Thursday, May 31, 2007

Reconciling MORAL OUTRAGE at Pechanga Tribe with Self Determination

Here is an excellent article by Sheryl Lightfoot about how to support sovereignty issues, while not supporting the actions when they are morally repugnant, such as Pechanga's disenrollment of 25% of their tribe in order to enrich the remaining members.

In order to be sovereign nations, we must act like sovereign nations. But that does not mean that in order to support self-determination in principle, we need to agree with every decision of other sovereign nations. Nation-states in the international system do not always agree with the internal actions of other nation-states, yet they nearly always accept the principle of the equal sovereignty of all nation-states within the international system (with certain notable exceptions like the Iraq invasion or humanitarian interventions). When a nation-state, a group of nation-states, or private citizens of other nation-states disagree with the internal actions of another nation-state, there are a number of possible avenues of action.

First, sovereign nation-states can register a diplomatic complaint with the government of the offending nation-state. This is done all the time in the international system. The U.S. Department of State often drafts and delivers letters of protest to the diplomats and officials of other governments over areas of disagreement. Likewise, the executives of our indigenous nations have the right, if not the moral responsibility, to send letters and make phone calls of complaint directly to the executives of the Cherokee Nation, expressing their concern over the disenrollment decision. This can be done while supporting the inherent right of an indigenous nation to determine its own membership.

Another tactic which can be employed by other indigenous nations or the private citizens of other nations is the art of moral persuasion, or ''moral suasion,'' as it has also been termed. This involves a campaign of exposure and embarrassment. This tactic has most often been employed in international human rights campaigns, with the purpose being to expose the immoral government action in the media and open up international discussion in order to embarrass the target government into changing its policy to better conform to international norms. This was done in the early days of the campaign against apartheid in South Africa and has been used often by groups like Amnesty International to urge governments to stop human rights abuses.

My view is this:

As mentioned on other sites, tribal sovereignty is something that should be nurtured and cherished. Many now believe that the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians from Temecula, CA will be responsible for the quick erosion of sovereignty, that tribes have fought for for centuries.

The question was asked, "what could be done?". Frankly, economic sanctions of another nation, plus public embarrassment may be the only course of action that is effective. For instance, in South Africa, it was their SOVEREIGN RIGHT as a free nation to impose apartheid on their country. What recourse did civilized countries use to bring down this hateful policy? Economic sanctions and world ridicule of the policy. No trade, no travel, no money. Final result, end of apartheid and a welcome back to South Africa into the world community.

Similarly, citizens of the United States can impose their own economic sanctions on the Tribal Nation of Pechanga by boycotting their nation. Stop patronizing their casino, hotel, restaurants and their powwows. Let them know that we do not agree with their system of denying civil rights to their people and until they follow their own tribal law, citizens of our country will NOT support their nation, but will patronize their competitor nations.

Also, letting state and federal representatives know that we expect them not to support a nation that would treat its citizens this way, especially NOT to allow them increased monetary benefits by expanding their casino slot machines. Readers, there are 250 members of the band that were disenrolled and 500 people who are caught in Pechanga's illegal moratorium (illegal in that SOVEREIGN nation, against the sovereign nation of Pechanga's own constitution) Pechanga deserves no benefit from violations of their laws and against citizens of the United States.

Please ask your friends to read my blog and friends, please let me know your opinion.

Paulina Hunter's blog

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