Trail of Broken Treaties 20 Points
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Entitled "Trail of Broken Treaties: For Renewal of Contracts --
Reconstruction of Indian Communities and Securing an Indian Future in 
America" the points, here reprinted in their entirety, represent a 
culmination of efforts of the Caravan Workshop, conducted in St Paul, 
Minnesota, the week ending October 27, 1972. The effort reflected 
recommendations of Caravan participants, Indian authors, Tribal leaders, 
and Indian individuals who had offered such recommendations prior to the 
formation of the Trail of Broken Treaties Native Quest For Justice. 
Principle coordinator of the recommendations was Hank Adams, Assiniboine 
Sioux who composed the final draft that follows. 


     The U.S. President should propose by executive message, and the 
Congress should consider and enact, legislation to repeal the provision 
in the 1871 Indian Appropriations Act, which withdrew federal 
recognition from Indian Tribes and Nations as political entities which 
could be contracted by treaties with the United States, in order that 
the President may resume the exercise of his full constitutional 
authority for acting in the matters of Indian Affairs -- and in order 
that Indian Nations may represent their own interests in the manner and 
method envisioned and provided in the federal Constitution. 


     The President should impanel and the Congress establish, within the 
next year, a Treaty Commission to contract a security and assistance 
treaty, or treaties, with Indian people to negotiate a national 
commitment to the future of Indian people for the last quarter of the 
Twentieth Century.  Authority should be granted to allow tribes to 
contract by separate and individual treaty, multi-tribal or regional 
groupings, or national collective, respecting general or limited subject 
matter -- and provide that no provisions of existing treaty agreements 
may be withdrawn or in any manner affected without the explicit consent 
and agreement of any particularly related Indian Nation. 


     The president and the leadership of Congress should make commitment 
now and next January to request and arrange for four Native Americans -- 
selected by Indian people at a future date, and the President of the 
United States and any designated U.S. Senators and Representatives -- to 
address a joint session of Congress and the American people through 
national communications media, regarding the Indian future within the 
American Nation, and relationships between the Federal Government and 
Indian Nations --on or before June 2, 1974, the first half-century 
anniversary of the 1924 "Indian Citizenship Act." 


     The President should immediately create a multilateral, Indian and 
non-Indian, Commission to review domestic treaty commitments and 
complaints of chronic violations, and to recommend or act for corrective 
actions, including the imposition of mandatory sanctions or interim 
restraints upon violative activities, and including formulation of 
legislation designed to protect the jeopardized Indian rights and 
eliminate the unending patters of prohibitively complex lawsuits and 
legal defenses -- which habitually have produced indecisive and 
interminate results, only too frequently forming guidelines for more 
court battles, or additional challenges and attacks against Indian 
rights.  Indians have paid attorneys and lawyers more than $40,000,000 
since 1962. Yet many Indian people are virtually imprisoned in the 
nation's courtrooms in being forced constantly to defend their rights, 
and while many tribes are forced to maintain a multitude of suits in 
numerous jurisdictions relating to the same or single issue, or a few 
similar issues.  There is less need for more attorney assistance than 
there is for institution of protections that reduce violations and 
minimize the possibilities for attacks upon Indian rights. 


     The President should resubmit to the U.S. Senate of the next 
Congress those treaties negotiated with Indian Nations or their 
representatives, but never heretofore ratified nor rendered moot by 
subsequent treaty contract with such Indians not having ratified 
treaties with the United States.  The primary purpose to be served shall 
be that of restoring the rule of law to the relationships between such 
Indians and the United States, and resuming a recognition of rights 
controlled by treaty relations. Where the failure to ratify prior 
treaties operated to affirm the cessions and the loss of title to Indian 
lands and territory, but failed to secure and protect the reservations 
of lands, rights, and resources reserved against cession, 
relinquishment, or loss, the Senate should adopt resolutions certifying 
that a prior de facto ratification has been effected by the Government 
of the United States, and direct that appropriate actions be undertaken 
to restore to such Indians an equitable measure of their reserved rights 
and ownership in lands, resources, and rights of self-government.  
Additionally, the President and the Congress should direct that reports 
be concluded upon the disposition of land rights and land title which 
were lawfully vested or held, for people of Native Indian blood under 
the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo with Mexico. 


