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Indian Reservations

Indian Reservations Good or bad policy American Indians

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#1 Delvo

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 09:25 PM

What would happen if we just abolished the reservations and whatever laws might treat American Indians differently from other people? If that would have a bad impact on them done so suddenly, is there a way to phase out the reservations and legal distinctions gradually? Is that even a goal we should have, or is there something good that the current system accomplishes?

#2 QueenTiye

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 09:49 PM

You'd have just obliterated their right to exist as a people.      The land that was reserved for them was reserved by way of various treaties, which if we abolished them we would once again be violating the treaties made with native peoples.

Besides trampling over their rights as a people, we will in many cases have violated their religious rights.  Native American beliefs are often wrapped up in their land, including their burial traditions, and kicking them off of their land inherently prohibits them from practicing their faith in some cases.

What would be the cause of this question?

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#3 G1223

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 10:12 PM

Actually the land can be considered a national boundry local police cannot enter. The Feds can enter but that I think is or has in the past been challenged in court.

Personally I think there should be some of the federal lands that can be of use to the indian nations that should be given to them to make use of.  As to private property the use of emmenate domain should not be used. nor should people be pushed off their lands. But the feds do have some land that might be of use to these people and maybe it should be considered.
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#4 Bad Wolf

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 10:22 PM

I think Delvo's question goes deeper than people are giving him credit for.  Indian "reservations" only came into being as a result of the systematic destruction of a people and a way of life by some people that created this country.  The question to me is a "separate but equal" kind of question.  Should Indian Reservations, which promote the same kind of separatism only on a greater scale imo than militant La Raza organizations be something that is acceptable?  IS that separation actually a *necessary* component to preserving a way of life?

I don't suggest an answer, simply that the question is legitimate.
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#5 QueenTiye

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 10:44 PM

Well, that was the reason I asked what the purpose of the question was... :)

In any event - to me, there is no similarity between this idea and the separate but equal idea.  Reservations are all that Native Americans have left of their sovereignty.

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#6 Bad Wolf

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 10:51 PM

Okay I know I will get NAILED for this but oh well.  This whole business of "sovereignty" for American Indians.  Is secession allowed or not?  If not (and I don't think it is) then what is this?  I mean I seem to remember reading about a movement in South Carolina by folk who want a "nation within a nation" where only people who agree with their religious views (most standoutish to me, the idea that gay marriage is sinful) are allowed.  How are Reservations really different from what the folk of South Carolina are seeking?

Just sayin'
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#7 G1223

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 10:58 PM

Well in their past they were the only places to learn about the native cultures of that particular tribe. In some ways they still are they are placers that with some help outside but mostly from themselves maybe they can give the kids a foot up towards rebulding their culture.
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#8 Bad Wolf

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:06 PM

But is a seperate "sovereignty" necessary for this?  I mean this country is FILLED with people from a multitude of cultures and there are ways for people of that culture to learn about that culture and feel a part of it that do not involve this whole "country within a country" business.
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#9 G1223

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:18 PM

Lil I see it as being the only thing left to them. Their other lands were takenaway. and when something valueable was found on parts of those reservations people came in and took what was there.  They had till the last century nothing in the way of support from the federal government.

The land is the last thing they have. remove that soventry and the states will step in and tax the land at it's value. The tribe cannot always pay the yearly property tax on it which means that land that had been theirs for decades is now going to be taken by the state.

But not just any land the land that might have value to the state to make profits off of. Then sold to the company that pays off the Legislator or Govenor you bribes him enough.

The indian he gets his home and lands taken from him by the white man again. this time with the courts saying "Shouls have paid the state the taxes they said you owed". Before this the land was used by famlies to farm or by the tribe to make money from. They are free of taxes except for what they say they owe each other.

So what would you want them to do?
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#10 Bad Wolf

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:29 PM

So the argument is that they were here first?  Again I'm not really advocating a position just saying that Delvo's question is legitimate.   If the issue is preservation of culture then I have to say that a country within a country is not the only way to accomplish that.  Moreover from what I've heard and read about modern reservations I'm not even certain of how much of that original culture is preserved.  I'm pretty sure that the American Indians of the 16th and 17th century made their livings off of gambling.  Tax free gambling here in California.

Lil

Edited by Una Salus Lillius, 25 June 2004 - 11:30 PM.

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#11 G1223

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:37 PM

Well Lil do you think they will do better under the care of the government? (State or local)

The land was given to them by the US government to use till they wanted it no more. The courts made them finally giove some of these people the monies promised under the treaties that we did break. They also said that these were seperate nations.


Those "States" would be growing grass if they were not subject to federal law.( I'd be the first to say good for them. It is after all their own nation and might not have laws against smoking.) They would be doing things to bring money to their people just like Monacco does from the Frenchmen who visit.

Edited by G1223, 25 June 2004 - 11:42 PM.

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#12 MuseZack

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:43 PM

Well, yeah, Lil, they were here first.  I think that kind of gives them dibs, especially since most of the Tribes are sovereign nations that the US actually signed treaties with.  As for the whole gaming thing, as amusing as it is to imagine 17th Century Pilgrims getting fleeced at the slots, remember that no culture stays static over time, and gambling seems like a pretty adroit adaptation to present circumstances...
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#13 Cardie

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:45 PM

Lil, the Indian reservations don't have to secede.  They really are sovereign territories within the United States.  That's why they can run casinos in states where it is otherwise illegal.  It's true that reservations are a travesty of what the Indians had originally bargained for, lands of their own choosing that would not be a part of the United States at all.  But unlike everyone else who came here, the Native Americans are the indigenous inhabitants of this country.  They were the first humans to settle here by many, many centuries.

