Charles Trimble: The 51st state for Indian Country
"In an online article, Mark Charles proposed the concept for a 51st state representing Indian country in the U.S. Congress. It is an interesting concept that has been considered before, as far back as the late 1800s when the leaders of the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma proposed that “Indian Territory” be named the state of Sequoia.

More recently, the concept of a 51st state arose in the studies of the congressional American Indian Policy Review Commission in 1975-76. The commission was directed to study and recommend various arrangements for more effective Indian representation in Washington, including the election of an American Indian Congressional delegation.

This study was the last task on the commission’s agenda, but was given only cursory review as time and funds ran out. It would have been interesting to see a serious study into the political and logistical nightmare that such a decentralized Indian state would have presented, not only in the administration of the state government, but in the simple act of getting elected to represent the state in Congress.

New ideas will continue to come up for the purposes of maximizing Indian country’s political profile and collective Indian voter influence both on the state and national levels."

Get the Story:
Charles Trimble: Indian country: The 51st state? (Indian Country Today 1/23)

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