Thanks for the comments! To be sure: I do NOT think the court was right. In fact, as each of the comments suggests, the court's decision was designed to do a wrong to indigenous nations, to deny their sovereignty (on the basis of the fact they were not 'Christian'). The commerce clause didn't do that; the court did that. US law has accepted this wrong as a basis for federal Indian law. My point is that we have to criticize this decision, not pretend it didn't happen. We have to criticize the 'doctrine of Christian Discovery,' as well as everything else in federal Indian law that is based on that doctrine. Federal Indian law premised on 'Christian Discovery' is NOT all we have. We have our power to criticize those ideas and to build political and legal positions on a different basis, namely, the original basis of indigenous sovereignty. Every time someone pretends the US Constitution is a good thing for Indian nations, they are walking down a dead-end path. The 'new era' to celebrate is when every Indian leader harks back to the real foundation of Indian nationhood and refuses to play the 'domestic dependent' game. By the way, if inclusion in the 'commerce clause' made Indians 'part of the union,' wouldn't it also make 'foreign nations' part of the union? But that would be an absurdity, wouldn't it?
Sunday, February 27, 2011 - 18:28