State Craft, Nations and Sharing Governmental Power by Rudolph C. Ryser presented before the seminar on Arrangements for Self- Determination by Indigenous Peoples, Feb 1994
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            S T A T E   C R A F T,   N A T I O N S   A N D
          S H A R I N G   G O V E R N M E N T A L   P O W E R

                           Rudolph C. Ryser 
                  Center for World Indigenous Studies 
            (c)1995 Center For World Indigenous Studies and 
           International Work Group For Indigenous Affairs. 

        This article was published in IWGIA Document No. 76, 
        "Indigenous Peoples Experiences with Self-Government", 
        proceedings of the seminar on arrangements for self-
        determination by Indigenous Peoples within national 
        states, 10 and 11 February 1994, University of 

          Exercising governmental power within the framework of a 
     state has evolved since the 1648 Peace of Westphalia into a 
     generally accepted system predicated on the principles of 
     legal universality and of individual rights.  While the 
     actual arrangements for implementing these principles in 
     each state vary the principles remain defining features of 
     the state.  Despite the rationalist's certainty that human 
     freedom, liberty and equality are best served by the 
     universalist/individualist formulation, ample historical and 
     contemporary evidence exists to suggest such certainty is 
     not well founded -- indeed such certainty may prevent 
     realization of evolving principles that may better serve 
     human societies. 

          In this essay I will discuss developing arrangements 
     for indigenous nations to govern themselves and examine the 
     new political realities flowing from the collapse of 
     numerous internationally recognized states.  These new 
     conditions demand a new formulation for sharing governmental 
     power.  The universalist state clashes with persistent human 
     requirements for cultural diversity, and increasingly it is 
     apparent that the state is in violent conflict with 
     biological diversity as well.  The movement for self-
     determination of "indigenous peoples" reflects the long 
     struggle between those who seek the permanent establishment 
     of the state and the original nations on top of which the 
     state was established.  Leaders of the original nations call 
     for respect of diverse cultural realities and international 
     recognition of collective rights, while the leaders of 
     states demand unswerving loyalty to singular state cultures 
     and individual rights.  Given the more than 6000 culturally 
     distinct nations and the 192 recognized states, it would 
     seem there is no contest.  The sheer number of nations would 
     seem to outweigh the states.  Numbers help create illusions, 
     however.  The state systems, indeed each state, developed 
     through the power of gun powder.  This was true in 1648 and 
     during the American and French revolutions of the late 18th 
     century.  To a large extent, it remains true that whomever 
     controls the greatest fire power in weapons, controls the 
     state.  Too often, it is through gun powder that power in 
     the state is held by a ruling class drawn from immigrant 
     populations or by one nation ruling many other nations 
     without their consent.  A result, nations find themselves 
     engaged in violent conflicts with states, defensive wars, 
     that number as many as 82 conflicts (1993) world-wide. 

          Despite this rather dark picture, there are some 
     hopeful indicators suggesting the possibility of new and 
     constructive alternatives.  Through the efforts of scores of 
     talented and far-sighted individuals, the United Nations has 
     provided a forum for discussions of the situation of the 
     world's original nations since 1982 through the United 
     Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations.  This forum 
     has given impetus to many more meetings internationally and 
     inside existing states between nations' and states' 
     representatives.  They have engaged in discussions about 
     changing state constitutions, shared or autonomous control 
     over educational systems, health systems, policing of 
     national territories, and regulation of natural resources.  
     Such discussions have occurred quietly, without much fanfare 
     in both Europe and North America and to a lesser extent 
     elsewhere in the world. 

          In Europe where there are 130 nations inside the 
     boundaries of 35 states these discussions have been taking 
     place within the framework of the European Community (EC).  
     Two forces are converging in Europe to create a "Europe of 
     Nations and Regions."[1] The nations and regions of Europe 
     seeking local control and less centralized methods of 
     solving local problems constitute one major force.  The 
     other force is the EC proponents of a Federal Europe who 
     regard the states and their claim to sovereignty as an 
     obstacle to achieving their goal.  These not insignificant 
     forces are joined in a common venture by the principle of 
     subsidiarity where decision-making is placed at the "scale 
     most appropriate to the problem."[2] The political movement 
     in Europe extends to Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, 
     Italy, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Portugal, United 
     Kingdom, Ireland and Greece.[3] New and constructive 
     arrangements in each of these states often place a nation or 
     region in the position of primary decision-maker on 
     increasingly wider issues including education, public works, 
     natural resource management, banking and trade.  If this 
     trend continues, states in Europe will soon be regarded as 
     "multi-national organizations" representing remnants of 
     earlier stages of political development.  Indeed, given the 
     inability of states' governments to deal with such large 
     international problems as "international crime syndicates," 
     environmental disasters -- natural (like hurricanes killing 
     more than 100,000 people in the Chittagong region of 
     Bangladesh) and human created (like the Chernobyl nuclear 
     explosion that crossed states' borders), and "regional 
     conflicts," as well as "local problems" of poverty and 
     famine it is difficult to conceive of a long-term future 
     role for the state.  The nations and regions of Europe seem 
     to point the way for one approach to meeting the needs of 
     nations as well as those who see the need for large umbrella 
     structures which extend over very large pieces of geography.  
     The principle of subsidiarity may be an appropriate and 
     workable solution to the conflict between nations and 
     states, and, thus provide an important model for the 
     exercise of governmental power by the world's original 

