Monday, January 5, 2009

American Indian Resources Institute Holds Forum at Civil Rights Violators Resort.

The American Indian Resources Institute is hosting a two-day forum to address sovereignty and self-governance issues under the new administration of president-elect Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled 111th Congress.

Tribal Sovereignty and Self-Governance in a New Era: Forging Fair and Equitable Governance in a Time of Change takes place January 23-24 on the Pechanga Reservation in California.

Sessions are geared to the challenges and opportunities tribes will face with a new leader in the White House

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), who will serve as chairman of the Barack Obama administration is expected to attend.

The Pechanga Tribe has terminated 25% of its membership in an effort to boost the per capita payments to the remaining members. The story is recounted in Pechanga’s Paper Trail of Tears.

45 comments:

cideways said...

So whats the deal we should show up and protest?

Allen L. Lee said...

I wouldn't consider a protest until or unless a presenter who can effectively communicate the relevance of tribal governance and dis-enrollments is refused an opportunity to make a presentation, then I would stage a protest. Point of discussion would be whether Federal intervention is the sole threat to tribal sovereignty or do tribal bureacracies such as councils, committees, or Chief ruled autocracies prove to be an equal threat to the rule of general membership. No true conference on the rights of Native Peoples can be held without addressing the dis-enrollment. Hopefully they can be made to understand that before the conference convenes.
In at least three different dis-enrollment cases, minority rule was the actual cause of the dis-enrollments. the Pechanga dis-enrollments is one with the committee having more authority than the larger general membership, The Cherokee dis-enrollments were actually done by a vote of three percent of the Cherokee population and the Picayune Chukchansi where a tribal council removed nearly fifty percent of the tribe. Ask at the conference if the U.S. should continue to recognize minority rule in a tribe even when it is against the wishes of a general membership?
Who has the best abilty among your organization to ask for an hour of the conference?

Allen L. Lee said...

And,
I would title such a paper, "Dis-enrollments And The Internal Threats To Tribal Sovereignty"

PHunter said...

Allen, can we get a paper together that quickly.

A candlelight vigil is being planned.

Allen L. Lee said...

It would be a crunch but I am confident your organiation could put a short occassional paper together with multiple authors in time for the event. In such a short notice however, a selected speaker with an outline for a brief and concise talk demonstrating how dis-enrollments work against tribal sovereignty would work.
If a paper can't be composed in short notice, an outlined speech can be ready.
Speeches aren't always composed to be publishable papers. Someone should at least speak at this conference along with the candle light vigil.
As I said before, no Native Peoples conference in the U.S. can be truly genuine and earnest without discussing the dis-enrollments.
Traditional banishments vs modern dis-enrollments, are they the same?
International human rights and tribes, who's accountable for violations, the U.S. with federal jurisdiction or the tribes?
Should disenrolled Indians seek recogniton from the U.S as a distinct and separate band or should the U.S. foster tribal coalition governments with several bands?
There's a lot to talk about in this subject. Too much to remain silent. Too much for someone not to speak at this conference

NDNLady said...

Mr. Lee, I am curious about your comments regarding international human rights and your implications that tribes are violating them. Can you cite the relevant convenants and/or conventions that apply?

Allen L. Lee said...

Of course your argument that the Indian nations did not sign any of the covenants would be your response. I know who you are.
Federal jurisdiction places the U.S. in direct responsibility for any human rights violations committed by States, Commonwealths, Territories, and yes, Native Tribes under it's jurisdiction. It would be a greater sign of sovereignty if tribes could address international rights of persons as individuals and peoples as sovereigns, but in the case of dis-enrollments, some of the best native minds have been silent or sidetracked by a belief that sovereignty trumps human rights. In modern government to government relations, that does not seem to apply.
You have demonstrated enough intelligence that I don't need to be your personal reference desk. Take your time and read my posts on this site, return to the Tulsa site and ask them to re-post the answers to that question that you and your colleagues had deleted, or use your intelligence to "google" the "relevant convenants and/or conventions that apply?" I am also fairly certain that you have access to hard copy libraries that can provide that information in detail, if you truly want to know.
My guess is you just showed up here to razz me about having my answers to that question deleted on another site? The only reason I am answering you now is as a courtesy to the moderater.

NDNLady said...

Mr. Lee, you obviously do NOT know me if you believe I have any colleagues at the Tulsa World. And certainly the United States is responsible for seeing that all governments; state, local, etc, under its jurisdiction; adhere to the standards set forth in the international covenants/conventions the US has ratified. But they don't even hold themselves accountable much less take the required responsibility for promoting human rights education to other governments under their jurisdiction.

My question to you is simply what "international human rights" are being violated? If you are going to toss that phrase around, you should be able to back that up. Otherwise it's just one more empty emotional piece of propaganda.

Sovereignty DOES NOT trump human rights. Nothing does. Human rights law is the highest law. And self-determination IS a human right, a collective right of indigenous peoples. You see, I DO KNOW the applicable covenants and conventions, Mr. Lee. I know them very well. You are the one who needs to do some reading. Might I suggest you start with the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It's available on the website of the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights

Allen L. Lee said...

To NDN Lady,
Since I am not as likely to be deleted from this site as I was from the Tulsa site where you asked me the same question, I will re-visit the subject.
Collective rights and individual rights aren’t always synonymous. The framers of the Right of Indigenous Peoples were presumed to be aware of this schism and use specific language to address the rights of indigenous individuals. No language in this declaration purports to suspend an individuals human rights within any collective, be it tribal or state.

Your arguments for this particular Human Rights declaration would most likely be:

““UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION ON THE
RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES*
…Article 32
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine their own identity or membership
in accordance with their customs and traditions. This does not impair the right of indigenous
individuals to obtain citizenship of the States in which they live.
2. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the structures and to select the
membership of their institutions in accordance with their own procedures.
Article 33
Indigenous peoples have the right to promote, develop and maintain their institutional
structures and their distinctive customs, spirituality, traditions, procedures, practices and, in the cases where they exist, juridical systems or customs, in accordance with international human
rights standards.
Article 34
Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the responsibilities of individuals to their
communities….”
My argument for this particular declaration would be:
““UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION ON THE
RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES*
…PP3 Affirming further that all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating
superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin, racial, religious, ethnic or
cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and
socially unjust,
PP6 Recognizing the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of
indigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structures and from
their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, especially their rights to their lands,
territories and resources,
PP6 Further recognizing the urgent need to respect and promote the rights of indigenous
peoples affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements with States,
PP11 Recognizing in particular the right of indigenous families and communities to
retain shared responsibility for the upbringing, training, education and well-being of their
children, consistent with the rights of the child,
PP13 Considering that the rights affirmed in treaties, agreements and constructive
arrangements between States and indigenous peoples are, in some situations, matters of
international concern, interest, responsibility and character,
PP13 Also considering that treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements,
and the relationship they represent, are the basis for a strengthened partnership between
indigenous peoples and States,
PP15 Bearing in mind that nothing in this Declaration may be used to deny any peoples
their right of self-determination, exercised in conformity with international law,
PP18 bis Recognizing and reaffirming that indigenous individuals are entitled without
discrimination to all human rights recognized in international law, and that indigenous peoples
possess collective rights which are indispensable for their existence, well-being and integral
development as peoples,
Article 1
Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as
individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the
United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights law
Article 2
Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals
and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in
particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity.
Article 5
Every indigenous individual has the right to a nationality
Article 7
1. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced
assimilation or destruction of their culture.
(c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or
undermining any of their rights;
(d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration by other cultures or ways of life
imposed on them by legislative, administrative or other measures;
(e) Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite racial or ethnic
discrimination directed against them
Article 9
Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right to belong to an indigenous community
or nation, in accordance with the traditions and customs of the community or nation concerned.
No discrimination of any kind may arise from the exercise of such a right.
Article 9
Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right to belong to an indigenous community
or nation, in accordance with the traditions and customs of the community or nation concerned.
No discrimination of any kind may arise from the exercise of such a right.
Article 15
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational
systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to
their cultural methods of teaching and learning.
2. Indigenous individuals, particularly children, have the right to all levels and forms
of education of the State without discrimination.
3. States shall, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, take effective measures, in
order for indigenous individuals, particularly children, including those living outside their
communities, to have access, when possible, to an education in their own culture and provided in
their own language.
Article 18
1. Indigenous individuals and peoples have the right to enjoy fully all rights
established under applicable international and domestic labour law.
Article 21
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and develop their political,
economic and social systems or institutions, to be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of
subsistence and development, and to engage freely in all their traditional and other economic
activities.
2. Indigenous peoples deprived of their means of subsistence and development are
entitled to just and fair redress.
Article 22 bis
1. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous
elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities in the implementation of this
Declaration.
Article 24
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to their traditional medicines and to maintain
their health practices, including the conservation of their vital medicinal plants, animals and
minerals. Indigenous individuals also have the right to access, without any discrimination, to all
social and health services.
2. Indigenous individuals have an equal right to the enjoyment of the highest
attainable standard of physical and mental health. States shall take the necessary steps with a
view to achieving progressively the full realization of this right.
Article 27
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to redress, by means that can include restitution
or, when this is not possible, of a just, fair and equitable compensation, for the lands, territories
and resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used, and which
have been confiscated, taken, occupied, used or damaged without their free, prior and informed
consent.
.
Article 43
All the rights and freedoms recognized herein are equally guaranteed to male and female
indigenous individuals.
Article 44
Nothing in this Declaration may be construed as diminishing or extinguishing the rights
indigenous peoples have now or may acquire in the future.
Article 45
1. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, people,
group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act contrary to the Charter
of the United Nations.
2. In the exercise of the rights enunciated in the present Declaration, human rights
and fundamental freedoms of all shall be respected. The exercise of the rights set forth in this
Declaration shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law, in accordance
with international human rights obligations. Any such limitations shall be non-discriminatory
and strictly necessary solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights
and freedoms of others and for meeting the just and most compelling requirements of a
democratic society.”
http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/G06/125/71/PDF/G0612571.pdf?OpenElement
The way I read this, though this declaration is non-binding, the tribal dis-enrollments are in violation of the spirit of this particular declaration.
Allen L. Lee

NDNLady said...

