Civil Rights Issues Facing Indian Nations, (First People)

This blog is designed for all people who wish to seek education, understanding and gain further knowledge to the multi-faceted problems facing the First Nations in America. Furthermore, this blog post is to create a positive forum to promote the dispelling of stereotypes and foster activism to create change for the millions of marginalized First People.

According to Julian Brave NoiseCat, the Native Issues Fellow at The Huffington Post in his article, These are the problems you do not hear enough about (2015), there are currently 567 tribes, or as the Indigenous prefer, “nations” including 229 Alaska Native communities, presently recognized by the federal government. In Canada, there are 600 First Nations identified, The Bureau of Indian Affairs — the federal oversight agency created to maintain relationships with indigenous communities — is also evaluating the need for incorporating Hawaii. Every federally recognized tribe is a nation unto itself — sovereign, self-determining and self-governing — and supposedly maintains a reciprocating government-to-government relationship with the United States. Also, the rights of all indigenous peoples, including Native Hawaiians, have been affirmed in a 2007 United Nations declaration. Each native nation has a distinct history, language, and culture. While many face concerns that are unique to their government, state, or region, certain issues are universal to all native populations and have intersectional characteristics making the issues eve more layered. There will be issues, and problems explored across all sections of these nations in the future blogs.

The preliminary questions that will be addressed in the future posts are:

  1.  How do the Native’s draw awareness to, and advocate to change the federal government stripping their land away?
  2.  What can be done to mitigate and limit the exploitation of natural resources on their sovereign land that is threatening their communities?
  3.  How is violence against their women and children being dealt with?
  4.  What can be done to correct their failing educational system?
  5.  What can be done to close the gap on health disparities, including substance abuse and unfortunately the unforeseen, “un-intended” problems that arise from these health issues?

The videos, articles, books, and photos are a small step towards understanding the history and formation of oppression facing the Indian’s today. It is also a segway into the coming month’s blogs on Oceti Sakowin or Standing Rock. The blog postings will be many, for the issue is foremost in the news and in the hearts of those who stand with the many Nations fighting for the right to their treaty land as well as the adverse effects the North Dakota Access Pipeline crossing under their water supply will create now and for generations to come.

Web Sources:

How Independent Are Native American Reservations?

The above video discusses the notion of independence for the Indian’s and how sovereignty is more an enigma than a reality

Standing Rock Protest Documentary by Levitate Media 3rd September 2016

Discusses the multitude of factors leading to the protests at Standing Rock.

 Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know Podcast: Why are People Protesting at North Dakota?

Published on Nov 17, 2016

A Podcast that explains the media blackout and political underpinnings involved with the Standing Rock and the North Dakota Access Pipeline.

Glenn, E. J., & Rafert, S. (2009). The Native Americans. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society Press.

A book that chronicles the Native Americans from 950 B.C. to 2008 to establish the foundation for the colonialism and oppression that is now present in contemporary times. 

LaDuke, W. (2016). The Beginning is Near:  The Deep North, Evictions and Pipeline Deadlines. Special to News From Indian Country and Everybody Else. Retrieved from:
An in-depth look at the impact the big oil companies are having on the Lakota Tribes as well as the future of the native lands and resources.
Tinker, G. E. (2008). American Indian Liberation: A theology of sovereignty. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books.
A look at the theories about sovereignty and how they were enacted to control the resources of the Indian’s while also confining the physicality of the Indian’s to reservations.

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