          In the United States of America, another process is 
     underway where America's original nations have begun to 
     engage the state to build a framework for government to 
     government relations.  Beginning in 1964, Indian nations 
     started to seeking direct control over their social, 
     economic and political affairs.  Much of this developing 
     movement started with tribal councils promulgating their own 
     laws for land use within the boundaries of reservations.  
     Since there were relatively few non-tribal members living 
     inside the boundaries of reservations directly affected by 
     these new laws, there was initially little challenge.  When 
     these laws began to affect non-tribal members, resistance 
     began to grow.  Tribal governments claimed their "inherent 
     right to govern" inside the reservation boundaries and 
     sought to demonstrate U.S. agreement to these claims by 
     pointing to a treaty with the United States. 

          While many Indian nations had during the 19th century 
     concluded more than 400 treaties with the United States 
     (concerning peace-making arrangements and cession of 
     hostilities, land cessions, and ingress/egress through 
     Indian territories among other things) no arrangements had 
     been established to join Indian governments and the U.S. 
     government.  Despite occupying neighboring territories and 
     the U.S. government claiming dominion over all the lands 
     from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans, no political power-
     sharing arrangements took form.  The U.S. and Indian tribes 
     saw themselves as politically separate entities.  On the 
     basis of this experience, Indian nation leaders like Joe 
     Gary (Spokane/Cour d'Alene Tribes), Earl Old Person 
     (Blackfeet), Mel Tonasket (Colville Confederated Tribes) and 
     Joe DeLaCruz (Quinault) each in their turn called on the 
     United States to recognize the right of Indian nations to 
     exercise the right of self-determination.  Each called on 
     the United States to recognized the right of each Indian 
     nation to govern itself. 

          President Lyndon B. Johnson was the first U.S. 
     president to endorse the principle of self-determination 
     being extended to Indian nations.[4] On March 6, 1968, 
     President Johnson established by Executive Order the 
     National Council on Indian Opportunity (NCIO) -- a new U.S. 
     governmental body established to facilitate Indian 
     participation in U.S. government decision-making concerning 
     Indian Policy.  The new organ of government with all of its 
     members appointed by the President of the United States.  
     The Executive Order provided that the NCIO would have the 
     Vice President of the U.S., Secretaries of the Departments 
     of the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Health, Education 
     and Welfare, Housing and Urban Development and the Director 
     of the Office of Economic Opportunity.  The Council was also 
     to include six members chosen by the President of the United 
     States from Indian nations.  The Council did not become 
     active until the election of the next administration when 
     membership was increased to include the Attorney General and 
     two more representatives of Indian Nations.  In January of 
     1970, the Indian members of the Council announced their view 
     of this new body: that it would pursue an ambitious agenda 
     of new programs and new policy for Indian Country.[5] Indian 
     leaders hailed the National Council on Indian Opportunity as 
     a new and vital connection to the President and power to 
     implement favorable U.S. policy toward Indian peoples.  Many 
     Indian people throughout Indian Country regarded NCIO as 
     just another imposition of bureaucracy to further strangle 
     Indian aspirations.  While NCIO did eventually contribute 
     several important studies on Indian Affairs and stimulated 
     the development and issuance of a new U.S. policy on Indian 
     Self-Determination, the agency actually had very little 
     influence in the halls of the White House.  The Council's 
     organization contributed importantly to this lack of 

        The structure of the organization included four parts: 
        the Vice President and his own personal staff; the 
        Indian members; representatives of federal agencies; 
        and the Council staff.  Each organizational unit 
        tended to function as a separate part, with the 
        Council staff acting as a sort of liaison between the 
        other three parts.  During the Johnson years of NCIO 
        the Indian members of the Council were selected and 
        appointed on the basis of experience and their 
        representation of Indian interests.  During the Nixon 
        years the Indian members were selected and appointed 
        on the basis of their loyalty to the Nixon 
        administration's goals and objectives.[6] 

