Friday, May 18, 2012
A Matter of Trust
Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter recently addressed the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs regarding Fulfilling the Federal Trust Responsibility. As Halbritter remarked, the failure of fulfilling its trust responsibilities has resulted in vilification of tribal leaders and communities exercising their sovereignty as guaranteed by the US Constitution. The failure to honor these obligations, says Halbritter, fuels the fire of backlash against tribal prosperity, and sometimes leads to efforts that undermine their sovereignty and the trust responsibility established by Congress and the Indian nations at the outset of the federal republic.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Writing at Indian Country Today, Karla E. General examines the conflict between the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and US law. In the wake of the Ninth Circuit decision that desecration of sacred Native sites does not represent a substantial burden to Native American religious practices, tribes like the Navajo Nation are seeking review from such bodies as the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. As General notes, there is a compelling need to bring US law into compliance with international human rights law. Given the bias of the US legal system, relief for the indigenous peoples within US boundaries requires international intervention.