Self-Determination -VS- Self-Governance:
The Inalienable Rights of Indigenous Peoples Repressed By The State Of Connecticut and The United States Of America
The Road to Reparations for ACQTC Begins at a Crossroads of Culture-Clash
By Iron Thunderhorse
ACQTC Legal Sovereign, SAM-ACAT
The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 61/295, United Nations Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples on 13 September 2007. An overwhelming majority (143 votes YEA) of U.N. Member States approved the Declaration, a small minority abstained (11 votes) and originally only four (4) voted against the measure. The U.N. Member States that voted against it were AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND, CANADA and the UNITED STATES.
These four U.N. Member States each have significant aboriginal populations — so immediately following these votes Aboriginal People from around the world began protesting and taking action. So, in the past year, however, AUSTRALIA has reversed itself, and now supports the Declaration, NEW ZEALAND and CANADA have both given indications they too are backing off their original stance against the measure and are looking at ways of accepting a similar plan. CANADA it should be noted, has enacted a comprehensive AMENDMENT to its CONSTITUTION in 1982 that incorporates the aboriginal rights of its Indigenous Peoples as well as the METIS (mixed blood). [See the article THE METIS NATION on this website].
The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA remains the ONLY U.N. Member State to oppose completely the U.N. Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples.
UNITED STATES’ POSITION
According to Robert Hagen, U.S. Advisor of the United Nations, he alleges that the U.N. Declaration is “confusing and risks conflicting interpretations and debate over its application.” Yet, it remains confusing only to the USA, and the stress on interpretation is typical of how the USA has treated Treaty Rights of the Indigenous People in the USA. The Trail of Broken Treaties is not a hallucination but a very real policy of abandonment. African-Americans have gained a semblance of freedom in this land but Aboriginal People are still oppressed. Hagen says that the language of the Declaration is too easily conflicted “with legal obligations” which translates to the USA refuses to surrender their paternalism against Indigenous Peoples in the USA. The Declaration sets standards that a
UN Member State must adhere to in working out the parameters of their obligations to Indigenous Peoples. Every other Nation on Earth has recognized these mandates as APPROPRIATE, FAIR and JUST, but not the All-Powerful USA.
What this resistance is all about is PATERNALISM and the POWER to keep the Indigenous People under the yoke of dependency.
Hagen says the USA prefers a “more clearly aspirational document” — favoring the right of “self-governance” (as opposed to the right of “self-determination”). So the “tribes” remain dependent within the “Nation-State” (USA). So why haven’t the tribes in the USA been more vocal and why haven’t they protested?
DUAL TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS
In just about every tribal nation of the USA there are two kinds of government. The Aboriginal Societies that are the Faith-Keepers and Culture-Bearers of ancestral Clan Lineages who protect sacred landmarks and ancient spiritual societies based on aboriginal forms of shamanism have been co-opted by the Tribal Chairmen and Tribal Governments who operate lucrative casinos, world-class hotels, etc. These Tribal Governments are mainly operated by assimilated, enculturated people who have converted to Christianity (either Catholic or Protestant).
These divisions are nothing new. They were once called the “Treaty-Chiefs” and “Hangs-Around-The Forts” Indians as opposed to the “Hostiles” who remained true to traditions. So, the majority of the BIA-Approved Tribal Governments (Chairmen's Councils) do not want to rock the boat and upset the lucrative apple-cart they now have and provides the all-mighty frog-skins or green-back-dollars they now worship in place of ancient spirits of the land.
Under Connecticut General Statute (CGS) § 47-66h the CT Governor is required to enter into agreements with the Chairmen of its CT State Approved/Sanctioned “Tribes” in order “to define the powers and duties of the tribe…” Yet other laws supposedly give the right to “self-governance”.
Self-governance simply means the State acts as an overseer and the alleged “tribe” has no right to self-determination, so everything must be rubber-stamped by the State. Tribal Affairs in Connecticut is under the auspices of the Commissioner of the CT Department of Environmental Protection (CT-DEP). Ed Sarabia, DEP-Indian Affairs Coordinator is an Indian of a non-Algonquian tribe of the Northwestern USA.
CGS § 184a-10-381 defines the term “Native American”. ACQTC’s Position on these antiquated, Non-Algonquian Appellatives is that they are misnomers, and represent racist, ethnocentric stereotypes that deprives our Indigenous Nations from our own forms of Self-Determination, Self-Identity through Indigenous Traditions. CT created its own “tribes” from bands or sub-tribes based on their own methods. These terms are so vague and ambiguous as to be arbitrary and capricious and have operated to RE-DEFINE our existence and Indigenous Identity. There is also the fact that the term “American Indian” simply cannot exist in reality. “America” was invented by the Wonnux/Newcomers long after they arrived on our shores and began colonizing our land with their Imperialism. Our people were never Indigenous to “America” because it did not exist until the 1700s. So we could not be Native to a place that never existed. We are native to the Dawnland and Long Water Land and in re-naming our groups the USA turned Seven Nations into 150 “tribes” by converting their religion, political institutions etc. to a mainstream sanctioned group of “citizens”.