          Though the NCIO started out with good intentions and 
     with considerable vigor, within a few years it became an 
     "insidious political instrument"[7] filled with internal 
     dissension and derided by Indian leaders throughout Indian 
     Country.  The Council's Executive Director was a strong 
     partisan of the Nixon Administration who viewed the NCIO as 
     an instrument to advance the political interests of the 
     Administration and not as an instrument of policy 
     development on Indian Affairs.  Despite the ultimate failure 
     of the National Council on Indian Opportunity, its early and 
     quick start produced an important policy change that had 
     long-term importance.  The Council is widely credited with 
     being the source and impetus for the Indian Self-
     Determination Policy issued by the White House.  It was on 
     July 8, 1970 that the "right of self-determination" was 
     officially pronounced as U.S. government policy applying to 
     Indian tribes by President Richard M. Nixon.  Despite its 
     rocky origins, the new policy began a new era in U.S./Indian 
     nation relations, and so to began the search for a mechanism 
     or mechanisms to facilitate Indian participation in the 
     formulation of new policy and programs for Indian Country. 

          On October 24, 1974, in San Diego, California the 
     National Congress of American Indians met in its 31st Annual 
     Session and promulgated the American Indian Declaration of 
     Sovereignty which became a signal sent by Indian nations to 
     the United States government that they were prepared to 
     reassume governing powers in accord with their right of 
     self-determination.  The Congress of the United States added 
     its endorsement to the movement toward Indian self-
     determination by enacting the Indian Self-Determination and 
     Education Assistance Act of 1975 (PL 93-638).  Another joint 
     Indian nation/U.S agency was established to review, consider 
     and recommend new administrative and legislative initiatives 
     to improve U.S. government policy toward Indian nations.  
     The U.S. Congress established the American Indian Policy 
     Review Commission in 1975 with a membership of 3 Senators 3 
     Congressmen and 5 Indian representatives acting as 
     individual advocates for the more than three hundred Indian 
     tribes and communities.  After two years of conducting 
     research, public hearings and consultations with U.S. and 
     Indian publics, the Commission issued more than 200 
     recommendations for changes in U.S. laws, regulations, 
     policies and practices concerning civil and criminal 
     jurisdiction on Indian reservations, economic and natural 
     resource management, procedures for U.S. recognition of more 
     than 100 Indian tribes not administratively recognized by 
     U.S. government agencies, Indian religious freedom, health 
     policy changes, education and organization of U.S. 
     government agencies responsible for dealing with Indian 
     Affairs.  The Commission produced the most sweeping 
     recommendations for changes in Indian Affairs policy ever 
     produced by the United States government.  Despite its 
     important recommendations, the Commission was unable to 
     directly respond to one of its key mandates:  Consider and 
     make recommendations for alternative elective bodies for 
     Indian people to participation in the federal policy 
     formation process.  The Commission took the recommendation 
     of the task force assigned responsibility for this question: 

        It is our opinion that because the legal or political 
        status of tribes today, as discussed herein, is not 
        settled, the tribal governments are reluctant to 
        release what authority they now have or to permit it 
        to be further undermined; that a voluntary intertribal 
        affiliations method is growing; and there is doubt of 
        the sincerity of the federal government to provide an 
        indefinite status without termination.  Tribes could 
        assume that benefits would accrue if PL 93-580 studies 
        result in Congress improving its record and allowing 
        stronger application of self-determination and self-

          The Commission concluded with Indian leaders that more 
     local control by Indian tribes was more desirable than 
     establishing an elective body which represented each of the 
     Indian nations in relations with the United States 
     government.  Despite this view, attempts were repeated in 
     the U.S. government and in relation with individual state 
     governors and Attorneys General from 1977 onward to form 
     intergovernmental policy-making bodies.  Where general 
     policy advice was being sought, U.S. government officials 
     and Indian government officials shared responsibility on an 
     equal plane.  However, when regulatory power vested in a 
     governmental entity must be exercised, Indian government 
     representation is little more than perfunctory.  The Pacific 
     Ocean Salmon Fishery Commission has representatives from the 
     federal government, and state governments proportional to 
     their responsibility.  Indian nations have one 
     representative thought their responsibility runs the full 
     coastline from the Canadian to the Mexican borders with the 
     United States.  The National Indian Gaming Commission, 
     established by the United States government to regulate 
     gambling enterprises on Indian reservations, has three 
     members.  All three members, appointed by the President, are 
     non-Indians.  After some pressure from the Chairman of the 
     U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on President Clinton 
     consideration is now being given to appointing an attorney 
     who is an Indian as Chairman of the Commission.[9] 

          As the illustrations above indicate, though there have 
     been virtually no formal agreements or other constructive 
     arrangements at the federal level of state government for 
     permitting Indian nations to participate in the regulation 
     of broad issues of public policy, there have been some 
     attempts at establishing advisory bodies.  Advisory 
     positions in the federal government have been used to give 
     guidance to U.S. officials who actually have the power to 
     effect public policy. 

