Law | Opinion

Turtle Talk: Intolerance can lead to a weak tribal sovereign

"I have argued before, and argue again here, that Indian tribes can be intolerant. They have a “right” to do so under our current understanding of federal Indian law. Intolerant tribes are weak sovereigns. They’re about exclusion and typically endorse a narrow view of what sovereignty can mean for a tribe. In that regard, perhaps, tribes are intolerant.

But most tribes, and especially the tribes here in Michigan, are not intolerant. They cooperate with the local non-Indian communities, many of their employees and business partners are non-Indians, and they are good public citizens.

I’m pretty sure that either Indian people were not intolerant before the Europeans came but we will never really know for sure, just as I bet Bearquiver regrets making such a broad generalization (or curses the NYTs for quoting him out of context)."

Get the Story:
On Tribal Disenrollments and “Tolerance” (Turtle Talk 12/13)

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