To Eddye: The Executive Branch is in charge of making treaties on behalf of the United States. The Treaty Clause provides the authorization. The Commerce Clause provided for the federal govt. to regulate commerce (e.g., land purchases) WITH "Indian tribes." As you rightly state, it did not provide any federal authority OVER Indian nations or "tribes." The S.Court devised the "domestic dependent" label to categorize Indian nations in a way that would suggest, on the basis of the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, they were SUBJECT to the territorial or "ultimate" dominion of the federal govt. of the U.S. To Oldcitizen: I do not read Mr. d'Errico as saying that the current U.S. legal interpretations are "all we have to work with." It is, however, what we have to respond to in detail. He certainly does not explicitly say anywhere in his article that this is all we have to work with. I read him as saying that we need to be accurate and precise when we speak or write about such things. I also read d'Errico as saying that in building our arguments in favor of Indian sovereignty and self-determination, we have to respond (refute) what the Supreme Court ACTUALLY said. When, d'errico states: "We may wish it were true that the United States recognized Indian nations as fully sovereign and equivalent to foreign nations, but wishing doesn’t make it so," it would have been better if he had written "We may wish it were true that the United States Supreme Court recognized Indian nations as fully sovereign and equivalent to foreign nations...." The fact remains that, as stated above, the United States Supreme Court built the "domestic dependent nation" category on the basis of the Doctrine of Christian Discovery and the dehumanizing categorization of our nations as "heathens" and "savages," etc. It is at this foundational level that we need to confront the conceptual system that the United States continues to use against Indian nations and peoples. If a prominent leader such as Mr. Keel were to at long last explicitly address this dark side of federal Indian law and policy in a State of the Indian Nations address, now THAT would be something to witness and celebrate. On a positive note, last Fall Assistant Sect. of the Interior Larry Echo Hawk did mention and critize the Doctrine of Discovery without mentioning that it is rooted in Christian categories. This was a great step in the right direction, for unless we accurately define the nature of the problem it is unlikely that it will be possible to prescribe an effective solution.
Saturday, February 26, 2011 - 00:51