          Indeed, this pattern of involving Indian nations in the 
     exercise of governmental power within the U.S. federal 
     system has been repeated at the state level where governors 
     or other officials of state government invite tribal 
     officials to sit on advisory boards, to suggest policy to 
     persons holding the power of state government. 

          While the advisory role Indian officials have played in 
     the U.S. government and various state governments has give 
     Indian officials extensive knowledge of the functioning of 
     those governments virtually any participant or observer 
     would readily agree that no governmental power sharing is 
     actually occurring.  Officials in the U.S. government 
     clearly reserve the right to ignore Indian official advice, 
     and one must admit this is the rule rather than the 
     exception.  The same is general true with domestic state 
     governments.  Recognizing this reality, Indian leaders began 
     in the late 1970s to formulate a new approach to working 
     with the U.S. government and neighboring domestic state 
     governments: Negotiating a framework for the conduct of 
     government to government relations. 

          Indian leaders began to recognize fully in the early 
     1980s that the United States government would not, and could 
     not without a change in its Constitution, engage in power 
     sharing arrangements with Indian nations.  The only workable 
     arrangement for conducting U. S. and Indian nation relations 
     would be as the American Indian Policy Review Commission 
     concluded: improve the self-determination and self-
     government capabilities of Indian nations.  Toward this end, 
     Indian nations (particularly in the northwest part of the 
     United States) proposed that the United States government 
     enter into discussions to form a Tri-Party Inter-
     governmental Mechanism organized on the principle of 
     mutually recognized sovereign powers and government to 
     government relations.[10] Indian government, domestic state 
     government and federal government representatives were 
     proposed as co-equal members responsible for resolving 
     inter-governmental disputes.  The Tri-partite 
     Intergovernmental Mechanism was urged in recognition that 
     Indian nations were not a part of the U.S. federal 
     system.[11] Only a few U.S. Senators[12] expressed any 
     interest in the tribal proposal.  Indeed, the proposal 
     received no other serious attention from U.S. officials. 

          Despite the failure of U.S. government response, 
     President Ronald Reagan did announce a new U.S./Indian 
     Policy in 1983 declaring the United States government's 
     commitment to conduct relations with Indian nations on a 
     government to government basis and to promote tribal self-
     government.[13] By 1987, through the initiative of the 
     Quinault, Lummi, Jamestown S'Klallam and Hoopa nations, the 
     so-called Reagan government-to-government policy was being 
     translated into new bi-lateral treaties between Indian 
     nations and the United States.  On the way to negotiating 
     and concluding bi-lateral Self-Governance Compacts in 1990, 
     Indian nations in the domestic state of Washington 
     negotiated in 1989 a multi-lateral Accord with that state's 
     governor to establish a government-to-government framework 
     between tribal governments and the state government.[14] 
     This flurry of treaty-making with the federal government and 
     mutual agreement with a domestic state created new 
     conditions for intergovernmental relations between Indian 
     nations, domestic states and the federal government.[15]  
     Though no formal inter-governmental mechanism has been 
     formed, the legal framework for inter-governmental relations 
     has been formed between some Indian nations, the federal 
     government and neighboring domestic states. 

          Instead of sharing governmental powers, Indian nations, 
     the federal government and domestic states have moved to 
     exercise their separate and inherent governmental powers 
     along side each other while attempting to discover areas of 
     dispute that can be resolved by negotiations.  In much the 
     same way, though by way of a different process, Indian 
     nations in the United States have begun to move along a path 
     similar to the nations and regions in Europe.  Instead of 
     sharing power, each is exercising governmental authority 
     appropriate to its scale and proximity to the problem: 
     Another form of expressing the principle of subsidiarity.  
     Nations are maintaining their safe distance from control by 
     a central authority while not threatening the breakup of the 
     state.  They exercise powers of government which if 
     conflicting with the interests of the state can be resolved 
     within a framework of mutuality.  In widely publicized 
     meeting between more than 300 tribal officials and President 
     Bill Clinton the U.S. President issued an Executive Order 
     directing "federal agencies to deal directly with tribal 
     councils and to consult the councils before making any 
     decisions regarding the tribes' natural resources."[16] If 
     this trend continues in the United States America and in 
     Europe, self-government exercised by the world's original 
     nations may not be seen as so much of a threat by other 
          A new era is emerging where nations and states must 
     seek early accommodation and cooperation to avoid a future 
     of conflict that would plunge nations and states into a 
     period of darkness.  It is no accident that after the 
     collapse of several of the worlds' more prominent states 
     long persistent bedrock nations re-emerge to claim their 
     responsibility as full members of the international 

