'The recent presidential election offers an opportunity to reconsider Indian policy. No president has made a major statement about Indian policy since 1968 and 1970. What should an Indian or indigenous policy look like in the 21st century? National policy should be a two-way street that does not just serve Indians or the goals of national policy, but rather should result in mutually beneficial strategies for the future. Policy should result in greater understanding and respect between Indians and non-Indians.
The first principle of new Indian policy should recognize that effective and democratic government is based on rule by consent, but for American Indians that means consent from hundreds of traditions. American Indians will respond more favorably when they have recognized government powers of self-government based not on American law and policy, but on their own forms of political consensus and rights.
The goal of developing a new Indian policy should not be to create politically autonomous and legally impermeable tribal governments, but to extend the benefits of consensual politics to Indian governments and to the discussion of Indian policy. When Indian governments and communities see that they are respected, and are not transitional powers without their consent, then the basis will be formed for the long term mutually beneficial negotiations between tribal, federal, state and local governments that even now forms the American political system."
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Editorial: New era calls for new policy direction
(Indian Country Today 12/12)