Chanku Luta (Red Road)

Hau Mitakuyapi
Take a minute, read, review, comment, we of the Dakota Nation may be forgotten in time, but for now we will never be ignored...I will see you on the Red Road of Life...Wopida Tanka
Hokshida Maza (Iron Boy) Bdewakantowan Dakota Akichita

Monday, October 18, 2010

Treaties and the Courts

At times I find that others can express what is in my own thoughts more eloquently than I can, so I would like to share some comments on Treaties as expressed by others, and add a commentary for myself.

From "The Rights of Indians and Tribes" pg. 53 by Stephan L. Pevar, ACLU, The Authoritative ACLU Guide to Indian and Tribal Rights, to 2004
Indian Treaties belong not just to Indians; they belong to everyone in the United States.  Perhaps some of these Treaties seem "unfair" to non-Indians under today's standards, just as many of these treaties seemed unfair to Indians at the time they were written.  But regardless of how they seemed then or seem now, the citizens of this country have a legal, moral, and ethical duty to enforce these treaties.  Indians paid dearly for their treaty rights, and the federal government should keep it's end of the bargain.  Some people , calling these treaties "ancient documents," argue that it is time to ignore them.  On the contrary, these documents deserve the same continuing respect as the venerable Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. As one court observed in enforcing a century old treaty. "[T]he mere passage of time has not eroded, and cannot erode, the rights guaranteed by solemn treaties that both sides pledged on their honor to uphold" C&L Enterprises v.Citizen Band Potawatomi Indian Tribe, 121 S.Ct. 1589 (2001)

I don't believe that an honest American would purposely trample on the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution.  So why would the U.S. trample on a Treaty made in good faith with one of the aboriginal inhabitants of this great country.

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