          The lessons we must collectively learn from the 
     experience of political events over the last three years 
     include these:  
     1.  The State system is not perfect, it is an experiment of 
         human problem-solving that does not always lend itself 
         well to solving problems for all of humanity.  
     2.  Nations are natural human organisms which persist and 
         must have an acknowledged place as active participants 
         in international intercourse coexisting with states.  
     3.  Where States exist and serve the needs of human society 
         they should be nurtured and celebrated, but where States 
         fail to serve the needs of human society, they should be 
         allowed to disassemble in a planned process which 
         permits the nations within to systematically reassume 
         their governing responsibilities.  
     4.  If a State is no longer viable politically and 
         economically and it does not have distinct nations 
         within, its structure should be replaced temporarily 
         with international supervision followed by the formation 
         of an internationally recognized variant of human 
         organizational structures deemed appropriate to the 
         extant human cultures and geography of an area such as a 
         trust territory, freely associated state, commonwealth, 
         or other configuration established for a protected 
         population; such a non-self-governing status must have 
         the potential of being changed to a self-governing 
         status in the future. Finally, 
     5.  Nations which do not wish to remain within an existing 
         state, must have the logical option of changing their 
         political status through peaceful negotiations; and 
         nations which choose not to leave a state should be 
         permitted to exercise self-governing powers appropriate 
         to their scale and to their proximity to the problem 
         requiring governmental decisions. 

          As of the present date, there are 192 States that 
     comprise the members of the world's state system of 
     governments.  Of these states, 183 are members of the United 
     Nations, fewer are members of the International Court of 
     Justice, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, 
     and the International Labour Organization.  The "State" is a 
     rational organizational construct created to solve specific 
     social, economic and political problems, and it is made 
     legitimate by virtue of recognition extended to it by other 
     established states. All established States are said to be 
     sovereign political personalities having the recognized 
     capacity to protect their own borders, carry out political 
     intercourse with other states and perform those necessary 
     activities (economic, social and political in character) 
     sufficient to maintain the loyalty of an established number 
     of human beings.  Not all of these States can be accurately 
     described as politically and economically viable.  Indeed, 
     no fewer than thirty States are in a condition of perpetual 
     disarray, collapse, or they are essentially defunct 
     political and legal organisms.  International institutions 
     and neighboring states which deem the continuity of even 
     defunct states as essential to their own stability are 
     obliged to provide support politically, militarily and 
     financially.  Instead of strengthening the state system, 
     this process tends to further weaken an increasingly 
     fractured system. 

          More to the point of my dissertation, however, is that 
     the economic and sometimes political instability of some 
     states and the efforts to prop up crumbling states is 
     bringing other states into direct conflict with nations 
     inside these states.  United Nations joint forces are at 
     this moment militarily fighting nations inside several 
     collapsed states.  So committed are statists to the 
     continuity of the State System that they insist that a 
     failed state must continue even though there is no will or 
     capacity to ensure its normal operation.   The nations which 
     often make the soul of a state become the objects of 
     derision and attack.  States denounce and fear 
     "nationalism," or the commitment one has to the persistence 
     of a nation.  Nationalism is regarded as a primitive; 
     emotionalism that undermines efforts to achieve "higher 
     forms of human civilization."  In reality, properly 
     respected, the nation stands as the foundation of human 
     organization essential for human survival.  Without the 
     nation, the State could have never come into existence.  The 
     State could not long survive without national forbearance -- 
     and, so, recent events would seem to bear this view out. 

          There are between six thousand and nine thousand 
     bedrock nations in the world. They are culturally diverse 
     and that diversity reflects the ecological diversity of the 
     Earth.  Human nations, located in their particular places 
     demonstrate the success of natural adaptation and human 
     creative energy.  They persist because nations satisfy human 
     spiritual, social, economic, and political (cultural) needs.  
     Nations are evolved human organisms, self-identified, 
     including members who share a common culture, heritage, 
     language and geographic place.  Their existence is not 
     dependent on size, and their identity is essentially 
     determined by their culture.  The culture of each nation is 
     determined by the relationship between the people and the 
     land.  A nation is large enough to ensure the needs of its 
     constituents, but small enough to ensure consistency with 
     human scale. 