Mr. Lee, my argument for the Declaration is every single provision contained within it!! The Declaration is what is called an "aspirational" document. It sets out the minimum standards to be met by member-states in protecting the rights of indigenous peoples within their respective borders. It has the distinction of being the only such document drafted with the active participation of the rights holders themselves. Hundreds of indigenous representatives from around the world labored for over twenty years in securing the language that appears in final Declaration adopted by the full United Nations on Sept 13 2007. As far as it being non-binding, aren't you now making the same argument you accused me of making?? Besides, you are apparently unaware that in March of 2008, the CERD's concluding observations of the US periodic review linked the provisions of the Declaration to the legal obligations of the ICERD, which the US has ratified.

You need to remember that the Declaration applies to over 5,000 peoples, an estimated 370 million individuals around the world, all of whom face many different pressing issues which threaten their ability to survive as "distinct peoples." It has already been incorporated into the domestic law of several of the member-states that voted for its adoption. In this way, the UNDRIP is well on its way to becoming "customary international law", just like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Nowhere in either the "letter" or the "spirit" of the Declaration will you find any support for your assertion that the "human rights" of non-indigenous individuals are being violated. Citizenship in an indigenous nation for any individual is subject to the collective right of the indigenous nation to define, by its own customs and traditions, what that requires. That's what Article 9 means. And Article 33 which you have mistakenly identified as Article 32. And yes, that language was considered very carefully. As was the language in Article 8 which you mistakenly posted as Article 7

1. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.
(c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or
undermining any of their rights;
(d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration by other cultures or ways of life
imposed on them by legislative, administrative or other measures;
(e) Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite racial or ethnic
discrimination directed against them.

The rights of all individuals are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Read it too, Mr. Lee. Nowhere will you see the right to belong to an indigenous nation listed. When anyone takes a concern to a United Nations human rights monitoring body, they are required to root their complaint in the existing international laws. What right guaranteed by what law is being violated? And that's the question I am asking you. No more, no less.

Allen L. Lee said...

Distinct peoples does not translate to a preservation based on racial eugenics. In fact, none of the declarations you mention have genetic qualifiers to establish rights. Unfortunately, your use of "non-indigenous individuals" as a code term for "not our race" is fairly overt.
Both the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the Pechanga have claimend "Sovereign Nation" status and both the Pechanga and Cherokee dis-enrollments were based on genetic qualifiers as a justification to remove recognozed members/citizens from their Tribes/Nations. This is in direct violation of the Human Rights assertion that:
"Article 5
Every indigenous individual has the right to a nationality..."
Article 45
1. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, people,
group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act contrary to the Charter
of the United Nations."
And what does the Charter of the United Nations say about individual rights?
"CHAPTER IX: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CO-OPERATION
Article 55
…c.universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.
Article 62
…2.It may make recommendations for the purpose of promoting respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.
http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/chapter9.shtml
What would be the U.S. responsibilty in accordance with this charter?

"Article 84
It shall be the duty of the administering authority to ensure that the trust territory shall play its part in the maintenance of international peace and security. To this end the administering authority may make use of volunteer forces, facilities, and assistance from the trust territory in carrying out the obligations towards the Security Council undertaken in this regard by the administering authority, as well as for local defence and the maintenance of law and order within the trust territory."
http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/chapter12.shtml
What does the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" adopted by the U.N. in 1948 say about membership/citizenship?
"Universal Declaration of Human Rights
..Article 2.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Article 15.
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html

There is no custom or tradition in either the Pechanga or Cherokee dis-enrollment. The Pechanga dis-enrollments hinged on the testimony of a non-Indian anthropologist and the Cherokee dis-enrollments hinged on a non- Indian set of rolls compiled by a senator from Massachussets in the 1900's by the name of Henry Dawes.
The majority of the dis-enrollments are based on antiquated euro-centric values of race and heritage and have little to do with indigenous tradition and custom.
Even if they did they would still be subject to the norms of human rights established by the international community. It is not presumed to be an indigenous collective right for an African tribe to stone a woman to death for adultury or for a woman to be raped as a form of tribal punishment in the Asian continent. It would not be presumed to be an indigenous right of the African Maasia to go to a Belgium cheesemaker and take his or her cow because of the tradition and custom that god gave cattle to the Maasia and no other people on earth have a right to be in possession of cows. It wouldn't even be presumed that the indigenous peoples rights would encourage the Maasia to take cattle from neigboring tribes. It is not a presumed right for an indigenous tribe/nation to force its members to consume coca leaves in Peru, narcotic poppies in Afghanistan or Peyote in North America as a condition of retaining membership, no matter how traditional it may be. No indigineous tribe would be presumed to have the collective right to commit infanticide because the child was not born with desirable ethnic traits. Retroactive racial eugenics as a human right of recognized collective groups does not exist, and hopefully it never will, but that is exactly what the Cherokee and Pechanga nations are engaging in.
Re-evaluating the legal rights of a members/citizens of an indigenous tribe/nation based on the status of an ancestor is a human rights violation. The decendant is powerless to effect historical events. To say that "my grandmother accepted your grandmother but I don't accept you, so your gone" is wrong.
Even if the ancestor acquired citizenship through fraud it would be a human rights violation to punish the descendant for the crime of an ancestor. Removing someones right to retain their nationality/citizenship in any recognized indigenous nation without just cause warrants a human rights review.
I deliberately pasted the segments in the UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION ON THE
RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, that pertained to the rights of individuals. There are several that perhaps you have overlooked or you choose to ignore.
Again I say as I have said at the other site. This declaration is not a Carte Blanche for indigenous collectives, be they centralized Sovereign Nations, or un-centralized confederations of clans to violate the rights of individuals recognized as members/ citizens of their collectives.
Allen L.Lee

Allen L. Lee said...

“NDN Lady said
“Nowhere in either the "letter" or the "spirit" of the Declaration will you find any support for your assertion that the "human rights" of non-indigenous individuals are being violated. Citizenship in an indigenous nation for any individual “

per the
“ UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION ON THE
RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES*

“Article 8
1. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.”

If dis-enrollment isn’t the forced assimilation of dis-enrolled people into the dominant society, than I don’t know what is.

Allen L. Lee said...

Closing statement.
Non indigenous members/citizens of indigineous tribes/nations who became recognized as tribal members/citizens by adoption, intermarriage, naturalization or capture would share share equal rights with indigenous tribal members according to the Declarations. I refer to the preceeding posts. I also would be fairly comfortable taking this case to any international tribunal or through the halls of the U.N.

NDNLady said...

Again, Mr. Lee, something is not international law simply because you say it is. Back up your claims with appropriate citations. You have merely cut and pasted a great deal of material that you don't even read correctly, much less understand. I have posted from one. The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And referred to another. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And I think I mentioned the ICERD. And if you think "disenrollment" is "forced assimilation", you're right. You really don't know what it is.

Article 8. 2, d

States shall provide effective mechanisms for the prevention of and redress for:

Any form of forced assimilation or integraton.

For your information, the Cherokee case has been submitted to a human rights monitoring body. The foremost expert on indigenous rights on CERD called Diane Watson's actions alarming. Not the Cherokees.

Mr. Lee, what we are talking about is whether an individual’s right TO citizenship in an indigenous nation is a "human right." And that’s all we’re talking about. Nobody’s stoning anybody to death. Nobody is being raped as a “traditional punishment.” Nobody is committing infanticide or any of the other actions you describe. Those really are violations of the individual human rights guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And you should know that that kind of overblown hyperbole may play well on an internet blog and may feed your own personal sense of self-righteous anger and entitlement, but it would get your shadow report tossed to the floor in under four paragraphs. It would immediately signal any expert on a UN monitoring body that you don’t know what you’re talking about. You need to do some basic reading on indigenous rights in international law, because you obviously lack an understanding of the meaning of some very common terms that are considered "customary language."

For example, the term "distinct people." The Declaration says in Article 7, 2. "Indigenous peoples have the collective right to live in freedom, peace and security as distinct peoples..." This right has absolutely nothing to do with race. Or eugenics. Indigenous rights do not proceed from race, ethnicity or minority status. The Sami are white. The San are black. They are both indigenous. Indigenous peoples’ rights are inherent (pre-existing) and are derived from their political, economic and social structures, from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies and especially from their rights to their lands, territories and resources. In other words, from their existence as distinct peoples prior to colonial contact. And quite simply the vast majority of the world's indigenous peoples have always defined their identity through ancestry or ancestry/marriage. And whether you like that or not is immaterial. This is an inherent right as recognized in Article 33 "Indigenous peoples have the right to determine their own identity OR membership in accordance with their customs and traditions." Put quite simply, no State has the right to tell an indigenous people who THEY are. And neither do you. How an indigenous people decides to define their own identity, their own customs, traditions, laws, etc is their collective choice to make. It is a collective human right. Subject to respecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of other individuals and peoples. So is the individual right to citizenship in an indigenous nation a “human right?”

Article 9 of the Declaration says “Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right to belong to an indigenous community or nation in accordance with the traditions and customs of the community or nation concerned."

NO INDIVIDUAL RIGHT TO MEMBERSHIP IS RECOGNIZED OUTSIDE OF THE COLLECTIVE RIGHT OF THE NATION TO DETERMINE ITS OWN CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS REGARDING MEMBERSHP.

