I've listened twice to National Congress of American Indian's President Brian Cladoosby's speech hoping he would discuss the continued violations of the civil rights of Native Americans at the hands of their own tribal councils. Good thing I wasn't holding my breath.
My heart fluttered with anticipation as he mentioned the U.S. Governments honoring their trust responsibility. Would he mention respecting Native People's rights to belong? No, of course not. Individual Indians have had to fight for their own rights, while the NCAI offers no help.
Trust responsibility is not only to chief's and leader's who donate to politicians, or to NCAI's museums. Our rights as citizens of tribal nations should be defended, while "fake" Indians usurp control of tribes.
As one who has gone to Washington DC to fight for my family's rights and the rights of other disenrolled Native Americans, I KNOW that many politicians can be persuaded that the right thing is to DO THE RIGHT THING.
One has to ask themselves, is the NCAI nothing more than a lobbying group, like AARP or UTA, or do they really have the rights of Natives in mind? Based on their actions...or rather LACK thereof, I'd say lip service might be better than NO SERVICE at all.
THOUSANDS of Native Americans are waiting in vain for organizations like the NCAI, or NARF to come to their aid, with expertise, legal resources and the bully pulpit to shape thinking.
THE "R" WORD
Cladoosby was able to find more than 5 1/2 minutes of his speech on the Redskin's nickname issue (the "R" word) but he didn't mention the "D" word (DISENROLLMENT). You know, the term that signifies the actual HARM that tribes are doing to their people, in order to steal their per capita and benefits from their own people.
He was able to mention the Redskins team sponsors, like FedEx and Coca Cola, but failed to mention that in his own executive board has the Tribal Chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, which has eliminated nearly 20% of his tribe, practices Apartheid on its reservation against Indian people. Sponsorship is worse than partnership? We need NCAI to look at the 21st century's Indian Removal Acts and help save THOUSANDS of Native American lives...instead of worrying about a bad name. Priorities matter.