After multiple recounts and one court-ordered do-over, Bill John Baker has defeated incumbent Chad Smith to become the new Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been intruding on tribal sovereignty for several years, by asserting authority over businesses owned and operated by tribal governments, including those located on reservations. And it's poised to strike yet another blow.
A few weeks ago, I read the following paragraph in an NPR article about the Cherokee Freedmen:
"This is not a club; you can't just claim to be Cherokee and show up and be included," says Cara Cowan Watts, a vocal member of the Cherokees' tribal council.
The Cherokee Nation based out of Tahlequah, Oklahoma has decided to strip “Freedmen” of their Cherokee rights and to expel them from their nation. Freedmen are African American descendants of slaves.
Like most Indians who give thought to our relationship with the United States, I dream of Indian treaties as sacred promises or, at least, what the Constitution says in so many words: “all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of
The budgetary hard times that are facing the federal government and states can create a favorable environment for Indian tribal governments.
It is typical to refer to our respective nations and peoples as being "in" Canada or "in" the United States and therefore as being deemed subject to the jurisdictions of those two political constructs called "states" in international law.
States and governors just can’t seem to control themselves; they cannot keep their hands out of tribal pockets. The concept that tribal governments have rights and financial needs has eluded them for so long they have become accustomed to ignoring them.
We've all heard references to the 'special rights' of American Indians. Sometimes, it's an affirmation of Indian nationhood; other times, it's an attack on Indian sovereignty.
The time has come to make meaningful change. Native women need to be protected from the sexual predators who repeatedly victimize them, without consequence or repercussion.
As Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, I am charged with assisting my people to recover from nearly four centuries of colonization and neglect. The Wampanoag Nation entered into a treaty with the colonists in 1621.
For many thousands of years, our indigenous ancestors lived free and independent of Christian European domination.
The Tribal Human Resource Department (HR) of a Theoretical Tribe advertises in nation-wide media and on its website that the position of Chief Judge is open and solicits application from qualified candidates.
I often think about the big-picture ideas that would help tribal governments address the small-picture details more efficiently.