This was gonna be a post on my fav discussion board, but since my cable connection is being a complete DICK; I decided to post it here for all to read.
Native Americans And The Government
I am sure that everyone recalls the “treaties” that the US entered into with the Native Americans. History books speak of them and move on, so people’s knowledge of them is extremely limited to whatever stance the author of the textbook decided to take.
Take a look at the Constitution, native peoples were not included when the Constitution was first adopted in 1787. Why? Well, good question! Natives were never considered citizens of the country and the founding fathers never believed they would ever be.
1871, a year of infamy! That is the year that the US government decided that it would stop making treaties with individual “tribes”. That year the Congress passed a law, Title 25, Chapter 3, Sibchapter 1, Section 71 of the US Code. This law declared that Indian tribes were not sovereign nations with whom the US could make treaties. Since that year, Congress has regulated Indians affairs through legislation, which is better for Congress, since laws instead of treaties, do not need the consent of the Native Americans.
Treaties entered into by the US before 1871 are still valid, anything after that date is not. The Common Clause of the US Constitution distinguishes individual “tribes” from nations and from states. The original Constitution does not address what “tribes” were, only what they were not.
Once this took place, the government no longer threated the “tribes” as individual nations, they became part of an ethnic gropup known as “Native Americans” or “American Indians”.
This single act did more to harm the rights of individual nations, tribes, to you, than anything before or after. Navajo became the same as Apache. That will not fly! No nation is a nation, they are all just Native Americans.
One of the founders of the American Indian Movement once said, “The Pilgrims did not land on Plymouth Rock–Plymouth Rock landed on us!”