Justice for the Native American Indian
The American Indian tribes and nations should be recognized as sovereign people and territory. Restitution should be paid for broken treaties and the destruction of their people and culture. As sovereign nations, they should be independent of State law, and not subject to any taxation other than payments for the common defense and for public works based on their land value.
by Fred E. Foldvary, Senior Editor
It's time for justice for the original Native Americans, the Indians as well as the native aboriginal Hawaiians and Alaskans. As independent people prior to the European conquest, their sovereignty rights should be restored. Indian reservations should have the same sovereign rights as U.S. States and not be subject to State law without their consent.
The Indian tribes should have as much autonomy as their members desire. The main responsibility of the U.S. government should be to ensure that the governance of the tribes is democratic, just as the U.S. Constitution provides federal responsibility for ensuring a "republican form of government" for the U.S. States.
Federal and State regulations should not apply in the Indian nations which wish to be independent of them. Instead, there should be a simple basic law that the Indian nations will pay compensation for any external damages such as pollution or the eradication of wildlife.
Indian nations should have the option of becoming enterprise zones without any federal taxation or social security payments; instead, they would pay to the federal government a defense and public works fee based on the value of their land exclusive of improvements. A payment based on their land rent would not impede enterprise. The elimination of taxes on wages, profits, and sales would bring on large investments that would make the Indian nations prosperous.
There should be negotiations to resolve the remaining claims and disputes between the Indian tribes and the U.S. government, and restitution paid both for taking their lands as well as taking away their children to boarding schools and damaging their culture.
Some small Indian tribes have had difficulty getting recognized as an official tribe. The US government should recognize all historical Indian tribes. But American Indians living outside their tribal lands should be subject to the same laws as any other residents, just as a citizen from Virginia living in California becomes subject to California law.
Why should Indians have special territorial status just because they were here first? Why should not any other group be able to form a nation with its own sovereignty? Morally, all human beings are individually sovereign. Ideally, any group should be able to form its own independent nation. All should be able to free themselves from income and sales taxes, and only pay for common infrastructure and security from the value of their lands. All human individuals and groups should be free to be autonomous.
But this is way too advanced for current social thinking. Folks today do understand that past wrongs should be rectified, and that conquered peoples should be set free. Autonomy and freedom from State and federal taxes and restrictions would go a long ways towards restitution for the social injustice committed against the American Indian by the European invaders.
The American Indians were nations with their own languages and cultures, forced to abandon their ways and join the Anglo-European culture. Let's correct this injustice as far as possible by letting the Indians be as free and independent as they wish to be.
-- Fred Foldvary
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Copyright 2000 by Fred E. Foldvary. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system, without giving full credit to Fred Foldvary and The Progress Report.