     The Congress should enact Joint Resolution declaring that as a 
matter of public policy and good faith, all Indian people in the United 
Sates shall be considered to be in treaty relations with the Federal 
Government and governed by doctrines of such relationship. 


     The Congress should add a new section to Title 28 of the United 
States Code to provide for the judicial enforcement and protection of 
Indian Treaty Rights.  Such section should direct that, upon petition of 
any Indian Tribe or prescribed Indian groups and individuals claiming 
substantial injury to, or interference in, the equitable and good faith 
exercise of any rights, governing authority, or utilization and 
preservation of resources, secured by Treaty, mandatorily the Federal 
District Courts shall grant immediate enjoinder or injunctive relief 
against any non-Indian party or defendants, including State governments 
and their subdivisions or officers, alleged to be engaged in such 
injurious actions, until such time as the District U.S. Court may be 
reasonably satisfied that a Treaty Violation is not being committed, or 
otherwise satisfied that the Indians' interests and rights, in equity 
and in law, are preserved and protected from jeopardy and secure from 


     The Congress should by law provide for a new system of federal 
court jurisdiction and procedure, when Indian treaty or governmental 
rights are at issue, and when there are non-Indian parties involved in 
the controversy, whereby an Indian Tribe or Indian party may, by motion, 
advance the case from a federal District Court for hearing, and decision 
by the related U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  The law should provide 
that, once an interpretation upon the matter has been rendered by either 
a federal district or circuit court, an Indian Nation may, on its own 
behalf or on behalf of any of its members, if dissatisfied with the 
federal court ruling or regarding it in error respecting treaty or 
tribal rights, certify directly to the United States Supreme Court a 
"Declaratory Judgment of Interpretation," regarding the contested rights 
and drawn at the direction or under the auspices of the affected Indian 
Nation, which that Court shall be mandated to receive with the contested 
decision for hearing and final judgement and resolution of the 
controversy -- except and unless that any new treaties which might be 
contracted may provide for some other impartial body for making ultimate 
and final interpretations of treaty provisions and their application.  
In addition, the law should provide that an Indian Nation, to protect 
its exercise of rights or the exercise of treaty or tribal rights by its 
members, or when engaging in new activities based upon sovereign or 
treaty rights, may issue an interim "Declaratory Opinion on 
Interpretation of Rights", which shall be controlling upon the exercise 
of police powers or administrative authorities of that Indian Nation, 
the Unites States or any State(s), unless or until successfully 
challenged or modified upon certification to and decision by the United 
States Supreme Court -- and not withstanding any contrary U.S. Attorney 
General's opinion(s), solicitor's opinion(s), or Attorney General's 
Opinion(s) of any of the States. 

     The next Congress of the United States, and its respective houses, 
should agree at its outset and in its organization to withdraw 
jurisdiction over Indian Affairs and Indian-related program 
authorizations from all existing Committees, except Appropriations of 
the House and Senate, and create a Joint House/Senate "Committee on 
Reconstruction of Indian Relations and Programs" to assume such 
jurisdiction and responsibilities for recommending new legislation an 
program authorizations to both houses of Congress -- Including 
consideration and actions upon all proposals presented herewith by the 
"Trail of Broken Treaties Caravan" as well as matters from other 
sources. The Joint Committee membership should consist of Senators and 
Representatives who would be willing to commit considerable amounts of 
time and labor and conscientious thought to an exhaustive review and 
examining evaluation of past and present policies, program and practices 
of the Federal Government relating to Indian people;  to the development 
of a comprehensive broadly-inclusive "American Indian Community 
Reconstruction Act" which shall provide for certain of the measures 
herein proposed, repeal numerous laws which have oppressively disallowed 
the existence of a viable "Indian Life" in this country, and effect the 
purposes while constructing the provisions which shall allow and ensure 
a secure Indian future in America. 

