Hell has officially frozen over when I rise to defend the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
At a hefty 560 pages, Walter Echo-Hawk’s noteworthy book In The Courts Of The Conqueror: The 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided (Fulcrum, 2010) examines U.S. federal Indian law within the scope of ten U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
It always was, and always is, about the land.
The Sealaska land legislation is an amendment to a forty year old act of Congress, but a lengthy public outreach process involving more than 225 meetings with local Southeast Alaska communities, stakeholders and organizations has set the stage for this legislation in 2011.
Professor Steven L. Winter based the title to his book A Clearing in the Forest on a story told by William James about his experiences in the forest in the mountains of South Carolina.
Much fanfare has been made of Barack Obama’s December 16, 2010, announcement at the White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C. Obama stated that the United States was finally “lending its support” to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples—the U.S.
For most indigenous peoples, the relations of trust responsibility within colonialism and modern states are not the same. Trust responsibility arose during the colonial period: Under the Doctrine of Discovery, European kings claimed land in the New World.
Ever so gradually, we are nearing a landmark day—a day when a member of a Montana Indian tribe swings open a gate to a vast landscape, the ground beneath hundreds of wild bison trembling in an audible snapshot of how the earth once shook under the hooves of millions of their ancestors.
When Sealaska’s lands legislation is reintroduced to Congress in the next few months, the Alaska Native regional corporation will be simply asking the U.S. to keep a promise.
With the convening of the 112th Congress, I became the Ranking Member on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure. Although I have left the Natural Resources Committee after having served there for more than 30 years, I intend to remain an active supporter of Native issues.
A mere 46 years ago, the federal government orchestrated a series of events with generational consequences that can only be described as shameful.
We abhor violence and mass murder. Much as we dislike the decision of Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California to undermine tribal interests, she does not belong in anyone’s crosshairs.
As Congress winds down its session, we should acknowledge the historic accomplishments it has helped us achieve over the past two years.
On Nov. 30, 2010, the United States Congress passed the Claims Settlement Act of 2010, a package of bills settling claims against the United States related to the hard-fought Cobell Indian trust lawsuit, the Pigford lawsuit by African-American farmers against the U.S.