          The nation, the human organism from which all humans 
     originate, is the parent of the state.  It is from the heart 
     of nations that the concept of the state arose.  The 
     rational state is another of the many experiments attempted 
     to constructively advance the human condition.  As the 
     parent from which the state springs, each nation is 
     obligated to ensure that the state fulfills its purposes.  
     But, when the experiment fails, there is no obligation to 
     force the continued existence of a state.  The nation, is 
     more than adequate to serve as an independent international 
     personality on its own.  It is quite realistic that the 
     world's political landscape contain both nations and states 
     as independent political entities. 

          While states will continue to perform their function 
     and nations will continue to function within the framework 
     of individual states, some states cannot continue to exist.  
     Many nations do not chose to become states or remain within 
     state structures.  Given these realistic conditions, we must 
     seek to ensure the peaceful means for a world in which both 
     states and nations coexist.  We must work to establish 
     concepts like the principle of subsidiarity as an 
     alternative to violence between nations and states.  We must 
     establish new international institutions, new international 
     tools for providing the transition from a world of states to 
     a world of nations and states.  We must provide the means 
     for nations to resolve long-standing disputes between them--
     most will be concerned with unresolved land and natural 
     resource questions.  We must also provide the means for 
     nations and states to resolve disputes between them after 
     the collapse of a state as well as before the collapse.  
     Finally, we must create new transitional structures between 
     nations, and nations and states to replace crumbling state 
     structures to minimize violent conflicts and maximize 
     systematic peaceful change. 

          There is room for new international institutions along 
     side the United Nations as clearly indicated by the 
     existence of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in 
     Europe which came into being as a result of the Helsinki 
     Final Act.  New institutions which permit the direct, 
     coequal participation of nations and states are now 
     essential for the construction of a new international 
     political order.  The breakup of states like Yugoslavia need 
     not result in the terror that is now being experienced in 
     Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia.  Sustained, long-term conflicts 
     like the war between the Burmese state and the Karen, Kachin 
     and Shan nations are remnants of a failed British colonial 
     policy and should be brought to a swift end by 
     internationally sanctioned peace negotiations.  The war 
     between the Jumma Peoples and the government of Bangladesh 
     should be ended through peaceful negotiations, mediated and 
     sanctioned internationally.  The expansion of states into 
     national territories like the Peoples Republic of China's 
     occupation of Tibet must be halted and brought to a 
     negotiation table for peaceful disengagement.  The war in 
     Guatemala continues and the wars between the Indonesian 
     government, the peoples of West Papua, East Timor and South 
     Molucca continue unabated -- all demanding internationally 
     sanctioned intervention. 

          These are not civil wars, but conflicts between states 
     and nations.  They are conflicts which result from the 
     failure of the state to perform its function.  They are 
     conflicts resulting from a failure of states to ensure the 
     full sharing of political power by all nations within the 
     framework of the state.  The Geneva Conventions of 1949 
     provide the initial context within which new international 
     institutions and mechanisms can be fashioned to directly 
     address the conflicts between states and nations and between 
     nations after the collapse of a state.  Protocols I and II 
     of the Geneva Conventions directly address conflicts between 
     states and between nations and states.[17] Initiatives by 
     nations and constructive efforts by some states can serve as 
     the impetus for new international mechanisms for peaceful 
     conflict resolution based in part on the Geneva Conventions 
     and particularly on Protocols I and II. 

          The new political era of nations and states into which 
     we are now passing demands that the world's nations resume 
     their duty as active participants in the formulation of 
     international rules of conduct.  What we now call indigenous 
     nations, must become co-equal partners with states as 
     international political personalities.  They must assume 
     their responsibilities as mature political personalities 
     with a full commitment to the restoration of mutual 
     coexistence between nations and states.  Nations must fully 
     commit themselves to the advancement of human rights and the 
     democratization of international relations.  Nations must 
     also adopt existing international instruments for the 
     promotion of peaceful relations between peoples, and they 
     must work to establish new international instruments for the 
     establishment of peaceful relations between nations and 
     between nations and states. 

          States governments are obliged to recognize that they 
     do sometimes fail to adequately serve the peoples for which 
     they were established.  States governments must embrace the 
     changing world which includes many kinds of political 
     personalities -- not just states.  The state system is 
     useful for some purposes, but not all peoples in the world 
     must live within a state structure.  Where there are no 
     mechanisms for nation and state cooperation, states must 
     reach out to the nation and seek accommodation.  States 
     governments must rework their foreign policies to recognize 
     that nations are a part of the international fabric -- an 
     essential element of the international arena.  They must 
     learn the courage to seek constructive new relations with 
     nations to maximize cooperation and mutual benefit. 