     The next Congress and Administration should commit themselves and 
effect a national commitment, implemented by statutes or executive and 
administrative actions, to restore a permanent non-diminishing Native 
American land-base of not less than 110-million acres by July 4, 1976. 
This land base and its separate parts should be vested with the 
recognized rights and conditions of being perpetually non-taxable, 
except by autonomous and sovereign Indian authority, and should never 
again be permitted to be alienated from Native American or Indian 
ownership and control. 

     When Congress acted to delimit the President's authority and the 
Indian Nations' powers for making treaties in 1871, approximately 
135,000,000 acres of land and territory had been secured to Indian 
ownership against cession or relinquishment.  This acreage did not 
include the 1867 treaty-secured recognition of land title and rights of 
Alaskan Natives, nor millions of acres otherwise retained by Indians in 
what were to become "unratified" treaties of Indian land cession, as in 
California, nor other land areas authorized to be set aside for Indian 
Nations contracted by, but never benefitting from, their treaties.  When 
the Congress, in 1887, under the General Allotment Act and other 
measures of the period and "single system of legislation" delegated 
treaty-assigned Presidential responsibilities to the Secretary of the 
Interior and his Commissioner of Indian Affairs and agents in the Bureau 
of Indian Affairs, relating to the government of Indian relations under 
the treaties for the 135 million acres, collectively held, immediately 
became subject to loss.  The 1887 Act provided for the sale of "surplus" 
Indian lands -- and contained a formula for the assignment or allocation 
of land tracts to Indian individuals, dependent partly on family size, 
which would have allowed an average-sized allotment of 135 acres to ONE 
MILLION INDIANS -- at a time when the member of tribally-related Indians 
was less than a quarter-million or fewer than 200,000.  The Interior 
Department efficiently managed the loss of 100-million acres of Indian 
land, and its transfer to non-Indian ownership (frequently by homestead, 
not by direct purchase) in little more than the next quarter century.  
When Congress prohibited further allotments to Indian individuals, by 
its 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, it effectively determined that 
future generations of Indian people would be "landless Indians" except 
by heirship and inheritance.  (110-million acres, including 40-million 
acres in Alaska, would approximate an average of 135 acres multiplied by 
.8 million Native Americans, a number indicated by the 1970 U.S. 

     Simple justice would seem to demand that priorities in restorations 
of land bases be granted to those Indian Nations who are landless by 
fault of unratified or unfulfilled treaty provisions;  Indian Nations, 
landless because of congressional and administrative actions reflective 
of criminal abuse of trust responsibilities;  and other groupings of 
landless Indians, particularly of the landless generations, including 
many urban Indians and non-reservation Indian people -- many of whom 
have been forced to pay, in forms of deprivation, loss of rights and 
entitlements, and other extreme costs upon their lives, an "emigration-
migration-education-training" tax for their unfulfilled pursuit of 
opportunity in America -- a "tax" as unwarranted and unjustified as it 
is unprecedented in the history of human rights in mature nations 
possessed of a modern conscience. 

     The restoration of an equitable Native American Land Base should be 
accompanied by enlightened revision in the present character of alleged 
"trust relationships" and by reaffirmation of the creative and positive 
characters of Indian sovereignty and sovereign rights.  The past pattern 
of treating "trust status" as wrongful "non-ownership" of properties, 
beyond control of individual interests and "owners" could be converted 
to a beneficial method of consolidating usable land, water, forests, 
fisheries, and other exploitable and renewable natural resources into 
productive economic, cultural, and other community-purpose units, 
benefiting both individual and tribal interests in direct forms under 
autonomous control of properly-defined, appropriate levels of Indian 
government.  For example, the 13.5 million acres of multiple and 
fractionated heirship lands should not represent a collective denial of 
beneficial ownership and interests of inheriting individuals, but be 
considered for plans of collective and consolidated use.  (The 
alternatives and complexities of this subject and its discussion require 
the issuance of a separate essay at a later date.) 


