nation Chief – Leader and spokesperson for the Nation. Presides over all nation council meetings, nation events and campouts.
- Assistant Nation Chief – Aide to the Nation Chief. Presides over the duties of the nation chief in his or her absence.
- Nation Wampum Bearer – Treasurer for the nation.
Each tribe elects a tribe chief who serves as their representative to their Nation Council. The tribe chiefs attend and participate in the monthly Nation Council meetings and report back to their tribes. Each tribe chief may volunteer his or her tribe’s services to assist with, or sponsor a nation activity (often to acquire campout perks such as better sleeping quarters, closest cabin to the dining hall, or “first to go” in the food line.)