          In a new age unfolding we are confronted by our 
     greatest hopes and wishes.  We hope for accommodation in 
     Europe and accommodation becomes the practical, daily 
     demand.  We hope for peaceful settlements in the Middle 
     East, and the State of Israel and the Palestinian nation 
     engage in fourteen fateful days of negotiations for peaceful 
     accommodation.  In North America, the South Pacific Ocean 
     and in Africa, new measures of courage are being realized as 
     representatives of nations and representatives of states 
     have begun to move toward peaceful accommodation, 
     coexistence and cooperation.  But, as these hopes are now 
     being realized, we are also discovering the need for new 
     courage and new creativity in diplomatic relations.  Things 
     are not as "perfectly orderly" as we would want.  The 
     tendency is to move swiftly to an "authoritarian order" 
     instead of a condition of mutual equality and cooperation.  
     Diversity is sloppy and uncomfortable at times, but the new 
     political era of nations and states is necessarily a mirror 
     of the cultural diversity of humanity.  We are looking at 
     reality when we see many thousands of nations and scores of 
     states.  We are seeing the success of human beings in their 
     many nations.  We are seeing the experiments of the human 
     spirit when we see the scores of states.  Reality demands 
     that we stretch our minds to find ways to creatively 
     accommodate the many differences we see among human beings.  
     Reality demands that we accept the challenge of human 

          I propose that the world's states governments join with 
     the governments of the world's nations to form a temporary 
     Congress of Nations and States to develop new international 
     protocols which provide for new approaches to dispute 
     resolution between nations, and nations and states. New 
     structures, perhaps based in the Geneva Protocols I and II, 
     for resolving existing conflicts between nations and nations 
     and states should also be developed.  The Congress of 
     Nations and States should build on the constructive 
     discussions among many nations and many states that have 
     been continuing at non-government conferences and within the 
     United Nations under the direction of the Economic and 
     Social Council for the last twenty years.  Such a Congress 
     must take into account successful approaches to cooperative 
     engagement between nations as states like those developments 
     emerging in Europe and the United States of America. 

          The opportunity exists now like never before in history 
     for nations to fulfill their obligations as mature members 
     of the international community to work toward a peaceful 
     world.  States, the children of nations, must turn now to 
     realistically work with nations to build a democratized 
     international community which ensures broad support by all 
     of the peoples of the world. 

          This is not simple idealism.  The means exist for 
     representatives of nations and states to begin the process 
     of constructively re-ordering the world.  A new political 
     order is before us.  We need now only to understand 
     ourselves and our purpose to establish a peaceful and 
     creative political climate for human development.  We must 
     put aside our fears and exercise maturity and courage to 
     take the next step in the new era of nations and states. 

                               N O T E S 

     1. Griggs, Richard A. (1993)  The Role of Fourth World 
     Nations and Synchronous Geopolitical Factors in the 
     Breakdown of the State. Doctoral dissertation for Ph.D. in 
     Geography, University of California - Berkeley: 164 

     Dr. Richard A. Griggs coined this phrase in his doctoral 
     dissertation. In his discussion of Europe's developing 
     regionalism he notes in his footnote 6: "This term 'Europe 
     of Regions' was developed by the Breton nationalist Yann 
     Fouere in his pioneering work, L'Europe aux Cents Drapeaux 
     Paris: Presses D'Europe, 1968.  The Europe of Regions is 
     somewhat limiting since it nominally excludes nations 
     (Fouere did not intend this). To remind the reader that many 
     of these regions, and the most powerful advocates of this 
     vision, are Fourth World nations I occasionally substitute 
     my own expression a 'Europe of Nations and Regions.'" 

     2. Ibid., 163. 

     3. Ibid., Appendix C. 297-299. 

     4. Before he left office in 1968, President Johnson issued a 
     not so widely noticed statement urging recognition of the 
     right of self-determination for Indian tribes and denouncing 
     the U.S. government's policy of "terminating" Indian 
     Reservations (liquidating land and natural resources and 
     removing tribal members from the reservation and U.S. 

     5. Trimble, Charles E. "Considerations for Improved Federal-
     Indian Relations through Consultation," A Paper prepared for 
     the National Congress of American Indians, Washington, D.C. 
     May 1993: 11. 

     6. Report of Federal Administration and Structure of Indian 
     Affairs Task Force, American Indian Policy Review 
     Commission. Senate and the House of Representatives of the 
     United States of America. Washington.,D.C.: Government 
     Printing Office, September 1976, p. 75. 