     Most short-term and long-term leases of some four million acres of 
Indians' agricultural and industrial-use lands represent a constant 
pattern of mismanagement of trust responsibilities -- with the federal 
trustees knowingly and wilfully administering properties in methods and 
terms which are adverse or inimical to the interests of the Indian 
beneficiaries and their tribes.  Non-Indians have benefit of the best of 
Indian agricultural range and dry farm lands, and of some irrigation 
systems, generally having the lowest investment/highest return ratios, 
while Indians are relegated to lands requiring high investments/low 
returns.  A large-scale, if selective, program of lease cancellations 
and non-renewals should be instituted under Congressional authorization 
as quickly as possible.  As well, Indian Tribes should be authorized to 
re-secure Indian ownership of alienated lands within reservations 
boundaries under a system of condemnation for national policy purposes, 
with the federal government bearing the basic costs of "just 
compensation" as burden for unjustified betrayals of its trust 
responsibilities to Indian people.  These actions would no way be as 
extreme as the termination, nationalization, confiscation and sale of 
millions of acres of reservation land by a single measure as in the 
cases of the Menominee and Klamath Indian Tribes, and attempted 
repeatedly with the Colvilles. 


     The Congress should act immediately to repeal the Termination Acts 
of the 1950s and 1960s, and restore ownership of the several million 
acres of land to the Indian people involved, perpetually non-alienable 
and tax-exempt.  The Indians' rights to autonomous self-government and 
sovereign control of their resources and development should be 
reinstated.  Repeal of the terminal legislation would also advance a 
commitment towards a collective 110-million acre land base for Native 
Americans -- when added to the near 55-million acres already held by 
Indians, apart from the additional 40-million acres allocated in Alaska.  
(The impact of termination in its various forms has never been 
understood fully by the American people, the Congress, and many Indian 
people.  Few wars between nations have ever accomplished as much as the 
total dispossession of a people of their rights and resources as have 
the total victories and total surrenders legislated by the Termination 
Laws.  If the Arab States of the present Mid-East could comparably 
presume the same authority over the State of Israel, they could 
eliminate Israel by the purchase or by declaring it an Arab State or 
subdivision thereof;  on the one hand, evicting the Israelis from the 
newly-acquired Arab lands, or on the other, allowing the Israelis to 
remain as part of the larger Arab Nation, and justify the disposition to 
the world by the claim that, whether leaving or remaining, but without 
their nation, the Jewish people would still be Jewish. Such an 
unacceptable outrage to American people would quickly succeed to World 
War III -- except when such actions are factually taken against 
Menominees, Klamaths, Senecas, Utes, and threatened against many other 
landed nations of Indian peoples.) 

     The Congress should enact measures fully in support of the doctrine 
that an Indian Nation has complete power to govern and control its own 
membership -- by eradicating the extorsive and coercive devices in 
federal policy and programming which have subverted and denied the 
natural human relationships and natural development of Indian 
communities, and committed countless injuries upon Indian families and 
individuals.  The general prohibition against benefitting dually from 
federal assistances or tribal resources by having membership or 
maintaining relationships in more than one Indian Tribe has frequently 
resulted in denial of rights and benefits from any sources.  Blood 
quantum criteria, and closed and restrictive enrollment, and "dual 
benefits prohibitions" have generated minimal problems for Indians 
having successive non-Indian parentage involved in their ancestry -- 
while creating vast problems and complexities for full-blood and 
predominant-Indian blood persons, when ancestry or current relationships 
involve two separate Indian tribes, or more.  Full-blood Indians can 
fail to qualify for membership in any of several tribes to which they 
may be directly related if quantum-relationships happen to be in wrong 
configurations, or non-qualifying fractions.  Families have been divided 
to be partly included upon enrollments, while some children of the same 
parents are wrongly (if there are at all to be enrollments) excluded. 
There should be a restoration of Indian and tribal rights to all 
individual Indians who have been victimized and deprived by the vicious 
forms of termination effected by forced choices between multiple-related 
tribes, abusive application of blood-quantum criteria, and federally-
engineered and federally-approved enrollments.  The right of Indian 
persons to maintain, sever, or resume valid relations with several 
Indian Nations or communities unto which they are born, or acquire 
relationships through natural marriage relations or parenthood and other 
customary forms, must again be recognized under law and practice and 
also the right of Indian Nations to receive other Indian people into 
relations with them -- or to maintain relations with all their own 
people, without regard to blood-quantum criteria and federal standards 
for exclusion or restrictions upon benefits.  (It may be recognized that 
the general Indian leadership has become conditioned to accept and give 
application to these forms of terminating rights, patterns which are an 
atrocious aberration from any concepts of Indian justice and 


     State enactments under the authority conferred by the Congress in 
Public Law 280 have posed the most serious threat to Indian sovereignty 
and local self-government of any measure in recent decades. 