When you quote Article 6 in the UNDRIP or Article 15 in the Universal Declaration? The right to a nationality? You need to know what that word means in those Articles. In international law, “nationality” does not mean membership in an indigenous nation. Unless someone has managed to deprive you of your US citizenship, you have a nationality. You may not know this but many indigenous peoples around the world are denied citizenship in the member-states in which they reside. Just as the majority of Indians here in the US were until 1924. So you see the inherent human rights of indigenous peoples do not violate all those provisions of other human rights instruments which you cut and pasted without really having a clue as to what they mean. Do you really believe the General Assembly of the United Nations would adopt a set of rights that was not in accord with existing rights instruments?

I am not Pechanga and I would not presume to make any judgments about the Pechanga dispute. But your statements about the Dawes Rolls tell me how very little you really know about Cherokee history or law. Much less our customs and traditions. And you know even less about international human rights law. You just incorporate the words “human rights” in your rhetoric without being able to cite any of the relevant laws. For example, your statement: “Re-evaluating the legal rights of members/citizens of an indigenous tribe/nation based on the status of an ancestor is a human rights violation.” Why? Who said so? Cite the relevant human rights instrument. It is not a violation simply because you think it sounds good. And I can think of dozens of examples of the “your grandmother accepted my grandmother, but you don’t accept me, so you’re gone” line that are perfectly legitimate. If one Navaho grandmother married Navaho and one married white, ditto for their offspring, then the resulting grandchildren would NOT be equal in terms of citizenship rights because of the blood quantum requirement of the Navaho Nation. The Cherokee requirement of Indian ancestry does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race or color. We don’t enroll non-Indians of any color. And we enroll all those with documented Indian ancestry regardless of color. And our right to determine our own citizenship is a human right guaranteed by Article 33 of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. That right actually exists in other covenants and conventions as well.

Now having said all that, I will tell you that I believe that a sincere conversation about the issues on the level of human rights could bring both sides closer to a productive solution. A CERD expert in Geneva said that human rights are not about laying blame for history. In other words, truth and reconciliation as opposed to retaliation. The Cherokee's own courts permitted non-Indian enrollment for a period of about a year. Those enrollments should stand. But the Cherokee people absolutely have the right to amend their Constition to require Indian ancestry.

'aamokat said...

NDNLady, but what if a tribe such as Pechanga does not follow their own laws and customs and traditions even while they are saying they are doing so?

What we supposed to do when the tribe's laws, procedures, and its own constitution were not followed, which is what happened when we were disenrolled?

Are we suppose to just blindly bow down to the sovereignty god and take our lumps no matter how unfair they are?

Yes tribes have the right to determine who their own citizens are but don't individuals have rights as well?

NDNLady said...

'aamokat, as I said, I am not Pechanga and don't feel it's my place to make a judgement when I am not in the position to know the truth of the Pechanga dispute. Would that people here would show my tribe the same respect. The facts and histories of our tribes are very different as are the basic issues of our cases. The attempt here to lump them into one issue seems to me to be a blatant attempt to capitalize on the sensational publicity that the Cherokee case received, which in truth, was a carefully crafted campaign of disinformation that reached the level of propaganda.

The reason I engaged Mr. Lee was his disregard for the truth of international human rights law regarding indigenous peoples. I spent months and months reading, studying and listening to the advice of some of the most respected human rights attorneys and activists in North America to learn what I have. It took over two decades of hard work by hundreds of dedicated indigenous people to draft and pass the Declaration and these laws are to be respected. They are not buzz words to be tossed about for emotional effect. I believe we are coming to a new era in federal Indian policy where the racist doctrine of plenary powers and "domestic dependant nations" will finally be repudiated and a true doctrine of self-determination will begin.

That said, no, I don't believe the Pechanga people should "blindly bow down to the sovereignty god" For one thing, the word "sovereignty" may have meaning in federal law, but in international human rights law, you will never see it used in relation to indigenous peoples. You will see "self-determination" instead, which carries with it a very specific delineation of rights, among them autonomy in self-governance. If Indian nations are to claim their right of true self-determination, then they have a responsibility to manifest governmnents of integrity that act within the parameters of both their own laws and human rights law. From what you say, yours has not. But redress at this moment in time is a slippery slope. The federal government will do anything to slow the process of changing the way they deal with Indian nations. So when you run to Big Daddy, you basically sell out ALL Indian nations' rights for your own agenda. Ideally, there will someday be a true intertribal court or forum where we can enforce justice for ourselves rather than perpetuate the lie that "Congress can whittle away Indian sovereignty at will."

As far as human rights, what I said about the individual right to membership being inseparable from the collective right to determine citizenship is true, but that doesn't mean that the disenrolled Pechanga may not have a viable case if you can establish that tribal government acted in disregard of the collective voice of the Pechanga people regarding those customs and laws. But I do not know enough to know how you would go about it. You couldn't file a shadow report against the Pechanga leaders per se because indigenous nations ARE NOT a party to international instruments and so are not responsible to their respective monitoring bodies. It may be possible to file a report in a US periodic review, but again you would have to be careful how you do it because UN monitoring bodies DO NOT support the concept of federal policy being "Because we said so." And the next review opportunity for US compliance with international human rights law does not happen for two years.
I remember the human rights attorney I worked with talking about disenrollments like the Pechanga being wrong, but he didn't elaborate since the focus of his advice to me was our case, which as I have pointed out is very different.

One hopeful sign I would point out is that President-elect Obama has definitely included disenrollment disputes in his vetting of the qualifications of Interior officials. And the questions asked were about experience in mediating such disputes. Rather than the past racist policies, he seems truly committed to promoting such concepts as full and effective participation, so perhaps a true mediation for your people can begin. I hope so. I truly do.

Allen L. Lee said...

To NDN Lady
Nice spin on the declarations, but I'm afraid I'll still disagree with you.
Lets get to what we do agree on first. Tribes and Nations absolutely have the right to determine who their members/ citizens are. However other tribes and nations don't have to recognize the other nations or the procedures they use to determine citizenship/membership. You can dis-enroll the Freedmen Descendants and there is nothing anyone can or should do to force you to do otherwise. I just want you removed from the list of federally recognized tribes because I don't want to have any part in participating or condoning it. The state of Oklahoma, the Chickasaw and some of the other tribes I am sure will continue to recognize you as well as the NCAI.
It's surprising and perhaps deliberate that you don't see the dis-enrollments as forced assimilation committed by the tribes of their undesirables into the dominant American culture.
I'm absolutely certain you know the history of non-Indian membership/citizenship in the Cherokee Nation and you know it goes further back than 2006. Unfortunately again you choose to mis-represent the actual history of the Cherokee Nation for the sake of spinning international protections for indigenous peoples.
Removing someone’s right to participate in his or her heritage is different from someone wanting to become a member/citizen through adoption or naturalization. Shunning, banishments and removal of citizenships are and have always considered being forms of punishment. All you have to do is interview Chad Smith and examine his statement regarding his banishment from the Keetowah. That banishment was based on indigenous tradition and custom and that is what both the declaration and I agree on, The Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez also focused on tradition and custom. Indigenous tradition and custom, not Euro-American racism masked as an indigenous practice.
NDN Lady said
"The Cherokee requirement of Indian ancestry does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race or color. We don’t enroll non-Indians of any color. "
This statement is false.
In 1866 the Cherokee Nation amended their constitution to accept non-Indian, non-indigenous Freedmen descendants as citizens of their Nation. It absolutely does discriminate on the basis of race because there was a pre-existing right to citizenship of non-Indians in the Cherokee Nation before the new requirement.

Lets discuss this statement.
“Re-evaluating the legal rights of members/citizens of an indigenous tribe/nation based on the status of an ancestor is a human rights violation.” Why? Who said so? Cite the relevant human rights instrument.

"PP18 bis Recognizing and reaffirming that indigenous individuals are entitled without
discrimination to all human rights recognized in international law,
This is one instrument and the term "human rights recognized in international law."
Indigenous tribes with the same rights of sovereign self-determination as Nations would have the same responsibilities to adhere to the human rights of its tribal members as nations do to its citizens. One of those responsibilities as repeated consistently in the Declaration of Indigenous Rights is to see to it that the individual is free from human rights violations committed by the collective. I will re-iterate that the right to nationality is considered a human right of the individual. Tribal membership is equal to citizenship in a nation. For those indigenous tribes that proclaim nation status, such as the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, there is no question about the removal of a Cherokee citizen being a human rights violation. Vacillating between indigenous tribal rights and proclaiming a voting centralized sovereign nation with a euro-American Supreme Court, Constitution, and electoral process
is a fraudulent claim of indigenous right under international law. The declaration in discussion clearly states that no act should be construed to encourage any state or peoples as collectives to violate the human rights of individuals. this would most certainly include tribal practices of punishment, including dis-enrollments.
If I don't like how you decide to enroll your new citizens I would address that in another forum, but I absolutely stand firm about the dis-enrollments. Please read the covenants in more detail instead of asking me to repeat the specifics. They are right there in front of you. You still aren't trying hard enough to even grasp the rights of individuals. You've acknowledged none of them or denied the validity. Not quite leading to a fruitful discussion.
I've answered your question with your Declaration that you recommended. I'm already aware of how you spun that particular declaration to bolster your case for the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma,
So I don't expect you to make a 180 turn.
As I said earlier, Even if the tribal member is non-indigenous, if that person was recognized as a legitimate member of the tribe by tradition, custom, law, or treaty, than that persons right to remain a member citizen of the tribe is considered a right. One need not be indigenous to be a full member of an indigenous tribe. Individual rights are the sole possession of the individual; it is not something that the collective has the right to deprive the individual of without just cause.
Allen L. Lee

Allen L. Lee said...