     7. Trimble, 1993:13 

     8. Report on Federal Administration and Structure of Indian 
     Affairs Task Force, American Indian Policy Review 
     Commission. Senate and the House of Representatives of the 
     United States of America. Washington.,D.C.: Government 
     Printing Office, September 1976, p. 84. 

     9. Anquoe, Bunty. "Harold Monteau expected to chair National 
     Indian Gaming Commission," Indian Country Today. Volume 13, 
     Issue 43: April 20, 1994: 1,2. 

     10. Tribes and States in Conflict: A Tribal Proposal, Inter-
     Tribal Study Group on Tribal State Relations. Quinault 
     Indian Nation 1980. 

     11. Ibid., Tribal officials had concluded that "Indian 
     nations are not, nor have they ever been, a part of the U.S. 
     Federal system of governments."  This conclusion was drawn 
     from a simple inspection of the United States Constitution 
     which provides for the establishment of a federal government 
     and the "governments of the several states" but does not 
     recognize Indian nations and their governments as having 
     powers within the federation of states.  This observation 
     left Indian leaders to finally conclude that "Indian nations 
     are outside the United States and outside its political 
     system of governments." 

     12. Senator Warren G. Magnuson of the State of Washington 
     and Senator James Abourezk of South Dakota were sympathetic, 
     but took no formal action to advance the tribal proposal. 

     13. Statement by the President: Indian Policy. The White 
     House, Washington, D.C. January 24, 1983.  "Our new nation 
     continued to make treaties and to deal with Indian tribes on 
     a government-to-government basis. * * * In 1970, President 
     Nixon announced a national policy of self-determination for 
     Indian tribes.  At the heart of the new policy was a 
     commitment by the federal government to foster and encourage 
     tribal self-government. That commitment was signed into law 
     in 1975 as the Indian Self-Determination and Education 
     Assistance Act.  The Principle of self-government set forth 
     in this Act was a good starting point.  * * * However, since 
     1975, there has been more rhetoric than action. * * * This 
     Administration intends to reverse this trend by removing the 
     obstacles to self-government...." 

     14. Centennial Accord between the State of Washington and 
     Federally Recognized Tribes - June 1989. 

     15. Ryser, Rudolph C. "Resuming Self-Government in Indian 
     Country," Hamline Law Review.May 1994.  In this essay I 
     examine the U.S. government's dual policy on the principle 
     self-determination (internal vs. external policy) and its 
     implications for the Self-Governance Compacts concluded with 
     the Quinault, Jamestwon S'Klallam, Lummi and Hoopa nations. 

     16. Broder, John M. Clinton tells 300 tribal leaders: 
     'Welcome home.' Los Angeles Times April 30, 1994. 

     17. Ryser, Rudolph C. "The Rules of War and Fourth World 
     Nations," Occasional Paper #5 Center for World Indigenous 
     Studies. September 1985.  In this essay I elaborate on the 
     applicability of Protocols I and II to conflicts between 
     nations and nations and states. 
                             S O U R C E S 

     (1989) Centennial Accord between the State of Washington and 
            Federally Recognized Tribes - June 1989. 

     (1983) Statement by the President: Indian Policy. The White 
            House, Washington, D.C. January 24, 1983. 

     (1976) Report of Federal Administration and Structure of 
            Indian Affairs Task Force, Senate and the House of 
            Representatives of the United States of America. 
            Washington.,D.C.: Government Printing Office, 
            September 1976. 

     (1994) "Harold Monteau expected to chair National Indian 
            Gaming Commission," Indian Country Today. Volume 13, 
            Issue 43: April 20, 1994. 

     (1994) Clinton tells 300 tribal leaders: 'Welcome home.' Los 
            Angeles Times April 30, 1994. 

     (1993) The Role of Fourth World Nations and Synchronous 
            Geopolitical Factors in the Breakdown of the State. 
            Doctoral dissertation for Ph.D. in Geography, 
            University of California - Berkeley. 

     (1980) Tribes and States in Conflict: A Tribal Proposal, 
            Quinault Indian Nation 1980 and excerpted in Solving 
            Intergovernmental Conflicts, Occasional Paper 19 
            Center for World Indigenous Studies 1992. 

     (1994) "Resuming Self-Government in Indian Country," Hamline 
            Law Review.May 1994. 

     (1985) "The Rules of War and Fourth World Nations," 
            Occasional Paper #5 Center for World Indigenous 
            Studies. September 1985. 

     (1993) "Considerations for Improved Federal-Indian Relations 
            through Consultation," A Paper prepared for the 
            National Congress of American Indians, Washington, 
            D.C. May 1993. 

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