     Congress must now nullify those State statutes.  Represented as a 
"law enforcement" measure, PL280 robs Indian communities of the core of 
their governing authority and operates to convert reservation areas into 
refuges from responsibilities, where many people, not restricted by 
race, can take full advantage of a veritable vacuum of controlling law, 
or law which commands its first respect for justice by encouraging an 
absence of offenses. These States' acceptance of condition for their own 
statehood in their Enabling Acts -- that they forever disclaim 
sovereignty and jurisdiction over Indian lands and Indian people -- 
should be binding upon them and that restrictive condition upon their 
sovereignty be reinstated.  They should not be permitted further to gain 
from the conflict of interest engaged by such States' participation in 
enactment of Public Law 280 -- at the expense of future Indian people in 
their own communities, as well as our present welfare and well-being. 

     The Congress should enact, the Administration support and seek 
passage of, new provisions under Titles 18 and 25 of the U.S. Code, 
which shall extend the protective jurisdiction of the United States over 
Indian persons wherever situated in its territory and the territory of 
the several states, outside of Indian reservations or country, and 
provide the prescribed offenses of violence against Indian persons shall 
be federal crimes, punishable by prescribed penalties through 
prosecutions in the federal judiciary, and enforced in arrest actions by 
the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals, and other 
commissioned police agents of the United States -- who shall be 
compelled to act upon the commission of such crimes, and upon any 
written complaint or sworn request alleging an offense, which by itself 
would be deemed probable cause for arresting actions. 


     The Congress should establish a special national grand jury, 
consisting solely of Indian members selected in part by the President 
and in part by Indian people, having a continuous life and equipped with 
its own investigative and legal staff, and presided over by competent 
judicial officers, while vested with prescribed authorities of 
indictments to be prosecuted in the federal and Indian court systems.  
This grand jury should be granted jurisdiction to act in the bringing of 
indictments on basis of evidence and probable cause within any federal 
judicial district where a crime of violence has been committed against 
an Indian and resulted in an Indian's death, or resulted in bodily 
injury and involved lethal weapons or aggressive force, when finding 
reason to be not satisfied with handling or disposition of a case or 
incident by local authorities, and operating consistent with federal 
constitutional standards respecting rights of an accused.  More broadly 
and generally, the grand jury should be granted broad authority to 
monitor the enforcement of law under Titles 18, 25, and 42, respecting 
Indian jurisdiction and civil rights protections;  the administration of 
law enforcement; confinement facilities and juvenile detention centers, 
and judicial systems in Indian country;  corrupt practices or violations 
of law in the administration of federal Indian agencies or of federally-
funded programs for Indian people -- including administration by tribal 
officials or tribal governmental units -- and federal employees;  and 
issue special reports bringing indictments when warranted, directed 
toward elimination of wrong-doing, wrongful administration or practices; 
and improvement recommendations for systems to ensure proper services 
and benefits to communities, or Indian people. 


     The Congress should eliminate the immunity of non-Indians to the 
general application of law and law enforcement within Reservation 
Boundaries, without regard to land or property title.  Title 18 of the 
U.S. Code should be amended to clarify and compel that all persons 
within the originally-established boundaries of an Indian Reservation 
are subject to the laws of the sovereign Indian Nation in the exercise 
of its autonomous governing authority.  A system of concurrent 
jurisdiction should be minimum requirement in incorporated towns. 


