The Dayak communities of Central Kalimantan are one of the ethnic communities in NKRI. The communities have questioned the position of relationships with the state in the political, economic, social, and cultural spheres. The struggle of Dayak identity in the post-reform era indicates the operation of the institutionalization process in the framework of civil society in Central Kalimantan. This study was limited to the post-reform era (2001–2015) with an approach to civil society theory by using a qualitative descriptive method. The results reveal several facts about the Dayak–Madura ethnic conflict tragedy, the formalization of Dayak customary institutions (Perda 16/2008), the application of local content in educational curricula, customs, and customary law enforcement, nature, and prosperity. The analysis shows the model of Dayak identity struggle in two patterns: first, the resistance to the repressive actions of a particular community as a form of resistance to the state; second, a collaborative pattern with the local government to gain legitimacy for the institutional role of the Dayak community in all spheres. The analysis further asserts that the model of the identity struggle by the Dayak community is sporadic. It is not only dominant in one of the models, but also in the combined framework between the neo-Gramscian and neo-Tocquevillian perspectives of civil society.