To 'aamokat,
Thanks for the opportunity to discuss this very important subject on your forum.
First it should be understand that I have the utmost regard for the truth as it pertains to human rights in the international context.
The person I have been talking to has an on-going history of attempted to derogate and belittle anyone that challenges the Cherokee dis-enrollments in an attempt to discredit them as well as the subject matter.
With that in mind, lets look at NDN Lady's most revealing admission.
"If Indian nations are to claim their right of true self-determination, then they have a responsibility to manifest governments of integrity that act within the parameters of both their own laws and human rights law. From what you say, yours has not."
"I remember the human rights attorney I worked with talking about disenrollments like the Pechanga being wrong,"
This person is cognizant of the potential human rights violation both by personal reflection and discussion with other human rights officials, yet denies it.
I'd say someone doesn't want you to broach the subject at the big party at Pechanga like I suggested.
The Pechanga dis-enrollments and the Cherokee dis-enrollments have one glaring similarity that can't be minimized. That similarity is that recognized members citizens of the tribe/nation lost their rights to belong because an ancestor did not meet the new, not the traditional legal requirements of the tribe.
They've never said they removed these citizens because they wanted more money for less people from casino revenue, their statement are on record and should be subject to human rights review, no matter how un-official the review may have to be. If Cherokee nation official can talk to human rights persons in the U, N., so can you.
that leads to this point. It is not true that you can do little or nothing about your situation. The most important thing you can do is continue to assert your "RIGHT" to belong as a Pechanga to any and all parties willing to "recognize" that right.
The complaint about "Big Daddy" leads to another point. Indigenous Nations cannot expect to have all the powers of Nations recognized by the international community and none of the responsibility. That is the fraud I speak of when particular organized Indigenous nations attempt to absolve themselves of any national responsibility to their citizens by claiming that they are merely tribal collectives.
Indigenous peoples globally are generally considered peoples who were in occupation of territories before European colonialism. The declaration in discussion attempts to address the impact of European colonialism and centralized states on those indigenous peoples, their cultural values language land usage, etc. and how those pre-existing. Tribes like nations are mutual agreements between individual for collective protection, the main difference is how the individuals agree to govern themselves collectively. Majority rule without the protection of a minority population or individuals within it is unjust. I've made myself familiar with all of the declarations discussed before I ever engaged in a conversation with NDN Lady at the other site.
Not looking for retaliation, as you know by my "Murphy's Law" statement. An honest recognition of the right to belong for the dis-enrolled people is what I am looking for, no more, no less.
If that can't be done than I prefer not to appear to be condoning the wrong by recognizing them. It's a case of mutual recognition from one government to another. If Big Daddy bothers someone that much, than I would suggest pulling the diplomatic plug from their side of the sovereign aisle and be on their independent way, like the Zapatista. At least they are honest about restoring tradition and custom and land rights. They didn't use slaves to help them in a forced relocation and then deny that they were ever there or were ever members, even subjugated members of their tribe.

Allen L. Lee said...

Statements regarding the Declaration of Indigenous Rights:

"

STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRMAN, GLOBAL INDIGENOUS CAUCUS By Les Malezer 13 September 2007

...It is a tool for peace and justice, based upon mutual recognition and mutual respect.

....That message is not about secession, as some States may fear, but about co-operation and partnership to ensure that all individuals, regardless of race or beliefs, are truly equal and that all peoples are respected and allowed to develop

...We are also assured by Article 46(3) that states: "The provisions set forth in this Declaration shall be interpreted in accordance with the principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, equality, non-discrimination, good governance and good faith."
http://iwgia.synkron.com/graphics/Synkron-Library/Documents/InternationalProcesses/DraftDeclaration/07-09-13IPCaucusStatementAdoptionDeclaration%20.pdf


61st Session of the UN General Assembly
13 September 2007
New York

"I am Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, a Kankana-ey Igorot from the Cordillera Region in the Philippines …
...Effective implementation of the Declaration will be the test of commitment of States and the whole international community to protect, respect and fulfill indigenous peoples collective and individual human rights."
http://iwgia.synkron.com/graphics/Synkron-Library/Documents/InternationalProcesses/DraftDeclaration/07-09-13StatementChairofUNPFIIDeclarationAdoption.pdf
"Geneva, 14 September 2007: The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, Dr. Rodolfo Stavenhagen,

...The Declaration reaffirms that indigenous peoples, both individually and collectively, enjoy all rights already recognized at the international level, and that the special circumstances of their existence as discriminated peoples and long dispossessed of their ancestral resources, demand particular attention by States and by the international community."
http://www.unhchr.ch/huricane/huricane.nsf/view01/2F9532F220D85BD1C125735600493F0B?opendocument
"PRESS RELEASE
NEW YORK, 13 SEPTEMBER 2007
MESSAGE OF VICTORIA TAULI-CORPUZ, CHAIRPERSON OF THE UN PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES,
...Effective implementation of the Declaration will be the test of commitment of States and the whole international community to protect, respect and fulfill indigenous peoples collective and individual human rights. I call on governments, the UN system, Indigenous Peoples and civil society at large to rise to the historic task before us and make the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples a living document for the common future of humanity. "
For further information:
Mobile Phone: 1-347-761-4315 (US) and 63-9175317811 (roaming)
Email: vicky@tebtebba.org, vtcorpuz2006@yahoo.com
Website: www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii
www.tebtebba.org

http://iwgia.synkron.com/graphics/Synkron-Library/Documents/InternationalProcesses/DraftDeclaration/07-09-13PressReleaseDeclarationChairUNPFII.pdf"

Special attention to the last statement for it includes Indigenous Peoples in its call for responsibility in making the declaration a reality. Again all parts of the Declaration include the human rights of the individual without discrimination.

'aamokat said...

But Mr. Lee I maintain my family not only meets the new requirments for tribal membership, which became more restrictive in 1996 from the original written application of 1978, but that we also meet the traditional requirments from the 1800's, oral recognition by known tribal members.

There is a rogue faction in our tribe who twisted the requirments and the law to suite their aims and of course they are not going to say that it was to increase their own shares of the casino profits.

But regardless as to why we were kicked out our tribal laws were not followed.

To NDNlady, my agenda is to have a fair hearing of the merits of our case. Which is something we never had and if somehow we could have that internally within our own tribe, than that would be preferred.

But are we supposed to be thrown under the bus of injustice just because outside authorities might have to look into what has happened to us?

Remember, it is the people who violated our rights who are to blame if that happens but regardless, please excuse me if I don't seem as enthusiastic as you about self determination or sovereignty, whichever label applies.

Realize that here in California unjust disenrollments have occured over and over again.

In a tribe called the Redding Rancheria a family was disenrolled because the tribe claimed they were not blood of the tribe.

This family, the Foremans submitted undisputed DNA evidence that should have ended their disenrollment case but they were disenrolled anyway.

The Redding tribe cites the right to determine their own membership and they hide behind sovereignty (or self detemination if you will) and so far the Foremans can do nothing about it.

I realize each disenrollment situation is different but so far most of them have overwhelmingly been unfair to the disenrolled.

Yes the Cherokee Freedmen case is unique and while I believe that the the treaty from the 1800's should be honored, I don't know enough about the case to strongly counter arguments in opposition to my position.

Also, I can't speak for the moderator of this forum as I am not that person.

But realize if I seem biased in favor of the disenrolled, consider that even the civil rights attorney you spoke with agrees that disenrollments such as that have occured at Pechanga are unfair.

Again, it is tribal governments such as Redding and Pechanga that will be to blame if sovereignty is eroded, not us.

NDNLady said...

Mr. Lee, a fruitful discussion can only take place between two people who have at least a basic grasp of the fundamental vocabulary in the laws being discussed. You tell me not to ask you to cite specifics; it’s right in front of me in “the covenants” if I will read carefully. Do you even know what you are referring to? Which “covenant?” Try telling that to a UN human rights monitoring body. You would be laughed out the “halls of the UN.” I repeat, you can’t simply make up what you think sounds good and call it international human rights law. You have to cite specific provisions of an applicable law for every claim of a violation you make. And words in laws have very specific meanings. You can’t make them mean what you want, no matter how badly you want it. You continue to do nothing but post things you think sound good but have no basis in law, all the while accusing me of being the one who is “spinning.”

You contend that I am not “trying hard enough to understand the “rights of individuals.” What you don’t seem to get is it doesn’t matter how many provisions recognizing individual rights you post. What matters is whether you can post a provision that recognizes the right you claim is being violated. And despite the reams and reams you’ve written, your whole argument boils down to Article 15 in the Universal Declaration, ie: “everyone is entitled to a nationality…” I laughed so hard the first time I read that, I spit coffee on my keyboard. No matter how badly you want those six words to mean Cherokee nationality; in international law, they do not. No matter how loudly you try to proclaim that tribal citizenship is the same thing as a “nationality”, you cannot make up international law to suit yourself. It is a lie, plain and simple. Furthermore, Mr. Lee, there is NO place in any human rights convention, covenant or declaration where you will find an article or provision that says membership in an indigenous nation for a non-indigenous individual is recognized as a “human right.” No place. An indigenous nation has an inherent right to create a legal entitlement in their own laws for non-indigenous enrollment if they choose. They also have the right not to. And that right IS recognized as a “human right.” You are the one who needs to read the applicable convention and covenant carefully. That is if you can even figure out which ones they are. There are different and very specific ones, you know. And they have names.

Your contention that the Cherokee Nation is not an indigenous nation because they have a written constitution and a tri-partite government complete with an “electoral process” is a stereotype that would be laughable if it were not, at its heart, so completely racist. We have operated under a written constitution for close to two hundred years. That too is an inherent right. We can organize our government as we see fit. Do you have any idea how many Indian nations in the United States operate under “cookie-cutter constitutions” created by the feds in the IRA and OIWA. No, of course you don’t. Perhaps you would prefer to cling to your typical “euro-American” stereotype that all Indians should stay in the past sitting around a campfire and voting by saying “Ugh.” Turnabout being fair play, at what point in American history would you like to “freeze” black folk?? Congress was originally a “euro-American” institution. What are black representatives doing there? To try to say that because the Cherokee Nation is considered a sovereign Indian nation under domestic law, then that means claiming the rights of an indigenous nation under international law is somehow “fraudulent” is so utterly stupid it is literally stupefying. Under international law, the Cherokee Nation is an indigenous nation entitled to all the human rights and protections recognized in the UNDRIP.

