Steven Newcomb: Non-Indian, anti-Indian law
"The dominant society of the United States presumes that American Indian nations and peoples are obligated to accept and live in accordance with a non-Indian perspective on American Indian existence. Unfortunately, we as Indian people don’t spend enough time challenging that presumption. Non-Indian government officials created the ideas that are now referred to as federal Indian law. Those ideas may be typically called “laws,” or “the law,” but they began as the ideas of non-Indian people nonetheless. These are ideas that have become conventional and institutionalized over a long period of time, and called by the name “law.” Such ideas are a form of non-Indian law.

Non-Indian, anti-Indian law is comprised of a body of ideas (called “a system”) that were mentally created and designed by non-Indian people working as official representatives of the government of the United States. I use the term “anti-Indian” because the effect of these ideas has been to bind, contain, limit and control originally free and independent Indian nations so as to render them not free, and to take over and profit from the vast majority of the lands, waters and resources of Indian nations.

How ironic. At the same time that the people of the United States have prided themselves on their own tradition of liberty, they have worked simultaneously for more than two centuries to deprive originally free Indian nations of their own liberty. The American people have done this as a means of benefiting from the trillions of dollars in wealth to be gained by taking over and exploiting Indian lands and waters found in the traditional territories of Indian nations."

Get the Story:
Steven Newcomb: On non-Indian, anti-Indian law (Indian Country Today 5/1)

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