My young friend Cam Foreman, disenrolled from the Redding Rancheria along with 70 of his family, had this statement to me and twitter today:
External attacks on tribal sovereignty get more attention, while the abuse of power by tribal governments, including the denial of treaty and constitutional rights, risks the sovereignty of indigenous people
Corruption and abuse of power can undermine tribal sovereignty in several ways. First, they can erode the trust and confidence of tribal members in their own government, which is essential for a sovereign nation to function effectively. When tribal leaders abuse their power, it can create a sense of disillusionment and disconnection among tribal members, who may feel that their voices and concerns are not being heard or addressed.
Second, corruption and abuse of power can lead to a breakdown in the governance of the community. When leaders prioritize their own interests over the needs of the community, it can result in a lack of accountability, like at Pechanga with their two large family disenrollments, transparency, and effectiveness in decision-making.
This can ultimately weaken the ability of the tribal government to fulfill its responsibilities and provide for the well-being of its members.
Corruption and abuse of power can also result in the loss of resources and lands that are critical to the sovereignty of indigenous communities. When tribal leaders misuse funds or engage in fraudulent activities, it can lead to the loss of important resources that could be used to support the community. Similarly, when tribal lands are sold or leased without the consent of the community or in violation of treaty obligations, it can undermine the sovereignty of the tribe and threaten their ability to maintain their cultural practices and way of life. WE MUST DEMAND accountability
Addressing these issues is essential for ensuring that our indigenous communities can exercise their inherent right to self-determination and thrive as sovereign nations.