January 25, 2009

Outlandish ideas for Native clout

Mark Charles posted his idea for a virtual Native American state on his own blog. It's interesting to read the comments, especially those by Native activists such as Melvin Martin and Mark Anquoe. The general feeling is that yes, Indian nations need to assert their independence. The "51st state" idea is one way to jump-start the conversation, but no one is taking it seriously as an actual proposal.

If Natives want to jump-start the conversation on increasing their political clout, there's no need to stop with the "51st state" idea. I can come up with several equally outlandish conversation starters. None of these things will ever happen, but we can discuss them as way to advocate "NDN power."

  • Let's use a computer formula to determine what each Indian lost in terms of land and resources. Let's pay them each the value of the land and resources or $20 million, whichever is greater.

  • Let's add an amendment to the Constitution explicitly stating that tribes are sovereign nations with the right to veto Supreme Court decisions and Congressional acts that affect them.

  • Let's carve out parts of five states and create a Republic of Lakotah--oh, wait...Russell Means already came up with that outlandish idea.

  • Let's cancel every holiday that celebrates white Christian American history--Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Independence Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas--and replace them with holidays that include Native people. For instance, Presidents Day can become Leaders Day to include tribal chiefs. Christmas can become Birth of the Creator Day. Etc.

  • Let's create 100 Native-themed movies, TV shows, books, and comic books and mandate that every schoolchild spend a year watching and reading them and learning the true history of Native America. If they can't get a passing grade on a test of Native culture and history, they'll repeat the year until they do pass.

  • Again, none of these things will ever happen. But if you need a reason to discuss the subject, now you have several. including Charles's virtual state. Feel free to pick the least outlandish idea and explain why it's slightly more likely to work than the others.

    1 comment:

    dmarks said...

    When whites show up with names like "Peaceful Eagle", swinging cheap plastic made-in-China dreamcatchers, will they be deported?