Please take a moment to read this essay by Debbie Reese on what’s at risk for Native Americans/American Indians in this election. It really is a different game for us. Here are some key passages, but please read the whole thing when you can.
But, Trump’s 1993 comments to the Natural Resources Committee highlight a problem that has plagued federal Indian law from the Indian Reorganization Act until today: the tension between the racial and political identity of Indian people.
Trump’s comments shed light on how a Trump Administration may implement its Indian policy, posing a real risk that the federal government will subordinate the sovereign status of Indian tribes to the racial identity of individual Indians. Such a policy would rely on a subjective evaluation of who is “Indian enough” in Trump’s estimation.
In the past, when the Federal government has focused on the racial identity of Indians (rather than our political identity), it has almost always been done to limit the Federal government’s trust obligations to Indians
There are 568 federally recognized Indian tribes today, from southeast Florida to the north slope of Alaska. Some tribes’ citizens look like the idealized Indians from George Catlin paintings, while other tribes’ citizens would not “appear” to be Indian to a passerby on the streets of Washington, D.C. Despite the vast differences in their racial purity, every tribe maintains the right to determine its own rules for citizenship, to be governed according to its own laws, and to engage with the United States on a government-to-government basis
The continuation of Indian tribes as sovereign governments in the United States depends, in large part, upon the distinction between Indians as a race of people, and Indians as citizens of Indian tribes. To blur or eliminate that distinction is to take an axe to the trunk of the tree of federal Indian law – federal laws applicable to Indians would be subject to the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against racial discrimination.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be off an on today because of real life obligations. So please be nice to each other. Thank you :)
PS: Formatting this post was a nightmare!!