January 18, 2009

51st state for Natives?

A state for Native Americans?"What can we do to take a place at the table where we can make decisions about our own lands and people and history and communities?" Charles said.

He came up with the idea to establish a Native American state.

"It would be a state for people who are enrolled members of tribes," Charles said.

The state would be virtual and wouldn’t involve rearranging any land. It would represent members from over 500 federally recognized tribes. According to the U.S. Census, nearly 4 million people claim to be Native American.

"That would put us, that population in ranking of order of a state somewhere in between 25 and 35 with 1 being the largest," Charles said.

The state would also get electoral votes and congressional leaders.
But:"This is one of those ideas that was a terrific idea before the states were admitted. Once they were admitted because of that provision it becomes constitutionally almost impossible to accomplish," Clinton said.

Still, Charles wants to start a dialogue. The Fort Defiance resident plans to travel to different reservations and talk to community members and tribal leaders about his idea. He said he’s already been contact by different members from across the country.

"I want us to think creatively outside the box. What can we do to give ourselves a voice?" he said.
Comment:  A virtual state for Natives is even less likely to happen than Russell Means's Republic of Lakotah.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

There's already a 51st state anyway.