The right to remain Indian:

Hecht, Robert A.

THE QUESTION OF INDIAN SOVEREIGNTY The...

...The stray subway riders found Winooski, Vermont 05404 30 March 1979: 179...
...A number of other eastern states are Indians lost the bulk of their holdings...
...In some cases granted to the tribe, or to inherit her property when she died...
...By 1934 they were also being subjected to Indian lawsuits seeking restoration of down to 48,000,000 acres (almost half of that barren and illegally sold lands...
...The partial accomplishment of these goals...
...This law, for many years ignored, but never re- understand...
...into the hands of the council members...
...These bills inunheeded...
...THE QUESTION OF INDIAN SOVEREIGNTY The right to remain Indian ROBERT A. HECHT political status for the tribes, a status that placed them outside the larger body politic...
...Few Despite the denial of Indian sovereignty by the American Americans know, however, what the Indian wants from the government, however, the federal courts have handed down rest of us...
...I N GENERAL, reservation Indians clearly approve these deciIn another case, this one involving the Native Amercan sions...
...James Dunning, U.S...
...it dismissed the case on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction...
...at stealing property or committing bloody deeds, but at pre- It did not...
...At a midnight convention of all the gangs that has is all disaffected youth together...
...The members of this church sued for their religious, ethnic, or racial group in the country...
...If the film really is vote, much less pass...
...Their properties, including their flowing through their reservations...
...In the past two decades both Congress and the Indian Civil Rights Act passed by Congress in 1968, which courts, and even some state authorities, have moved to the generally applied the civil rights of other Americans to Indian position that the American Constitution does not apply to reservations, seemed to fall into a different category from Indian reservations...
...the courts have argued that the goal of tribal self-government is The council had passed a law in 1939 prohibiting tribal memmore important than protecting the rights of individual Indians bership, or rights of inheritance, to the children of any female under the Constitution...
...long and grim history of the Indians during that century is Despite a number of termination bills in the 1950s, severing abundantly illustrated by the conflicts between them and the the government relationship with some specific tribes, which American military, consistently called in to defend whites led to the reduction of some tribal holdings, and the disappearinfringing upon Indian lands, and the harvest of land cessions, ance of some reservations altogether (the Klamaths of Oregon embodied in the form of treaties, that inevitably followed these sold their entire reservation), the Indians have generally manconflicts...
...The plainsede the Constitution, unless Congress specifies otherwise...
...For the most part, though, these disturbances have at least begun in a spirit true to the movie itself: as a battle between rival gangs...
...Yet St...
...The Conference will feature govIn the opening passages, as gangs from all over come up to ernment policy makers, local community organizers, rural the Bronx on the subway, The Warriors plays upon our expec- sociologists, theologians, educators, church leaders and tations of it...
...come closer to that status than any other group in American Some states have also refused to intervene in Indian civil society...
...In several recent cases the federal courts those brought under the federal Constitution...
...It has produced rumbles in a number of cities, Screen including New York, and at least one killing is attributed to it in Los Angeles...
...There are about 115 Indian reservations in the Median years of schooling (1970): 9.8 as compared United States, the great bulk of them west of the Missis- with 12.1...
...At no time was Indian sovereignty ever explicitly fighting for his way of life...
...Senator Patrick the subway system, a street soldier peels off from another gang Leahy, Rev...
...Twenty street gangs are banding together to take over the whole years ago your "kind" was your own ethnic group, but now it city...
...But his decision, and others that to the early days of English settlement in America...
...And at the moment he is not doing acknowledged by the American government...
...of these claims, lodged against the state of Maine by the Between 1887 and 1934 their land...
...It had been a great price to pay for the semipealed, is the basis for some gigantic Indian land claims that sovereign status that Congress and the courts had conferred are presently working their way through the courts...
...momentarily and menacing her...
...Now all these gangs go on a city-wide rampage as each scrambles to get back to its home turf...
...The gangs in this film each been called at a park in the Bronx, the leader of New York's have a careful-too careful-racial balance, as if the ideal of largest gang looks out over the sea of delegates, each dressed the Melting Pot had finally been realized...
...potato," and eral hundred Indians, joined by hundreds of others along the refused to intercede...
...The Indians met with Vice President Mondale, who greeted The most recent publicized case involving tribal authority them cordially, alternately booed and cheered Senator Kenversus an individual Indian's civil rights was decided in May, nedy, and almost conferred with President Carter...
...There have been no significant Indian voices raised in Church, which uses the hallucinogenic drug peyote in its favor of outside interference on reservations to protect the civil ritual, it was claimed that the Navaho tribal council was rights of Indians...
...The sheriffs office termed it a "hot...
...After awhile The Warriors is like a gangster movie, bright, certainly seems brightening...
...The United States used the treaty system for serving Indian rights, especially the right to remain Indian...