ACQTC’s legal, political and social positions are an exercise of aboriginal sovereignty and autonomy. Our positions serve to highlight the much broader problems of racism, discrimination, and ethnocentric stereotypes so typical of paternalism that Imperialist Nation-States thrive on. The Puritan Theocracy which founded New Haven, Connecticut was based on religious intolerance and racial purity. Our battles also reflect a much broader problem with the racist, ethnocentric stereotypes reflected in current Indian Policy used by the USA, Connecticut, et. al. in the acknowledgment process.
UN - UPR Listening Station
On March 16, 2010 at the University of New Mexico School of Law, the U.S. State Department heard criticisms and complaints from leaders of our Turtle Island Indigenous Nations, scholars, legal advocates and activists alike. This was conducted as part of the United Nations Universal Periodic Report (UN-UPR). They presented suggestions for the USA in adopting the U.N. Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples. Are you listening to this members of the Congress and President Obama? Do you recall the campaign promises made to the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island?
An African-American is now President of the United States, and it shows that black people are no longer slaves in the USA. An Indigenous Person has never been elected President because our people are still slaves of the states, our lands held in trust, our interest accrues in accounts that have been found to be abused by the USA in Federal Court, our people continue to live in USA-Sponsored Internment Camps known as “Reservations”, where elders freeze to death every winter, where hate crimes are top of the list and unemployment is virtually assured. Indian Tribes are nothing more than wards of the State and those who have lucrative casinos pay “hush-money” to Super Funds to “distressed municipalities who want a piece of the money pie” they pay “in lieu of taxes” to get around the “Indians-Not-Taxed” clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The five tribes sanctioned by Connecticut are slaves of the state and yet all attempts to create a CIAC (Connecticut Indian Affairs Council) and Commission have all failed miserably. The only way to end the backbiting, etc. is in sanctioning self-determination, self-identity and to allow ACQTC as the true Indigenous Nation of the Long Water Land to act as elder advisors in revitalizing ancient traditions.
ACQTC TO CT: GIVE US LIBERTY
That famous cry of the Revolutionary War is all too soon forgotten. “Give me liberty or give me death” was the motto that gained independence from a tyrannical government that enslaved the Americans. Now, just as children of abused parents grow up to be the abusers, Connecticut is the Tyrant who emulates its forefathers ethnocentric ways.
The word liberty is defined by OXFORD'S CONCISE ENGLISH DICTIONARY, 10th Ed. as “the state of being free from oppression.” It also defines freedom as “the power of self-determination”. To be free from Connecticut’s oppression ACQTC has had to remain free and independent, by exercising our autonomy.
CRITICISM, DISSENT AND SECESSION
In 2008 the U.N. Committee to Eliminate All Racial Discrimination formally criticized the USA for failing to protect Native American women’s abuse. Hate Crimes against Native American people are 1 in 10 of all hate crimes in the USA. Yet it continues.
U.S. citizenship was unilaterally conferred on all Indian People and as long as it is accepted by the “tribes” given recognition it is binding. But under the law, anyone can relinquish their citizenship and tribes themselves have the power to initiate DISENROLLMENT against any member. Our Indigenous People also have the right to rejection of unilateral USA citizenship by the act of succession. Russell Means and a group of the Lakotah Aboriginal Nation did just that in protest over Indian Affairs in the USA.
In the State of Maine (one of the six New England States which Connecticut is also a part of) a Joint Resolution was passed unanimously by both the House and Senate on April 21, 2008. Also on April 9, 2008 the Canadian Parliament voted 148 in favor to 114 against and the measure passed to support the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Both houses claimed this action was needed as the “standards needed to protect Indigenous peoples” and to ensure that their cultures “remain distinct”. The Maine legislature acknowledged the right of their Indigenous people “to preserve their own visions of social and economic development.”
Lines of DISSENT have been drawn. Indigenous Peoples who never abandoned their traditional religions, ceremonies, languages, etc. are demanding equal rights and we now have broad support in our own States, in the USA and abroad. WE THE PEOPLE CALLED QUINNIPIAC demand our inalienable RIGHTS to Self-Determination / Self-Identity and Equal Protection of the White Man’s Laws under the U.S. Constitution.
We ask our friends, neighbors, and allies to write, call or email your Congressmen, Connecticut legislators and join us in demanding they make vital changes in Indian Policy, and to adopt the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, not a sham substitute but the entire document, just as the State of Maine did.
Arumshemcoke / Thank You Kindly.