There are two things you have said that are true. I do indeed know my tribe’s history. Descendants of freedmen have no rights to citizenship based on the Treaty of 1866. The US court in the 1896 Whitmire case determined that Article 9 was intended to convey “political rights” but that citizenship was a product of the Cherokees amending their own constitution. It might interest you to know that both freedmen and Cherokees objected to Article 9. Freedmen wanted a separate parcel of land they could own and Cherokees, recognizing their obligation to make reparations for their citizens who had participated in slavery, were perfectly willing. Since the US had no particular interest in respecting the rights of either, they refused. Freedmen were citizens for approximately forty years until the US abrogated the treaty and forced allotment and the near termination of the Cherokee Nation on us. The allotment legislation ended any treaty obligations the Cherokees had regarding citizenship. The resulting land allotments and financial settlements that freedmen received were reparations that the United States never made. Allotment, termination of tribal governments, Indian boarding schools, urban relocations….these are forms of “forced assimilation”, Mr. Lee. I've been to the graveyards of places like Carlyle and seen the rows and rows of the graves of Indian children, many of them little more than babies, ripped from their families and people dying so far away. For you to suggest that disenrolling non-Indians is the equivalent is despicable. For the next seventy years, the Cherokee Nation existed only in the communities of Cherokees. No enrollment was even legal and there was no functioning government to enroll citizens. When we revitalized our government in the 1970’s, Cherokees limited enrollment to those on the Indian sections of the Dawes Rolls and their descendants. So what I said was true. The only period of Cherokee law permitting non-Indian enrollment under our modern government was from March 2006 to March 2007. And by the way, the 1970’s decision did change our oldest “tradition or custom” regarding non-Indian citizenship, that being for inter-marriage. You have a perfect right to like or dislike those of our “traditions and customs” encoded in our written laws, Mr. Lee. What you don’t have to right to do is determine them for us. And neither does the United States.

Your statement that the US has the right to terminate our federal recognition because we exercise our right to self-governance is true under federal law, but it is a lie under international law. It is a gross violation of our human rights which, as I said, a CERD expert termed “alarming.” The “plenary powers doctrine” which makes such a thing possible under federal law has been criticized numerous times by UN human rights monitoring bodies, with that same foremost CERD expert calling it “racist to the core.” It is the same doctrine which permitted the physical and cultural genocide perpetrated against Indians to exist. It is the same doctrine which still permits the ongoing rape of the environment on Indian lands and perpetuates the economic hopeless and despair that exist for Indian people. And it is based on the same assumptions of racial superiority that made slavery possible. You cannot support that doctrine being used in a way you like without sanctioning it for all other ways as well.

One other thing you have said is true, all individuals, groups, communities, tribal nations, and States have an obligation to uphold the human rights of all. The first thing you learn from studying international human rights law is that human rights are interconnected and inseparable. That in order to claim your rights, you must first take responsibility for the rights of others. Citizenship in an indigenous nation for non-indigenous individuals is not a “human right.” The right of an indigenous nation to define their own identity and determine their citizenship is. You cannot say you support the infringement on the Cherokee rights but object to the violations of the human rights of those imprisoned and tortured in Guantanamo. You cannot say that you support the infringement on Cherokee rights but deplore the violations of the human rights of the Katrina victims. In the concluding observations of a periodic review of US compliance with the ICERD, the CERD wrote that the two greatest challenges the US faces in overcoming the effects of racism are the legacies of slavery AND their treatment of indigenous peoples. One is not more important than the other.

Allen L. Lee said...

NDN Lady said
"Your contention that the Cherokee Nation is not an indigenous nation "
Allen L. Lee said
"Indigenous Nations cannot expect to have all the powers of Nations recognized by the international community and none of the responsibility."
That is the art of your spin. I never said that the indigenous nations were not nations. I said that they cannot excuse themselves of the responsibilty of nations to their citizens.
The Declaration of Indigenous rights is not a manifesto for tribal totalitarianism as you have unfortunately tried to spin it with selected extracts used out of context to the whole document.
The document cites that no relevant considerations and laws to protect individuals is to be abridged by the declaration.
I have avery clear understand of the laws and a clear understanding of persons trying to subvert and manipulate earnest human rights laws and covenants for self-aggrandizement. It's unfortunate that anyone in the international community has been duped by your mis-representations.
Maybe you shouldn't eat or drink when your are reading my words, you might hurt yourself.

NDNLady said...

Mr. Lee, your statement that you have a clear understanding of the laws is patently false as is demonstrated by your inability to show that the Cherokee Nation has, in any way, failed to meet their responsibilities to anybody, all the while shrieking that they must have violated something somewhere. The manner in which the Cherokees have exercised their guaranteed human right to self-determination is not "tribal totalatarianism" no matter how hard you try to spin it that way. There is NO "human right" for non-indigenous individuals to citizenship in an indigenous nation. Which is why I said that the disenrolled Pechanga probably have a human rights case but descendants of freedmen do not. The Pechanga enrollments were recognized as being Pechanga people before they were disenrolled. The rights of the original freedmen were created by the same kind of legal entitlement for non-Indians as our laws incorporating inter-married non-Indian spouses. As the US solicitor said in the 1940's, they were recognized, not as "Indians", but as "Indians-by-law." You clearly show your lack of understanding of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples when you attempt to reduce it to the supposed protection of "individuals" from the "collectives", a word which, by the way, has absolutely no meaning in international law. There are collective rights, but indigenous people are referred to as communities, groups, nations or peoples. It is the clumsy misuse of inappropriate language and terms like "collectives", "the covenants", and "the declarations" that put the lie to your claim of having even the faintest clue of what you are talking about. The idea that anybody could "dupe" a CERD expert is another perfect example. Have you even managed yet to figure out what the CERD is?

You have managed to say one more true thing though. All Indian people in the US should be working hard for the implementation of the UNDRIP. What you don't seem to be able to wrap your mind around, Mr. Lee, is that the UNDRIP lays out the minimum standards that member-states must follow to protect both the individual AND collective rights of indigenous peoples. They would guarantee our right to live in peace and security, free from racist assaults on our right to self-determination from either the white One Nation groups or the Congressional Black Caucus.

You claim that I try to belittle or derogate anyone who would attack the Cherokee Nation. I do not, though I definitely will challenge anyone who continues to perpetuate lies and misrepresentations about our history and our rights. I have posted nothing here but the applicable human rights laws, while you have posted nothing but spin and have not posted a single provision or article which says that indigenous rights, individual or collective, apply to non-indigenous people. You can't. They don't exist.

And you are right about one more thing. I don't drink coffee anymore while reading your posts. It made the keyboard sticky last time and I wouldn't want to laugh so hard I choke! So thanks for the warning that you might write something again as ridiculous as "everyone is entitled to a nationality."

To 'aamokat, I will respond separately to your post if I may.

Allen L. Lee said...

Part two of NDN Lady's spin
NDN Lady says,
"You see, I DO KNOW the applicable covenants and conventions, Mr. Lee. I know them very well. You are the one who needs to do some reading. Might I suggest you start with the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It's available on the website of the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights
January 7, 2009 2:57 PM"
"Do you even know what you are referring to? Which “covenant?”
January 11, 2009 7:23 AM"
So we declare a weapon of choice and when we shoot ourselves in the foot with it, we deny we were ever armed. NDN Lady qualified Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the appropriate document.
It isn't wise to use a tool of right and wield it as a weapon for ill.
If your nation chooses to use the power of refusing to recognize it's enfranchised legal citizens
and their inherent right to belong, thereby making refugees of them, then they should be prepared to face the same fate of not being recognized.

NDNLady said...

Mr. Lee, I suggested that you start with the Declaration because it is the latest and clearest human rights instrument that addresses indigenous rights. You have yet to point to any part of the Declaration that address non-indigenous individuals' right to citizenship in an indigenous nation. It addresses the rights of indigenous individuals and peoples to belong to an indigenous community or nation. It also reaffirms the rights of all indigenous individuals and peoples to all the same human rights and protections existing in international law. Again, you cannot point to any existing human right or protection which recognizes the human right of a non-indigenous individual to citizenship in an indigenous nation. Because such a right does not exist. You bet the Declaration is my weapon of choice, but I am not the one leaving bloody footprints here.

If you will read my posts more carefully, you will see that I pointed out that even before the Declaration, there were other covenants and conventions that apply. I even have you a great big hint with the initials of one of them. As I said, you keep using terms like "the covenants" in such a way that shows you don't know what that word even really means. Human rights instruments can be a covenant, a convention or a declaration, but they have specific names and specific applications. Again, to prove a human rights violation, you have to prove such a right even exists in the first place by citing the specific covenant, convention or declaration and the pertinent article or provision. And I think it's pretty apparent to anyone who reads both our posts carefully which one of us has been able to do that. Have you figured out what the CERD is yet?

The Cherokee Nation recognizes all its legal citizens and non-indigenous individuals have no "inherent" right to belong. Inherent rights are recognized as belonging to indigenous individuals and peoples. But I do hope you continue to work for the implementation of the UNDRIP. Everyone should. There was a news report today out of Canada from a delegation of tribal leaders that came to the US to meet with the Obama transition team. They said PE Obama is considering reversing the Bush administration's vote against it. This is very hopeful news for everyone who really cares about human rights.

NDNLady said...

“Again, it is tribal governments such as Redding and Pechanga that will be to blame if sovereignty is eroded, not us.” aamokat

‘aamokat, ultimately the blame for the erosion of tribal sovereignty rests where it always has…with the US government. But you cannot deny that the United States has always been quick to exploit divisions between tribes and between factions in tribes in order to justify themselves and to take what they want. No place is that more painfully true than in my own tribe’s history and in our current struggles. So I’m sorry but I believe every Indian has a responsibility to consider that and every tribe as well. I am certainly not saying that the disenrolled Pechanga should not continue to seek justice. I would never say that. But to lose sight of the importance of self-determination is to throw the baby out with the proverbial bathwater. It is the most important collective right we have.