Things got muddled when Indians were made US citizens (not till 1924 or thereabouts) , and being subject to the draft and Federal income taxes doesn't exactly make you a completely sovereign nation, but that's the idea behind the reservations, and it's important enough to the Indians that they don't want to give them up and become just some more additions to the melting pot.

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#14 Bad Wolf

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:48 PM

First let me be clear that I think what was done to the natives of this land by those who came to "pioneer" it is APPALLING.  Absolutely a stain on the very foundation of this country.  But as a person with parents of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds I believe I speak from personal experience when I say that this concept of a nation within a nation is not the only way to preserve a culture that is not "white".  Moreover, I think it actually *is* inconsistent with the notion that secession is not proper.  I mean, if American Indians can have "countries within" the U.S. where they have their own rules and are exempt from so many rule of the country then why shouldn't Southern States where the majority of people might still support, for example, segregation, be allowed the same status?

Why are they so different?

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#15 Bad Wolf

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:51 PM

MuseZack, on Jun 25 2004, 09:41 PM, said:

Well, yeah, Lil, they were here first.  I think that kind of gives them dibs
I disagree.  At the risk of being flamed, they didn't win.   This doesn't mean their culture should be destroyed but there it is.  There are winners and there are losers. And it's well established in this country that a culture does not have to be destroyed in order to exist in this country without being a separate "nation".
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#16 QueenTiye

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 12:08 AM

MuseZack, on Jun 26 2004, 12:41 AM, said:

Well, yeah, Lil, they were here first.  I think that kind of gives them dibs, especially since most of the Tribes are sovereign nations that the US actually signed treaties with.  As for the whole gaming thing, as amusing as it is to imagine 17th Century Pilgrims getting fleeced at the slots, remember that no culture stays static over time, and gambling seems like a pretty adroit adaptation to present circumstances...
Nice to be agreeing with you, Zack!

And as Cardie said - there is no issue of secession.

The difference is - the states, having fully consented to be a part of this union, and enjoying the benefits thereof, are violating the union by seceding, whereas the Native Americans never did consent to be a part of this union - because they had government and land of their own, which was usurped.  The equivalent would be if we simply annexed Canada, and then wondered why the Canadians wanted to "secede."  They are not part of the US, didn't ask to be, and have their own soveriegn, national identity.

Native Americans signed treaties with this Government, and never assented to give up their sovereignty.  They have fought continually for the right not to have to - even though their sovereignty is essentially under our protection.  

Giving some credence to the idea that there is value in changing the status of reservations - if the reservations were each states within the union (as opposed to being absorbed into the states where they currently reside), I might feel slightly different.  But only slightly.  There are very good reasons for the Native American people to want to avoid that - including the fact that their dessimmated numbers make their lands easy to be overrun by people who have other interests in mind - thus guaranteeing that the things that are sacred to the Native Americans are overrun by the majority interest.

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#17 QueenTiye

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 12:10 AM

Una Salus Lillius, on Jun 26 2004, 12:49 AM, said:

I disagree.  At the risk of being flamed, they didn't win.   This doesn't mean their culture should be destroyed but there it is.  There are winners and there are losers. And it's well established in this country that a culture does not have to be destroyed in order to exist in this country without being a separate "nation".
The argument that they "didn't win" betrays all acts of diplomacy... since the terms of surrender were violated by this nation, time and time again.

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#18 Gina

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 12:14 AM

I think that they have certain rights that allow them to live thier lives, and if those rights were taken away, where would thier income come from? I mean, sure, they can get jobs, but would they be interviewed with the same respect as Americans?

Edited by Gina, 26 June 2004 - 12:23 AM.

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#19 Anakam

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 12:21 AM

Gina, on Jun 26 2004, 06:12 AM, said:

I mean, sure, they can get jobs, but would they be interviewed with the same respect as Amaericans?
And do they really have the same kind of chances to get the education needed for many jobs?  If they have their own schools (and I can't remember right now for sure although I suspect they do ) then IMO that's segregation starting right there.

Yes, some aspects of modern American education are not going to be in line with traditional cultural values, but I'm sure a line can be drawn somewhere even if I'm not sure where it is.

As for the current system--honestly, I would add some land, especially to the smaller reservations so that maintaining something closer to the traditional ways would be somewhat more feasible. IMO.  I've been to the Mt. Pleasant reservation for pow-wows and parts of it make me ashamed to be a 'regular white American'.

Clearly, I don't see any good solutions to this but I have darn well seen a few problems.
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#20 QueenTiye

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Posted 26 June 2004 - 12:31 AM

The fact is that many young Native Americans leave the reservation in search of better opportunity - which puts the Native Americans at a disadvantage - because I believe that some of the terms of reservations are based on populations.  I believe this is behind the push to recruit more people into Native American heritage.  On the one hand - having "inferior" schools is their right.  They are a soveriegn people with the right to educate their population the way they see fit.  On the other hand - the draining of human resources into the larger population establishes the fact that sovereign or not - the Native American lives in a reality that does not adequately support (in most cases) their sustainability as sovereign nations, even under their protected status within the US.  

Show me a system that does the following:
1. continues to recognize their sovereign status
2. protects their sacred lands
3. enables them to interact productively with the rest of the Nation without losing not only their cultural identity but their soveriegnty

Like I said - some kind of status as a state of the union, with full representation rights within the government, but with elections according to their customs, (for instance), and establishment of burial grounds automatically as national parks...?  Maybe this is a way to go?  I would love it if someone who lived on a reservation would chime in!

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