Steven Newcomb: Uncomfortable truth about Indian law
"For some 40 years now, Indian people have been attending law schools, getting their law degrees, passing bar exams, and entering the non-Indian legal profession. Federal Indian law attorneys are practitioners of a non-Indian law system that was historically designed by the United States to control and contain Indian nations, and to seize the vast majority of Indian lands, waters and traditional territories.

Attorneys who specialize in federal Indian law have learned a particular way of thinking and writing about U.S. legal decisions pertaining to Indian issues. However, almost all these attorneys seem to have a blind spot when it comes to the beginning premise of federal Indian law.

That premise is this: Because the ancestors of the non-Indian society were “Christian people,” and our indigenous ancestors were not, the non-Indian society of the United States has presumed itself to have an unquestionable right to exert an ultimate control over indigenous nations and to expropriate our traditional territories and waters for the profit, growth, and economic viability of the society of the United States.

The uncomfortable truth is that the vast majority of the federal Indian law attorneys, even those who are Indian, have been unwilling to explicitly condemn the presumed supremacy of “Christian people” as the basis for the initial premise of U.S. federal Indian law: Because our Native ancestors were labeled “heathens and infidels” when Christian monarchies invasively arrived to this hemisphere, the United States is supposedly entitled to exert plenary power (ultimate sovereign control) over our respective Indian nations and over our traditional territories."

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Steven Newcomb: An uncomfortable truth (Indian Country Today 1/11)