Friday, May 15, 2009

Sen. Tom Coburn Opposes Echohawk for Indian Affairs

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, did not attend the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs meeting, but the panel’s top Republican announced Coburn wanted to be recorded as a "no” vote.

Coburn’s office did not respond to a request for a comment for this story.

EchoHawk is a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. He was born in Wyoming and moved to New Mexico. During his confirmation hearing last week, EchoHawk generated concern from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., over the issue of Indian gaming.

McCain told EchoHawk his answers to questions on the National Indian Gaming Commission and off-reservation gaming were not sufficient. Since that hearing, EchoHawk submitted additional answers to the committee.

McCain also did not attend Thursday’s meeting, but instead submitted a statement in which he expressed disappointment in what he described as the nominee’s "less-than-candid answers.”

1 comment:

Allen L. Lee said...

Inouye praises Larry EchoHawk as BIA nominee
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Filed Under: Politics

…"To those who have expressed these doubts, I would suggest that you might consider the personal qualities that a man or woman brings to public service, rather than placing too much emphasis on what he or she has had to do or say in their former official capacities," Inouye, the former chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, said at a forum hosted by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in California. “

"May 20, 2009...9:43 am
Larry Echohawk Confirmed as Assistant Secretary"

"PN325 * DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Larry J. Echo Hawk, of Utah, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior. "

Since he was endorsed by Sen. Inouye he will most likely tow the Obama party line regarding tribal sovereignty v. civil rights of tribal members. However, Coburn, though a Republican is reported to be a friend of Obama and also a staunch supporter of the Freedmen descendants tribal rights. There are other aspects of the ICRA that have to be looked at other than "due process." It also forbids cruel and unusual punishment which, as loss of citizenship, many of the dis-enrollments fall under. I hope Echohawk can at least consider this issue. tribal sovereignty and the protection of the individual tribal member can both be enacted in this new government with a sense of balance. As it stands now there is a huge imbalance weighing against the dis-enrolled as a result of the casino economies.
final excerpt:

"Proposals to amend the ICRA to provide for more effective enforcement by the federal courts have been made and remain controversial. However, any remedy must balance the rights of the individual tribal members with a respect for tribal sovereignty and self-government."