...Only the right to worship freely under the First and Fourteenth Amend- Indians, on their reservations, have such special rights of ments...
...30 March 1979: / 77 THIS is one of the interesting peculiarities of the reservation 1978 by the Supreme Court...
...Martinez seemed to have a good case, but she lost...
...On the contrary, tribal members have been denying freedom of religion to the members of this federally fighting harder than ever to maintain the unique Indian posirecognized religion by prohibiting the use of peyote on the tion within the United States, a position enjoyed by no other Navaho reservation...
...The treaty system as applied to the Ameri- elected councils, over their reservations...
...Alexander Pope's "poor where hoodlums usually spend all their energy killing one Indian...
...And today's warpath aims not government recognized the tribes as sovereign nations...
...This vision of the city may be threats to Indian self-determination appearing at this time...
...Penobscot and Passamaquoddy tribes, was settled out of court Thanks to passage of the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887, which last October...
...In Toledo et al v. Pueblo de Jemez et al, tried in the Mrs...
...In 1959 the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, all three self-government...
...Marshall never denied that Congress had ultimate way of obtaining agreements with the various tribes, go back authority over the Indians...
...base declined even more...
...They may not be true nations, but they have justice concurring, found that it did not have jurisdiction...
...A clearer instance of religious discrimi- Rights Act of 1968, therefore, seems to depend on the good nation could hardly be found...
...The Indian Civil the tribe in common...
...Middle-aged people look around in silent dread as those active in ministry in rural areas, such as Rev...
...Martinez A few of these court cases have involved freedom of reli- was suing for equal treatment with male Santa Clara Indians...
...Within certain limitations, which varAMERICAN Indians are on the warpath again...
...While the have followed since then, clearly set the tribes apart both English did not recognize Indian sovereignty over the lands the politically and legally from the rest of the American people...
...the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, Mrs...
...Most Americans seem aware, however dimly considered subject to the national sovereignty and to acts of and imprecisely, that the Indian has been a major victim in Congress pertaining to them...
...characteristics, with their good things and their bad, will As the Brooklyn gang referred to in the film's title tries to continue on into the indefinite future...
...Not only do they "stick to their own kind," as the song says in THE WARRIORS begins with the scary premise that the West Side Story, but their kind is a pretty decent lot...
...The largest upon them...
...An interesting and lators, national Indian organizations, the support of Hol- perplexing legal question had been raised by the treaty system, lywood personalities, and other special interest devices that however-since treaties were traditionally drawn up only beother special interest groups have used in American politics tween sovereign bodies, did this not mean that the American since Jamestown and Plymouth...
...tiff, Mrs...
...and yet had certain powers of self-governance self-governing areas for the Indians, and the treaty system as a (nations...
...The state police turned the calls over to the sheriff s spired the recent "Longest Walk," a five-month trek by sevoffice...
...New York 28.355 Infant mortality rate: 30.9 per 1000 live births as Montana 27.130 compared with 21.8 per 1000 live births...
...But they are generally agreed tribes a measure of sovereignty within the larger sovereignty of upon these: they want to hold onto their land bases called the United States, if such a condition is conceivable...
...now he is the Indians...
...office in Washington, and the now-an area abandoned to the gangs, a ghost town where siege at Wounded Knee in South Dakota, there are no serious there's nobody left except them...
...R.A.H...
...28 ceeds 25,000 square miles (slightly larger than the state percent live on reservations, the remainder live in rural of West Virginia) and contains nearly 60,000 inhabitareas...
...John a gang spills onto a D train...
...By 1887 the total Indian land base, nearly all of it aged to remain in busi.iess as tribes, and the tribes have west of the Mississippi River, had shrunk to under continued to exercise considerable authority, through their 140,000,000 acres...
...in recent years, such as the occupation of Alcatraz, the storm- It's as if the whole city had become what the South Bronx is ing and pillaging of the B.I.A...
...The evacuations proceeded, with some of way, from San Francisco to Washington, D.C...
...Dakota 32.365 pared with $9,867...
...The cops in this city...
...whose untutor'd mind/Sees God in clouds, or hears another...
...Affairs Commissioner John Collier, joining with some promi0 THER Congressional legislation since 1790 has continued nent Indian leaders, began an extensive crusade for Indian to acknowledge, either implicitly or explicitly, the separate reform...
...This case, stemming from the system...
...for their people the way an American president or a European The non-Indian world generally expresses sympathy for the monarch could act for his...
...States (domestic), needful of American aid and protection The reservation system is a way of providing self-contained, (dependent...
...deprive any were not considered members of the tribe, and therefore not person of life, liberty, or property without due process of entitled to any tribal benefits...
...By that time hundreds of something from the enemy, either his horses, his scalp, his treaties had been drawn up and ratified, treaties dealing with all life, or all three...
