MINNESOTA INDIAN AFFAIRS COUNCIL Aug 16, 2006 12:10:38 GMT -5
Post by tamara on Aug 16, 2006 12:10:38 GMT -5
Need for Historical Accuracy
Tribal sovereignty has not been understood, therefore a prevalent concern among American Indian scholars is to present an accurate history. The Institute for the Development of Indian Law defines sovereignty as the supreme power from which all specific political powers are derived.
All of the sovereign powers were once held by tribes, not the U.S. government. Whatever power the federal government may exercise over Indian nations it received from the tribe, and not the other way around.
Included in the inherent power are the following:
The power to determine the form of government.
The power to define conditions for membership in the nation.
The power to administer justice and enforce laws.
The power to tax.
The power to regulate domestic relations of its members.
The power to regulate property tax.
The law is clear that an Indian nation possesses all of the inherent powers of any sovereign government, except those powers that have been limited or qualified by treaties, agreements or an act of Congress.
Students will be able to function as responsible citizens if they know how sovereignty affects interactions of tribes with the federal government, the state of Minnesota and local governing units. All of the land in Minnesota was gained by the United States through a series of treaties with Anishinabe and Dakota sovereign nations. In order to understand issues of treaties, sovereignty or rights, one must first understand these very basic premises: No great war took these lands from American Indians. No American Indian leader gave Minnesota to the United States. The nations of Anishinabe and Dakota made concessions as to specific land uses by the United States. These concessions were clearly to benefit the settlers who wanted to establish businesses and homes on Indian lands. The United States was obligated to carry out the specifications of the treaties. Anishinabe and Dakota nations clearly retain any and all rights not specifically mentioned in the contracts.
A common misconception is that the United States gave American Indian nations rights through treaties. In fact, American Indian nations gave land to the United States while retaining inherent rights and powers.