That said, self-determination does NOT mean tolerating corrupt tribal governments in any way, shape, form or fashion. The problem comes when you petition Congress for legislation to force a solution, rather than pursuing other ways to facilitate mediation. To me, the NCAI should spend the next five years working with tribal leaders to create an independent forum which could do exactly that. An Indian Human Rights Commission which could hear cases like yours and render an unbiased opinion. It would be the most valuable exercise I can imagine in true tribal self-determination.

Honest self-governance begins from the ground up and the responsibility for that rest with tribal citizens. We have to take responsibility ourselves. But, and this is just my opinion, too many places where certain factions or families maintain an iron grip on government, jobs, programs and services and the rest of the people on the reservation face high unemployment, poverty and poor health, people just get cynical and give up. Cynicism is the assassin of hope.

Until people feel like they “own” their government, they won’t stop looking to the feds for a handout and a bailout of their troubles and that just perpetuates the problem. I do believe federal programs for health, housing and education are treaty obligations not handouts, but we also need to look at real viable economic developments for Indian nations so that we can move to self-sufficiency. And that requires true self-determination as defined in international law because it means control of our lands and resources. I realize that the California disenrollments are different, but I wanted you to understand more of the arena I work in and where I am coming from in a broader perspective than just as a Cherokee.

I have to tell you I really don’t know that much about tribes with big per caps like yours or the specifics of the many California disenrollments except to say that I personally dislike per caps precisely because they seem to lead to greed and corruption. And they create another harmful stereotype that hurts the 94% of Indian people who don’t benefit personally. I wish gambling tribes would put the money in programs and services like education, health, and economic development and create a fund to do the same for less fortunate tribes. Maybe someday. For example, the cost of an Indian Human Rights Commission could be funded by wealthy tribes.

The attorney who mentioned the CA disenrollments to me was a specialist in international human rights law, not a civil rights attorney. There is a big difference. And yes, he did seem to believe that the disenrollments could be a human rights violation but as I said, he did not go into detail and I do not remember much of the conversation beyond that. I gave you my best guess as to what he meant in my earlier post: the article in the Declaration that guarantees indigenous individuals a right to membership in accordance with the customs and traditions of the nation concerned. “Customs and traditions” would also mean the written laws of your tribe.

I asked a friend who runs a human rights education organization today what she thought, and she had the same concerns about how you could word a shadow report that I did. You could show that the US is failing to uphold your individual rights but you couldn’t seem to be asking the monitoring body to recommend that the US dictate a solution to a legitimate tribal government. Because, as I think I have made clear in my earlier posts, the fact that the US believes they can do that is, by international norms, a violation of human rights law. I honestly don’t know how to do it, but that’s not saying it couldn’t be done. I just have no experience with that kind of issue. Most shadow reports deal with how the US fails in its obligations to uphold the rights of nations, like the Western Shoshone and their land issues or the Lakota and their attempts to stop uranium mining on their land. And, as I said, the next opportunity for a USA periodic review doesn’t even come up till 2010. It really ticks me off sometime (well all the time actually) that the US has never created a United States Human Rights Commission like other countries have. That would also be a place to take a case like yours.

In closing, I would simply say don’t give up hope, keep working for a just resolution, but consider the effects of your actions on all Indian nations because what happens in law ultimately affects us all. And remember. before you can claim your rights, you must take responsibility for the rights of all.

Allen L. Lee said...

More NDN Lady mis-info.
"I have posted nothing here but the applicable human rights laws, while you have posted nothing but spin and have not posted a single provision or article which says that indigenous rights, individual or collective, apply to non-indigenous people. You can't. They don't exist. "
"The Cherokee Nation recognizes all its legal citizens and non-indigenous individuals have no "inherent" right to belong."

...and the the response from the Cherokee Nation of Oklahama Attorney General would be:
"Cherokee Nation Attorney General Diane Hammons said she agreed to Cripps' order because while voters have a right to have their determination implemented, those individuals who lost their citizenship status as a result of that election also have the right to have our Cherokee Nation courts consider the legality of the Amendment."
http://www.network54.com/Forum/237458/message/1231722793

Did she say non-indigenous citizens, and specifically use the term "individuals" have a write to be heard in the Cherokee courts? I'm fairly certain non-indigenous and indigenous non-citizen Cherokees have no right to be heard in a Cherokee Court.

NDNLady said...

Mr. Lee, you really need to get a handle on the difference between Cherokee law, federal law and international law. Ms. Hammonds wasn't addressing human rights law, but Cherokee law. Why would she use the customary language of international law? I have already pointed out numerous times here that an indigenous nation has the inherent right to create a legal entitlement (very different from an "inherent" right) for non-indigenous individuals. We did for hundreds of years for non-Indian spouses and again, after the Civil War, for actual freedmen. And again in 2006 with the Lucy Allen JAT decision. It's why I said earlier that I personally believe, AS A MATTER OF CHEROKEE LAW AND CHEROKEE LAW ONLY, that those people who enrolled during that year should be permitted to remain full citizens. And that's why Ms. Hammonds says that they have access to the Cherokee courts. They are operating under a legal entitlement that we created. However that is only my one opinion and does not carry more weight than the collective will of the Cherokee people.

As I have also pointed out many times, the ultimate human right here is recognized as belonging to the indigenous nation to create their own citizenship laws. Even indigenous individuals do not have a higher right so long as the citizenship laws are based on the collective will of the indigenous nation or community concerned. Ask anybody who falls below a particular tribe's blood quantum. But then I have never seen a single case of someone like that, individually or in a group, attempting to destroy the tribe because they can't enroll. Perhaps, being Indian, they understand and are willing to put the rights and best interests of the tribe ahead of their own self-interest.

Mr. Lee, you began all this here and other places on the net by insisting that the human rights of "disenrollees" are being violated, lumping them all together. I repeat: to claim a violation, you must prove the right you are claiming even exists by citing the appropriate INTERNATIONAL LAW that recognizes the right. And then you must show very specifically how it is being violated. I have done that by citing the articles in the Declaration that guarantee the human rights of the Cherokee Nation. And like I said, there are other provisions in other international law instruments that I could cite that also guarantee our collective right to determine our own citizenship.

The Pechanga disenrollees case is very different and may well be a violation of their human rights if they can show, as indigenous individuals, that they did not receive due process under the laws of their own indigenous nation. I have posted to the best of my knowledge to 'aamokat what I believe their rights are and have tried to be as helpful and supportive of their human rights as I can. Even though by supporting Congressional action against us, the Pechanga disenrollees are NOT upholding ours.

For the last time, Mr. Lee, prove your assertions and prove me wrong. Cite the appropriate instrument in international law, the covenant, convention or declaration, which guarantees the right of a non-indigenous individual to citizenship in an indigenous nation.

NDNLady said...

Oh, Mr, Lee, one more thing. You should certainly feel free to continue to post things you find that support my assertions, even if you do not realize that that is what you are doing. The statement from our Attorney General backs up my statement that we do recognize our legal citizens and are meticulously providing due process to those whose legal entitlement will be discontinued by the amendment. You'll notice Ms. Hammonds never once mentioned an "inherent right to belong" and she affirmed the inherent right of the Cherokee people with these words "voters have a right to have their determination implemented" I have answered every question asked of me here, Mr. Lee, and spent a great deal of time countering every argument you have tried to make no matter how ridiculous. I haven't done this for you, but for the Pechanga people who may be reading this site, in hopes that they will understand these issues from a human rights perspective. You have yet to answer the one question I have asked you repeatedly to answer. Can you?

Allen L. Lee said...

I can and have answered every question you asked, and it should be noted that you challenged me, not the other way around. You are not doing this for me or the Pechanga people but for yourself.
One mark of ignorance is to have the information available and accesible but refuse to use it or worse, manipulate it as you have with the The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Of course you will repeat the question rather than acknowledge the information as it is written in a well balanced style in the Declaration. If it was truly as lop-sided as you advertise it to be, it would have never left the floor of the U.N.
But I will do this one last time. Note that the articles do not provide special exceptions for "Peoples" to violate human rights against non-indigenous individuals within their collectives and specifies that no prejudice should be shown regardless of where the person may be indigenous to.
"Article 2
Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals
and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in
particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity.
"...Article 2
Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals
and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in
particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity.


Article 45
1. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, people,
group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act contrary to the Charter
of the United Nations.
2. In the exercise of the rights enunciated in the present Declaration, human rights
and fundamental freedoms of all shall be respected. The exercise of the rights set forth in this
Declaration shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law, in accordance
with international human rights obligations. Any such limitations shall be non-discriminatory
and strictly necessary solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights
and freedoms of others and for meeting the just and most compelling requirements of a
democratic society.”

NDNLady said...

I challenged you, Mr. Lee, because you were misrepresenting international human rights law and you still are. And I wanted the Pechanga people to understand that what you were writing about human rights with regard to the freedmen descendants is a lie. They need to know that. They should not try to claim they are being violated if they are willing to support the violation of others. And neither should you.

It certainly is a mark of ignorance to have something put right in front of you and to refuse to recognize it. As you yourself have pointed out the Declaration is very clear. You only want to pretend that I have “advertised it as lopsided” is because it doesn’t give you what you want. These are indigenous rights, Mr. Lee. The Indian nations are the indigenous nations of the United States and you cannot twist them to apply to anyone else. I have never claimed that the Declaration provided any “special exceptions” for indigenous peoples to violate any human rights of anyone anywhere. I believe I made it quite clear that everyone has an obligation to uphold all human rights of all people. Even you.

