Wednesday, March 23, 2016

NATIVE American Interest Groups MIA on Dismemberment Of Native Americans; WILKINS

Professor David Wilkins, who has written extensively on disenrollment, calls out Native American organizations that we've written about who've buried their heads in the sand to avoid the topic of Indians abused by their own tribes.

NARF, NCAI and NIGA

Open letter to the leaders of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), Native American Rights Fund (NARF), and National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA):
Dear Native Leaders,
Each of your organizations, founded at critical moments in native history–NCAI in 1944, NARF in 1970, and NIGA in 1985– have and continue to play vital roles in the political, legal, and economic development of Native nations. I write you all now to request that you continue to remain vital and relevant by taking an unequivocal stand against spurious disenrollment practices that destroy the human and civil rights of individual native citizens and threaten the sovereign powers of all Native nations.
NCAI is the largest (over 250 member nations) and one of the oldest interest groups representing indigenous peoples. The organization was born during the turbulent period when the federal government was aggressively moving to politically and legally terminate over 100 tribal nations. NCAI fought against giving state governments’ greater jurisdiction over tribal peoples and their resources, and fought against relocation policies that compelled thousands of tribal citizens off their homelands and into major urban areas.

NARF was one of the first native legal interest groups established in 1970 at the start of the native self-determination era, staffed by hardworking and earnest native and non-native lawyers and other legal professionals with the critical mission of assisting indigenous peoples recover and enforce their sovereignty, defend and enhance treaty rights, and hold the federal government accountable to its trust obligations to Native peoples.
NIGA was formed in 1985 in anticipation of the economic opportunities that the early gaming operations might provide for native communities who were desperately looking for alternative economic means to produce revenue that was not dependent upon federal lawmakers.
There are, of course, dozens of other native interest groups that focus on any number of critical issues vital to indigenous peoples– the Indian Child Welfare Association, The National Indian Education Association, the International Indian Treaty Council, The Native American Journalists Association, The Council of Energy Resource Tribes, and the Native American Indian Court Judges Association– and while each of these groups do important work, your three organizations, both because of the subject matters you address and range of indigenous peoples you affect are the prime bodies wielding significant influence in Indian Country and beyond.

Read more at At INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just heard from Bureau about San Pasqual Descndants. JJ Martinez Family. They said that if they wanted to pursue a correction on an ancestor, that the Bureau would have to investigate every ancestor. They have been reluctant because the JJMartinez's have an ancestor who has less blood than recorded. this could be detrimental to the current Tribal Members and even those who are applying. Does not look promising.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

This would be truly shocking if it was true. Think about it from an outsiders' perspective. You appear to be saying that the BIA can't just correct the blood degree of one ancestor, and that the Agency must investigate all the ancestors of the San Pasqual Band. In other words the BIA claims it must apply the membership standards fairly to all the San Pasqual members, and conduct an investigation of all the ancestors to determine the eligibility of all members.

It is not that I am saying you are lying, but in my experience the BIA shirks work whenever possible. The job of reviewing the blood degree of all the ancestors would be a huge task that most probably the BIA is unwilling to dedicate resources to. My guess is that a statement like this, if it was actually said, was intended to back people down. The BIA that I know would never apply a fair standard to all members. That is against the core principles and policies of the agency.

There has been a double standard for decades at the BIA. In the BIA's eyes elected tribal leaders are the tribe, and the leaders get deference in all aspects of the government to government relationship. The BIA would never consider investigating all the San Pasqual ancestors because that would mean investigating the Lawson family and Alan Lawson would never allow that while he is chairman.

By all means though hold the BIA to their word. Get it in writing. Make them do the work if you can. It is the only way to fix things. An investigation of the blood degree of the original base roll ancestors and the fair application of the eligibility requirements to all the descendants would clear up a lot of the issues at San Pasqual.

Now ask me if I think this will actually happen...

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the other two organizations, but the NCAI is just a party session for leaders one their tribe's dime. It has become a farce of what it once was.

Anonymous said...

The person I spoke to was in D.C. She no longer works for the BIA but said that it had to do with JJ MARTINEZ wife not being a full blood San Pasqual. She said some other stuff, but I'd rather not say. I read that JJMartinez are going to file suit. Should be interesting. And Reinstatement you make a good point that BIA only follows what Chairman's and Councils want. They forget the people.

Anonymous said...

BIA will never put anything on paper. They also wont do anything unless court ordered. They really have no idea how much their irresonsibility has caused.

Anonymous said...

B.I.A. = Bureau of Indian Annihilation

Anonymous said...

The BIA needs to be abolished. It is an obsolete entity.

Anonymous said...

The BIA was administratively established by Secretary of War John C. Calhoun on March 11, 1824. The USA Government was at war with the American Indian. And in my opinion they are still trying to carry out there original agenda of the eradication of the American Indians way of life.

Anonymous said...

True the BIA are just record keepers no real authority and totally corrupt and complicit to corrupt tribal leaders. They do not help the native people in any way shape or form. They only do whats easiest for them. They do not help the disenrollee's because they are supportive or bought off by the corrupt tribal leaders that disenroll or if they did step in and do something then that means they would have to step in for all tribes disenrolling to verify civil rights were followed and the disenrollment's were just and not to get rid of political opposition to stay in power, get rid of percap payments or shut out tribal members who ask too many questions the tribal leaders do not want to answer. That would be more work than the BIA would want to actual have to do. So my questions is how can people go about trying to shut down or get rid off an agency like the BIA? Start a petition with a certain amount of signatures? Is it even possible?

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