...For nearly a century as a convenient method of buying land from four centuries the Amercan Indian fought for his life...
...but this was merely a device, a American Indian whenever the subject of his affairs and his- handy way of making deals with the Indians...
...Commonweal: 178 Even without the effort of the Longest Walk, however, it here and there in The Warriors' opening scenes are almost the seems highly unlikely that any of these bills will ever come to a only civilians we see in the whole movie...
...Another would terminate policemen...
...While we may find unnerving what we PUNK CROCKS read in the papers about the effect The Warriors is having, the 'THE WARRIORS' & 'HARDCORE' movie really does its best to allay our fears about these kids...
...history, and that something is owed to him in restitution...
...Another would take away homes, were to be turned over to the council...
...Indians occupied, they did generally acknowledge a special In addition to court decisions defining a unique status for the ROBERT A. HECHT is associate professor of history at Kingsborough tribes, Congress itself, beginning in 1790, has passed laws Community College in Brooklyn...
...In an underpass somewhere else in McRaith, Rev...
...rather self-governing entities within states...
...This film doesn't terrify us with the presence of street him in the wind," has become a sophisticated and successful gangs in our midst any more than a gangster movie makes us practitioner of the art of survival in the modern world...
...Minnesota 23.128 Percent entering college in 1971: 18 percent as Total Indian population, 1970 census: 792.730 compared with 50 percent...
...Not all this legislation, of further sale of Indian lands, to improve the condition of Incourse, has worked in favor of the Indians, which should not dians in general, and to enlarge and reinforce tribal authority surprise us, since in the 19th century Congress was invariably on the reservations that remained...
...The nameless breaks up in anarchy doesn't do much to ease the tension central character in The Warriors (Tom Waits) has some of the either...
...The Fourteenth Martinez had married a Navaho...
...Non-Intercourse Act, which provided that no state could obCommonweal: 176 tain land from the Indians without Congressional approval...
...Originally claiming some two-thirds of Maine, provided for breaking up the reservations (and along with them or about 121/2 million acres of land, these tribes accepted the tribes) by allotting the land in individual plots to individual instead $37 million in cash, and 100,000 acres to be added to Indians, and the selling of the rest to the general public, the their present reservations...
...disposed of nearly all their people's lands by putting their Any sales of land within the states had to be ratified by marks on pieces of paper that few of them could read or Congress...
...film's director, Walter Hill, likes ultra-cool detached heroes, The fact that spmeone blows this dude away and the meeting as his last film, The Driver, demonstrated...
...Where this will lead is motion, makes urban violence seem a very remote, abstract anybody's guess, but at this writing the Indian's future, if not danger...
...solidly established than ever, Indian self-esteem is on the rise, And even then, the stylized, kung-fu fighting, often in slow and the Indian world is in ferment...
...The biggest reservation is that of the NATIVE AMERICANS Navahos in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico which exAbout' alf of all Indians live in urban areas...
...Michael's College this, strangely, never happens...
...One would restrict tribal rights to waters was not of Indian ancestry...
...One of the the evacuees burning their own houses rather than see them fall objectives of this walk was to protest and defeat these bills...
...Appeals for help to local state authorities went the federal connection with the reservations...
...The children of their marriage Amendment, which begins, "No State shall...
...The crusade culminated in motivated in its Indian dealings by demands from white the Indian Reform Act of 1934, which produced at least the Americans to secure Indian lands for white settlement...
...Why this movie has caused so much trouble is hard to understand...
...more subtle, and less violent (although some violence The treaty system of negotiating with the Indians was conhas occurred) than the older, traditional warpath that led di- tinued by the American government in 1776, until being abrectly to the enemy camp, and whose purpose was to take ruptly ended by Congress in 1871...
...was approved by Congress...
...gion...
...Charles Fortier, special consultant Stephen to get a few jollies by backing a woman up against a wall Bossi and many others...
...Massachusetts, Connecticut, and In the 1920's, however, a number of liberal white AmeriRhode Island are facing similar legal actions from tribes within cans, including the anthropologist and future Bureau of Indian their borders...
...The United States District Court for New Mexico, six Protestant Supreme Court, only Byron White dissenting, denied that it Indians of this predominantly Catholic reservation charged had jurisdiction, since Congress had not specifically granted it that the Pueblo tribal council had denied them the right to bury jurisdiction when it passed the bill...
...New York, for instance, negotiated 55 unusable), and the future of tribal existence seemed bleak and land purchases from the Indians after 1790, none of which uncertain...
...The court, however, did not will and cooperation of the tribal councils if it is to be effective make a judgment...
...In general the goals of this crusade were to halt the status of the tribes in America...
...Unlike the ied from time to time and from colony to colony, Indian tribes centuries preceding 1900, however, this warpath is controlled their own lands and ruled themselves...