The Cherokee Nation does not need any “special exceptions” because they are not violating anyone’s human rights. As a Cherokee, I could not move to Africa and demand citizenship with the Ashanti because my ancestors were indigenous. They were not indigenous TO Africa or TO the Ashanti. As the Declaration says clearly, our rights derive from our existence on our lands prior to colonial contact. Certainly, one of the great tragedies of slavery was the theft of tribal identity from those who were brought here in chains and great suffering and anyone can respect that. But complicity for the slave trade does not rest with the Cherokee Nation, though certainly complicity in the practice of slavery does. But because something was stolen from you does not give you the right to steal from us. And as the Declaration also states clearly we have a right to our Cherokee identity. And as Article 2 (thanks for reposting it) says, we may not be discriminated against in the exercise of our rights, particularly those rooted in our origin or identity. And no right is more rooted in our identity than the right to establish our own legal requirements for citizenship.

What you don’t seem to understand, Mr. Lee, is what international law means when it says that human rights are inherent (pre-existing) and inalienable (cannot be taken away). The CERD has criticized the US many times for unilaterally abrogating the treaties it signed with Indian peoples. With one exception. They have noted that many treaty articles are violations of Indian peoples’ right to self-determination and the US should go back and unilaterally abrogate any treaty article that does. And that would certainly include Article 9 of the Treaty of 1866.

Because the Cherokee Nation violated the human rights of slaves does not mean they forfeited their own rights. That is what I meant when I said retaliation is not reconciliation. A people who violate the human rights of others is required to STOP the violation and make appropriate restitution. Appropriate restitution was what the Cherokee Nation and freedmen themselves requested, land and a financial settlement. As I said, the US refused and by their refusal violated the rights of both. The Cherokee government nevertheless did their best to abide by the treaty and created a citizenship entitlement for freedmen. This resulted in a bitter forty year struggle between two very different oppressed peoples trying to go in two very different directions. And as the historian Daniel Littlefield (himself a freedmen descendant supporter) has noted, this struggle contributed greatly to the destruction of our country and the near termination of our existence as the Cherokee Nation. It was a textbook example of why Article 8,2,d forbids the forced integration of an indigenous people. It also resulted in a legislative abrogation of any treaty obligations regarding citizenship. For freedmen descendants and their champions like Diane Watson to suggest that it would somehow be “just” to restore the one treaty article which was and is a violation of our human rights and to blithely ignore the breaking of the articles that caused us so much grief and suffering is loathsome.

On the one hand, Mr. Lee, it is easy to see why a people who struggled so hard for equal rights would see “segregation” as a word steeped in evil and “integration” as the highest good. On the other, it is hard for Indians to see people who struggled so hard for their own rights refuse to recognize equal rights for others. Indians never struggled to “integrate” they have struggled not to be forcibly assimilated. We are two different peoples, Mr. Lee. And, as the Declaration makes clear, we have a right to be. The right of the Cherokee Nation to exist as a “distinct people” with their own identity, their own culture and their own government is not “segregation.” It is a part of what are equal rights for all Indian peoples in America. Racist whites wanted segregation badly and convinced themselves for decades that they were entitled to it. They were not. The freedmen descendants may want very badly the tribal citizenship their ancestors worked so hard to relinquish. But they have no legal entitlement to it and NO HUMAN RIGHT. The forced integration of an Indian tribe is both a violation of international human rights law and it is racist.

No, Mr. Lee, I will not “ask you the question again.” I know the answer and hopefully by now, the people here do too. You cannot show a human rights violation because the human right to forcibly integrate an Indian tribe does not exist. In fact, it is expressly forbidden. And as Article 46 (thanks for reposting it even if you got the number wrong again) makes clear, the only limitations that may be placed on the articles of the Declaration must be by law and in accordance with international human rights obligations. No Indian tribe has a “human rights obligation” to extend citizenship to non-Indians. And the just and compelling requirements of a democratic society demand mutual respect for all peoples’ rights, Mr. Lee. Even Indian peoples’ rights. Equal rights for black folk do not mean the right to take what you want from Indian people against their will just as good as white people. That’s a very old American story. If President-elect Obama reverses the Bush administration vote and implements the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, he will be our Lincoln. We will not give up hope. The rights and protections in the Declaration mean that all American Indian nations could truly begin to repair the damage done to our peoples by hundreds of years of racist federal policy. The Declaration is our Emancipation Proclamation. And we have waited for it for over five hundred years.

Allen L. Lee said...

NDN Lady says:
" No Indian tribe has a “human rights obligation” to extend citizenship to non-Indians. And the just and compelling requirements of a democratic society demand mutual respect for all peoples’ rights, Mr. Lee. Even Indian peoples’ rights. Equal rights for black folk do not mean the right to take what you want from Indian people against their will just as good as white people."
Again you confuse a right of peoples as a political affiliation with a right of racial affiliation.
One is protected by the Declaration, the other is not.
Cherokees of African descent are not Ashanti, they are not Africans and they are not by historical reference African-Americans. By political affiliation they are Cherokees of African descent.
Several historians and family chronicles bear witness to the different histories between African-Americans and people of African descnet who were members of Native Nations. To attempt to minimize their unique histories and call them African-Americans doesn't quite fit into the scheme of our favorite Declaration, especially the one where we discussed forced assimilation, in essence forcing Cherokees of African descent to become African-Americans.
I see no attempt by the dis-enrolled to take anything from another race. The only thing I see is an attempt to protect a right that, when once granted, like citizenship, becomes the inalianable and inherent right and possession of the individual.
Not too worried about the errant numbers, this is a blog, not an APA paper, but thanks for paying attention and understanding the gist of the message.

'aamokat said...

IDNLady, a problem with the tribal self determination (or sovereignty) is that the individual seems to be the victim of protecting tribes' rights from outside intervention at all costs.

I believe that because tribal nations are collections of indivduals that the sovereignty of tribes doesn't mean very much if the individuals within those tribes rights are not protected.

Maybe I wouldn't be as cynical about tribes if I saw other tribes doing anything to rebuke those rougue tribes who are mistreating their people.

A collective body of tribes within the United States, a sort of mini United Nations made up of the various tribes would be a good idea so they could influence rougue tribes themselves without federal government intervention.

If tribes had to answer to the Native community as a whole, then maybe they would be less likely to do whatever they want without having to worry about conciquences.

On another note, if the native community as a whole doesn't want the federal goverment to have anything to do with tribal affairs, then why do tribes still take federal money such as grants and money for infrastructure?

Also, what about the many legitimate tribes who are not have federally recognized?

Shouldn't they have a voice in what happens in Indian country as well?

Yet some federally recognized tribes at times try to stop legitimate groups from getting federal recognition.

In closing, back to the self determination (sovereignty issue), the biggest argument in support of slavery in the southern United States prior to and during the civil war was the issue of states' rights.

The south argued the right of their states self determination and millons of black people were the victims of those states' sovereignty over their indiduals rights.

I feel that we, the disenrolled, that while it is a less extreme example of individuals being sacrificed to the state (the tribes), that it is still along the same lines as the slavery issue.

I am not talking here about the situation regarding the Freedmen here, just the fact that the southern states said that the federal government couldn't tell them what to do regarding slavery just as rouge tribes believe that the federal government can't tell them what to do regardless if the tribes are right or wrong.

About a year ago I sat in on a meeting of the California state Democratic party Native American Caucus and I was shocked and amazed to see tribal leaders from various tribes blindly arguing the right of tribal sovereignty over the rights of individuals.

At that meeting they actually passed a petition to counter a previous petition that supported individual Indians rights that the caucus had passed.

The mood in the room was tribal sovereignty at all costs.

Well people like us are part of that cost.

NDNLady said...

Nice try, Mr. Lee. But no matter how you twist the clear language of the Declaration, you cannot make its rights and protections apply to non-Indian freedmen descendants. The rights of indigenous peoples DO NOT stem from the existence of their political institutions alone, though the right to create their own is indisputably protected. As is the right to determine their political status. Nowhere in the Declaration will you find language that protects either “a political affiliation” or “a right of racial affiliation.” The Declaration states clearly in Article 33 that indigenous peoples have the right to define their own IDENTITY and most indigenous peoples around the world have always defined that by ancestry. It is the same right employed by Navaho, Lakota, Sami, San, and yes, Cherokee. Because we once CREATED a political affiliation with non-Indians does not mean we have any human rights obligation to continue to do so. As I have already explained at length.

I am astonished to hear you claim that calling freedmen descendants African-American is somehow “minimizing.” That’s as racist a statement as I’ve heard in a long time. Much like a statement I read from a Choctaw freedmen descendant who insisted that “being owned by Indians made them Indian.” As though these were baby geese we’re talking about, empty and imprinted by the first thing they see. Black people before slavery, during slavery and after slavery were their own people, with an identity and culture of their own, struggles of their own. African-American culture is a strong and beautiful culture, one to be proud of, not demeaned by anybody who would call it “minimizing” because it is not Cherokee culture.

And make no mistake about it. The freedmen descendants I’ve met are decidedly African-American by culture. At the freedmen descendants meeting I attended with some Cherokees and a Shawnee, a Cherokee man, long known for his attempts to use any situation to further his political vendettas, turned to the Indians in the room and said “You don’t understand, these people don’t want to be Indian, they just want to be members of the tribe.” He got a standing ovation. And of course, you have only to look at the freedmen descendants’ choice of allies to know who they consider themselves to be. Not the NCAI, the NAACP. Not the Congressional Native American Caucus, but the Congressional Black Caucus. Your attempt to characterize this as a “forced assimilation” demeans and belittles the very real suffering of tens of thousands of Indian people who endured the real thing. I would never demean or belittle the very real suffering of those who endured slavery.

We share a long history and heritage with other non-Indians as well, Mr. Lee. But that does not translate to citizenship unless the Cherokee themselves choose to extend a legal entitlement, a “political affiliation” if you will. They have not. And a legal entitlement is not “inalienable.” An inherent human right is. You still cannot show a single article in international law that guarantees tribal citizenship for non-Indians as a human right. It doesn’t exist.

