By Gale Courey Toensing
“Stossel, like many Americans, fails to fundamentally appreciate that tribes are governments, not ‘groups’ of individuals as he says,” he said, pointing that American Indians are the only Americans who are indigenous to the United States and the only peoples to whom the U.S. owes a trust responsibility.
“The United States has historically done a disservice to Native Americans, by and through genocidal and assimilationist federal policies. As a result of federal allotment, assimilation and termination policies, which remain in force to this day despite Congress’ repudiation of those policies, some tribal communities are in fact worse off socio-economically than most other American citizens,” Galanda said.
“Stossel fails to mention that the federal government has attempted to eliminate us, terminate us, remove us from our lands, cheat and steal from us and then created a paternalistic approach to civilize, and essentially convert and undo the Indian. Today federal programs do little to help tribes be more independent and self sufficient and current federal regulations and laws aren’t effective for enabling tribes to create sustainable economies and grow,” Porter said. “If anyone has been fleeced, it’s the Indians. Virtually every tribe has its own unique story in evidence of this.”
Comments by FOX personality John Stossel draw ire of Chief Allan
By David Cole
Allan accused FOX anchor John Stossel of insensitive on-air comments made about American Indians.
"The ignorance behind the statements made by John Stossel poured salt into the slowly healing wounds of Native Americans and added disgrace to an already shameful page in American History," Allan wrote in his letter Monday.
"This fiduciary duty arose from contractually binding promises made to tribes in exchange for the hundreds of millions of acres of land ceded to the United States government during the nation's movement westward," Allan wrote.
Allan continued by writing that Stossel "intentionally misleads viewers to believe that the 'help' tribes receive is some gratuitous benefit provided to one minority over another."
Allan said the benefits are a requirement under terms of treaties and executive orders.
That Indians receive less government healthcare funding than federal prisoners is a well-known statistic. I'm willing to bet that the same applies to education, law enforcement, and other areas of government. Between infrastructure spending, urban development grants, and job-creating federal contracts, I'm guessing most parts of the country get much more government aid than Indian country does.
I doubt Stossel has any statistics to refute this claim. As far as I can tell, he's spewing his dogmatic beliefs without regard to the facts. Like most conservatives, he thinks his ideology must work because he and his buddies are rich.
What about Indians' losses?
None of this accounts for the negative side of the government's "help." Stealing the Indians' land and natural resources, forcing their children into boarding schools, giving them substandard food and medical care, losing instead of paying their trust funds, etc. If you could put a price on this, it might be the biggest case of government robbery in history.
To sum it up, the US government has cost Indians money in countless ways. The compensation and support it provides is less than most Americans receive. In two-plus centuries of dealing with the US, Indians arguably have received less than anyone else, not more.
For more on the subject, see Trahant Agrees About Termination Agenda, Fox Special on Indian "Freeloaders," and Stossel: Indians Are Biggest Moochers.