Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Politicians Talking 'bout NDNs

Politician #1.First, let me start with the heartwarming news that Tom DeLay (R-Texas) has been indicted. Can you see me dancing? 'Cause I'm dancing.

If you're confused about why DeLay is no friend of Indians, refresh your knowledge of the Jack Abramoff Indian gaming scandal. Now note he was indicted on other charges, but it gives me hope that he will have to answer for his part in the Tigua Tribe's shameful and unethical treatment as well.

Politician #2. Next, we see Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) has said that there should be limits to tribal sovereignty. (Is that like having limits to freedom?) McCain wants more federal oversight of the Indian gaming industry: "To assert tribal sovereignty over an operation that does not involve Indians but non-Indians to me is not a valid enough argument because I have an obligation under the Constitution ... to all of our citizens. [Tribal sovereignty is] overridden to some degree [by a need to protect] all citizens [from potential corruption at casinos]".

Hmm.. I'm not convinced that Sen. McCain's motivation is his concern for all the Non-Natives visiting Indian casinos. It sounds to me like McCain thinks sovereignty is just talk, and when things really matter, like Indians making money, the Feds want the controlling piece of the pie.

Politician #3. Bush is stepping up his opposition to Native Hawai'ian Bill. This Bill would recognize "the right of the Native Hawaiian people to reorganize the Native Hawaiian governing entity to provide for their common welfare and to adopt appropriate organic governing documents", which, as I understand it, means that the Native Hawai'ians would function somewhat like a federally recongnized Native American tribe. This status would potentially change the outcome of such recent court decisions like Doe v. Kamehameha Schools (see also article on court decision).

Politician #4. Ok, this one is soon to be Chief Justice, so I guess he's not technically a politician. Or he's one of the most powerful politicians out there. Depends on your views of the role of judges I suppose. But I digress..

Here's John Roberts! Now, we may not know much about him overall, but some of the areas where he does indeed have a public record is in his involvement with Indian Law. sums up Robert's involvement with Indian Law:

"As an attorney in private practice, Roberts argued two Indian law cases before the high court. In Rice v. Cayetano, he defended the state of Hawaii's Native Hawaiian programs by relying on the federal trust relationship. In Alaska v. Venetie, he argued the relationship no longer existed when it came to trust land in Alaska.

"Roberts lost the Native Hawaiian case, leading to a flurry of challenges to Native Hawaiian programs, some of which are likely to end up before the court again. He won the Alaska case, much to the dismay of Native leaders who are still facing challenges to their sovereignty to this day."


Blogger Lisa said...

I love that pic you got of McCain...

11:45 AM  
Blogger themarigoldtrail said...

lol..thanks! It's such a great photo I just couldnt resist. :)

9:54 PM  

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