As I have said many times, Mr. Lee, international human rights law does NOT define indigenous rights as the right of a race. And neither do we. If the Cherokee Nation enrolled mixed blood Cherokees with Irish ancestry but refused to enroll mixed blood Cherokees with African ancestry, you could make a legitimate case for “racial discrimination.” But despite Diane Watson’s attempts in her propaganda to portray us that way, you know as well as I do that this is not true. There are indeed many Cherokees of African descent. They are enrolled and their right to citizenship is not in question because they can prove they are Cherokee, not descendants of those who were Cherokee-by-law over a hundred years ago. So no, Mr. Lee, African-American freedmen descendants are not “stealing from another race.” They are attempting to steal our right to our own identity and the right to define our own identity. And I am sure you “don’t see it that way.” You see what you want because you want what you want. But do please continue to support our favorite Declaration. It’s an idea whose time has come.

As I said, human rights are interconnected and indivisible. You cannot deny the human rights of some without violating the human rights of all. If you would deny the human rights of the contemporary Cherokee Nation and all Cherokee citizens because Cherokee laws once sanctioned slavery, then you must also deny the human rights of the United States and all Americans because US law once did the same.

NDNLady said...

'aamokat, I truly do sympathize with how many tribes seem willing to ignore individual rights when it suits their purpose to create bigger per caps. But tribal nations are far more than just a collection of individuals. Which is why human rights law designates them as "peoples" as opposed to simply a minority population. And, as you have seen, all tribes are painfully aware of the fact that the erosion of one tribe's sovereignty (to use the federal term) erodes the sovereignty of all tribes. I am not against third party participation in a mediating attempt to bring an end to enrollment disputes. I am against the US continuing to assert the racist doctrine of plenary powers.

When you make the "states rights" argument, you ignore one very fundamental truth. We are not states. Citizenship in the United States is a product of geography or a naturalization process as defined by US law. Citizenship in a state is merely geography. Citizenship in an Indian nation has NEVER been a simple product of geography. Never. So you are comparing apples and oranges.

I knew about that caucus you attended and there are some things you might consider. One of them being the outrage almost all of Indian Country has expressed over the actions of the CBC. That too has been framed as a "disenrollment" and a matter of "individual civil rights." It is not. It is a human rights issue. But I knew there was going to be an attempt to uphold the "tribal sovereignty above all" platform there because CA is Diane Watson's territory.

As far as why most tribes need federal money to meet their most basic needs, well, that is simple. In the 1830's when the US Supreme Court gave us the racist designation of "domestic dependent nations", they created a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because of the historical injustices we have endured, we have become dependent, because our own lands, resources, economic institutions, means of subsistence, etc have been either destroyed or denied us. That can change and that is what true self-determination is all about.

The Pechanga disenrollees could talk to a human rights attorney. Have those at NARF or the Indian Law Resource Center been approached? There are other venues for human rights considerations than just the UN. And like I said, I believe the Obama administration appointees at Interior may want to take a different approach than the Bush administration did. But I will also tell you that I would be alot more sympathetic to upholding your rights if you were upholding ours. I believe that these arguments with Mr. Lee have begun to circle in on themselves as he continues to try to twist the rights of indigenous peoples to apply them to non-indigenous people. I will look in on this thread again in a week or so if you have any more questions for me. But now I have to leave. I have an inaugeration celebration to get to! My best to you, really.

Allen L. Lee said...

Ancestry still does not translate into a right or practice of racial sovereignty. Barack Obama had one ancestor that was American. That alone was what made him an American citizen, regardless of where he was born at on the planet.
The fact that his parents may have been Black, White, Indian, or other was irrelevant to his status as a citizen. By Blood and By Soil are the two common qualifiers for citizenship. By- Blood of course meaning the ancestor was a citizen, therefore the descendant is. It does not translate into the ancestor being a particular race or genetic profile. By Soil means the person was born or lived with-in the territory of the collective, or an ancestor was and therefore is considered a citizen by geography.
NDN Lady said:
“Citizenship in an Indian nation has NEVER been a simple product of geography. Never. So you are comparing apples and oranges.”

Too broad a statement not to be challenged.


There is no human right protection for any governing authority or sovereign collective to define themselves by race. I.e., Indian/non-Indian, Black/non-Black/, White non/White, etc. transposing indigenous rights with Indian race rights doesn’t work. Racial choices are personal and private choices left to an individual and should be protected by governing bodies. Racial requirements for citizenship are not something fostered by international laws and covenants for nations, states, peoples, commonwealths, etc. Since the Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, in response to human rights abuses associated with WW11, the thrust of human rights law and covenants was to discourage any racial requirements to citizenship.
External intervention: Once you dis-enroll, exile or banish a person or group that feels they still have a right to belong, you have left them little option except to seek external allies to restore their rights. They have been removed from tribal jurisdiction and refused any recourse from inside the collective that removed them. When tribes dis-enroll their citizens they force the dis-enrolled to seek external solutions as internal solutions are not available.
It is not a discussion about what culture Cherokees of African descent are or what culture African-Americans are, it is a discussion of their nationality, African-Americans, based on their legal citizenship history, exclusively American. Cherokees of African descent based on their legal citizenship history, are both Cherokee citizens and American citizens, just like you.
The human right that you can't seem to find regarding non -Indians does not have to be spelled out literally, it is in the spirit and letter of international laws and covenants that prohibit any discrimination on the basis of race, sex, nationality etc. This leads to the point of un-enumerated rights:
"Unenumerated rights are sometimes defined as legal rights inferred from other legal rights that are officialized in a retrievable form codified by law institutions, such as in written constitutions, but are not themselves expressly coded or "enumerated"
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unenumerated_rights

I certainly hope that Barack Obama understands the difference between an attempt to establish racial or genetic governments as an indigenous right and the just right of indigenous peoples to continue pre-existing political self-determination. with-in the framework of modern human rights principles. If he doesn’t, we will continue to try and explain it to him.

Allen L. Lee said...

NDN Lady said:
“If you would deny the human rights of the contemporary Cherokee Nation and all Cherokee citizens because Cherokee laws once sanctioned slavery, then you must also deny the human rights of the United States and all Americans because US law once did the same.”

It is not an issue of whether the Cherokee Nation or the U.S. sanctioned slavery, that has already been resolved and is illegal in both sovereign nations. The issue is that the Cherokee Nation granted citizenship, as the U.S. did. The Cherokee Nation reneged, the U.S. on the other hand, has not.
“…The Cherokee Nation Constitution was amended in a special convention on November 26, 1866.
"All native born Cherokees, all Indians, and whites legally members of the Nation by adoption, and all freedmen who have been liberated by voluntary act of their former owners or by law, as well as free colored persons who were in the country at the commencement of the rebellion, and are now residents therein, or who may return within six months from the 19th day of July, 1866, and their descendants, who reside within the limits of the Cherokee Nation, shall be taken and deemed to be, citizens of the Cherokee Nation."[24].
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee_Freedmen_Controversy

First challenge to the statement:
“Citizenship in an Indian nation has NEVER been a simple product of geography. Never. So you are comparing apples and oranges.”

'aamokat said...

IDNLady, I wasn't comparing Indian tribes to states in the United States, I probably should have used the term governments in regards to the tribes.

Where a government's sovereignty is more important than individuals are.

In history a lot of evil has been done for the so called good of the State (government).

Nazi Germany did a lot of evil for the so called "good of the fatherland," the Communists in the USSR did a lot of evil in the name of mother Russia, etc.

And while I am not saying being disenrolled or denied citzenship in one's tribe is on the same level of evil as the atrocities committed in the past by the above named countries, wrong is wrong even if it isn't extreme.

As far as the south in regards to the states rights issue is concerned, for 100 years after the civli war those states still used sovereignty to justify keeping black people as second class citizens.

They argued that no one outside could tell them what to do in regards to what goes on in their own states.

So the sovereignty at all costs stance that various tribal leaders seemed to take at the California Native American Caucus meeting is wrong if individuals' rights are sacrificed for that goal.

The problem is there is too much influence in that caucus by big gaming money tribes in California.

Some of them are the very tribes who are violating our rights and who are not out for the good of Indian Country as a whole no matter what they say.

Reportedly some of those big gaming money tribes have blocked gaming compacts for other tribes in the state and they have lobbied against federal recognition for other tribes.

Which one would think they wouldn't be doing if the well being of Indian Country as a whole was their goal.

As far as the Cherokee Freedmen situation, shouldn't the 1866 treaty that granted them citizenship in the Cherokee Nation be honored?

You may have explained that in another post but with all of the somewhat more complex issues like the U.N. and the right of tribal self determination that have been discussed I may have missed what you said.

The bottom line with my issues is, members of my family and another family who were disenrolled from Pechanga found evidence of wrong doing on the part of the Band's enrollment committee and they went to the tribal council with those allegations.

To this day I don't know if the council ever followed up on the allegations but the simple fact remains that those enrollment committee members who had been accused were allowed to rule on the disenrollees' cases.

The Pechanga Band's constitution says, "elected officials are to uphold the rights of indivdual tribal members without malice or prejudice."

So regardless if the allegations were true or not, those enrollment committee members who had been accused of wrong doing should not have been allowed to rule on the disenrollees' cases.

The proceedings against our families were not fair and impartial regardless what Pechanga officials may say in their statements to the press.

But because of what you call tribes right of self determination and what others are calling sovereignty, we so far can do nothing about it.

Allen L. Lee said...

NDN Lady got one principle right when she said:
"As I said, human rights are interconnected and indivisible. You cannot deny the human rights of some without violating the human rights of all."
I would go further and include that you can't violate the human rights of one, without volating the human rights of all.
The problem is that arguments submitted by NDN Lady separates one right from another, thereby contradicting itself. When 'aamokat
mentioned the vote that overode individual rights for tribal sovereignty, it demonstrated another example of how one right has been disconnected from the other. There lies at least one malfunction of human rights.

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