Interview: Carrie Garrow discusses Haudenosaunee passport flap
"In news stories and letters to the editor of The Post-Standard, many have focused on one question: Why do the Iroquois care which passport they use? Carrie Garrow, executive director of The Center for Indigenous Law, Governance & Citizenship, at Syracuse University’s College of Law, and a member of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, spoke with staff writer Hart Seely.

One news account described the players’ view of being forced to use U.S. passports as “an attack on their identity.” What do they mean by that?
No one would ask a Canadian to travel under a passport from Switzerland or the United States. We have a right as a nation to have our own citizenship laws. We have a right to travel under our own documents.

We’ve been recognized as nations under treaties with the United States and with Great Britain, and we’re simply asking that they continue to recognize that we are nations, and that we can identify our own citizens.

How far back does this go?
Even before the forming of the U.S. Constitution, there were treaties with Great Britain and the United States. ... We predate the forming of the Constitution, which is why we are outside of its scope.

Aren’t there counter-arguments that these laws no longer apply?
Under international law, treaties are still upheld. We uphold our end of the treaties and we expect the United States to do the same. I think the U.S. would certainly articulate that they’ve broken some treaties and have a right to do so, but under international law, they are bound to uphold their word."

Get the Story:
Passports help define Haudenosaunee identity (The Syracuse Post-Standard 7/25)

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