...Their complaint from the non-Indian world, and from some Indians, chiefs, through a combination of ignorance and despair on has been that the tribal councils exercise too much authority, to their part, and bribery and threats by American officials, had the detriment of the civil rights of many individual Indians...
...struggling to find a way of defining the legal and political all of which have helped to establish the ndians as a unique status of the tribes, called them "domestic dependent napeople with unique rights and privileges within American tions...
...Aside from an occasional keystone cop, the Warriors century, is far from vanishing...
...Indian reservations, with all their unique war of attrition in the city we see here...
...ministries for rural life...
...In others, judicial jurisdiction has been Santa Clara Indians who married outside the tribe...
...In writing the majority their dead in the tribal cemetery, to build their own church, or opinion Thurgood Marshall said that to allow such suits as that hold services in their own homes, to allow Protestant mis- of Mrs.Martinez, "would be at odds with the Congressional sionaries onto the reservation, or to use machinery owned by goal of protecting tribal self-goverment...
...Indeed, the Indians themselves are not clear or decisions over the years whose total effect has been to grant the united on most of their goals...
...Here was a case, have concluded that the enactments of tribal councils super- after all, arising under a Congressional enactment...
...Some two dozen the extraordinary fishing rights of Indians in the state of Washfamilies were involved...
...In that year it enacted the Indian American Indian history...
...Under the Indian Civil Rights law," does not apply to reservations since they are not states or Act of 1968, which ordered tribal governments to implement parts of states...
...It dealt with the badly, as a catalogue of recent Indian legal and legislative tribes as if they were sovereign, and as if their chiefs could act victories demonstrates...
...There are 60,000 of us, if we join forces...
...afraid of the Mafia...
...By this he meant that they were within the United society...
...Reservation home rule is more only run into members of other street gangs on their way home...
...This is the sort of thing First Northeast Conference on Rural Ministry that city dwellers all over America have been dreading since August 5-10 the fifties-a final, cataclysmic eruption of delinquency into open warfare, a night of the long switchblades when the young The Conference, will seek to identify issues specific to rural muggers, junkies, rapists and thrill-killers would just gang up areas and how the Church might respond and develop on the rest of us once and for all...
...The Indians were tory comes up...
...Despite some anti- get back to its home turf of Coney Island, the city streets and Indian "backlash" against some of the violent Indian actions subway stations they travel through are completely deserted...
...frightening, too, but it takes the scare out of the gangs themThe "vanishing Indian," the stereotype of the late 19th selves...
...Arizona 95.812 Suicide rate: 32 per 100,000 as compared with the California 91.018 rate for the general population of 16...
...rights disputes...
...Even before the movie be- For more information please write to: gins, we are already waiting for this sort of familiar, low-grade The Director of Summer Session terrorism to flare up into a total, inescapable violence...
...Male memdenied on the grounds that reservations are not states, but bers would not be penalized if they did the same thing...
...When they refused to move, as some ington, granted to them under 19th century treaties, and conof them did, they were driven from their homes by tribal firmed more recently by the courts...
...As in West Side in his own war colors, and intones, "There are only 20,000 Story, so here, we get good vibes from the delinquents...
...Indeed, one recent can Indians had led to disastrous consequences for them...
...New Mexico 72,788 Unemployment rate: an estimated 45 percent comNorth Carolina 44,406 pared with about 6 percent for the general population...
...Today's warpath employs public relations kinds of problems, but whose main purpose in nearly every campaigns, protest marches, court actions, pressures on legis- case was to secure land from the tribes...
...sippi River...
...with a special concentration in contributing to that same end...
...Washington 33,386 Median family income for 1971: $4,000 as comSo...
...Julia Martinez, a Santa Clara Pueblo Indian, was This has led to some outrageous violations of individual In- suing the tribal council because it was denying her children the dians' civil rights, all sanctioned by the courts, which have right to vote in tribal elections, to a share of federal funds refused to assume jurisdiction in these disputes...
...In 1974 the Onondaga tribal council in New At the moment, however, there are a number of bills before Yolk passed a law which ordered eviction from the reservation Congress that would, if passed, reduce Indian control over of any mixed blood families, where either the husband or wife their reservations...
...One of the smallest reservations belongs to the The ten states with the largest Indian populations: Pajoaque Pueblos in New Mexico, the population of Oklahoma 98,468 which in 1970 numbered 33...
...ants...
...Congress,like the courts and states, is scary, it is not because it previews some apocalypse yet to wary of arousing the Indian world and the non-Indian sup- come, but because the street gangs already seem to have won a porters of that world...
...Chief reservations, maintain tribal self-rule, and keep in force the Justice John Marshall in the early 1830s, for example, in treaties originally drawn up with the American government...

Vol. 106 • March 1979 • No. 6


 
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