Kevin Abourezk: A new Indian policy commission
"Once each generation, Americans get an opportunity to redefine themselves and their society.

A chance to recalibrate obsolete government institutions to better meet the people's needs.

A chance to critically re-examine and adjust their national priorities.

A chance to address lingering social problems and injustices.

A lawyer who's spent much of his career fighting for Indian rights sees last fall's political upheaval and this winter's economic crisis as one such generational opportunity.

"I think the cycle is coming around again to revisit tribal injustices," said Daniel Sheehan, president of the Rapid City, S.D.-based Lakota People's Law Project, a nonprofit law office committed to addressing human rights abuses against Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people.

With the November election of a president ostensibly committed to helping Native people, a rare window to affect meaningful and lasting change in Indian Country exists, Sheehan said.

But before real progress on Native can issues can take place, national and tribal leaders must first define their priorities. They must decide which, among the myriad catastrophic problems tribes face, they must first confront."

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: Lawyer Touts Need for Indian Commission (RezNet News 4/2)

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