March 10, 2007

Squirming over the Cherokee vote

Lightfoot:  Reconciling moral outrage with self-determinationThe power and inherent right of tribal nations to determine and define their own citizenry is one of the strongest rights of self-determination that indigenous nations have retained during our more than 200 years' experience with interference by the U.S. colonial government. Even the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized this right. No one should determine tribal citizenship except the tribe itself.

We, as citizens of other sovereign indigenous nations, are absolutely and completely compelled to support the right of the Cherokee Nation to exercise this power. But at the same time, it makes many of us squirm in our chairs to feel compelled to support an action that involves the active disenrollment of members, an action that results in stripping away citizenship rights of certain individuals, especially where issues of race, slavery and historical racism are involved. Should a person really be stripped of tribal citizenship merely because part of their ancestry can be traced to the slaves once held by the Cherokee? Can we truly support this move, which is a deeply disturbing trend in Indian country? It places us in a moral dilemma.

1 comment:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
This article is in response to all the negative press the tribe has received for its eventual electoral result. Don't worry - they'll get over it...
All Best
Russ Bates