     The Administration should immediately contract an appropriately 
staffed Commission of Review on Rehabilitation of Indian Prisoners in 
federal and state institutions, funded from Safe Streets and Crime 
Control funds, or discretionary funds under control of the President, 
and consisting of Indian membership.  The review commission would 
conduct census and survey of all Indian prisoners presently confined, 
compile information on records of offenses, sentences;  actions of 
committing jurisdictions (courts, police, pre-sentence reports, 
probation and parole systems) and related pertinent data.  The basic 
objective of the review commission would be to arrange for the 
development of new systems of community treatment centers or 
national/regional rehabilitation centers as alternatives to existing 
prison situations;  to work with the Bureau of Prison and federal parole 
systems to arrange for accelerated rehabilitation and release programs 
as justified, and to give major attention to the reduction of offenses 
and recidivism in Indian communities.  The commission would act to 
provide forms by which Indian people may assume the largest measures of 
responsibility in reversing the rapidly-increasing crime rates on Indian 
reservations, and re-approaching situations where needs for jails and 
prisoner institutions may again be virtually eliminated. The Congress 
should provide appropriate authorizations in support of such effort -- 
perhaps extending the protective jurisdiction of the United States over 
Indians in State institutions, to provide for transfer to Indian-
operated rehabilitation and treatment centers, at least probations 
systems, in a bargain of responsibility for bringing about vast 
reduction in incidents of offenses among Indian communities.  (The 
$8,000,000 BIA budget for Law and Order is not directed toward such 
purposes -- spending nearly half of its present increases on new cars to 
gauge the increases in reported offenses.) 

(Note on 13 - 13c:  The U.S. has asserted its jurisdiction over Indians 
nationwide, and may now do so again protectively.  The Congress 
controlled liquor sales to Indians nationally until 1953, allowing 
prosecution for non-Indian offenders.  Education of Indians in public 
state schools is essentially a contracting of jurisdiction to States.) 


     The Congress, working through the proposed Senate-House "Joint 
Committee on Reconstruction of Indian Relations and Programs," in 
formulation of an Indian Community Reconstruction Act, should direct 
that the Bureau of Indian Affairs shall be abolished as an agency on or 
before July 4, 1976;  to provide for an alternative structure of 
government for sustaining and revitalizing the Indian-federal 
relationship between the President and the Congress of the United 
States, respectively, and the respective Indian Nations and Indian 
people at last consistent with constitutional criteria, national treaty 
commitments, and Indian sovereignty, and provide for transformation and 
transition into the new systems as rapidly as possible prior to 
abolition of the BIA. 


     The Bureau of Indian Affairs should be replaced by a new unit in 
the federal government which represents an equality of responsibility 
among and between the President, the congress, and the governments of 
the separate Indian Nations (or their respective people collectively), 
and equal standing in the control of relations between the Federal 
Government and Indian Nations. The following standards and conditions 
should be obtained: 

A.    The Office would structurally be placed in the Executive 
      Offices of the President, but be directed by a tri-partite  
      Commission of three Commissioners, one being appointed by 
      the President, one being appointed by the Joint 
      Congressional Committee, and one being selected by national 
      election among Indian people, and all three requiring 
      confirmation by the  U.S. Senate. 

  B.  The Office would be directly responsible to each the        
      President, the Congress, and Indian people, represented by 
      a newly-established National Indian Council of no more than   
      twenty members selected by combination national and 
      regional elections, for two-year terms, with half expiring 
      each year. 

  C.  All existing federal agencies and program units presently   
      involved or primarily directed toward serving Indian would 
      be consolidated under the new office, together with the 
      budget allocations of the Departments assisting Indians 
      although primarily oriented toward other concerns.  All 
      programs would be reviewed for revision of form, or 
      elimination altogether, or continuance. 

  D.  A total personnel and employee structure ceiling of no more 
      than 1,000 employees in all categories should be placed 
      upon the new office for its first five years of operation.       
      Employment in the new office would be exempt from Civil     
      Service regulations and provisions.  (The Civil Service     
      Commission and federal employee unions should be requested 
      to propose a plan for preference hiring in other agencies 
      and for transfer of benefits to new employment, for 
      presentation to Congress, incident to abolition of the BIA 
      and other Indian-related federal programs.) 

  E.  The office would maintain responsibility over its own 
      budget and planning functions, independent from any control 
      by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and should be        
      authorized a $15,000,000,000 budget, reviewing the 
      efficiency of the Office and the impact and progress of the 
      programming. The Appropriations Committees should not 
      impose undue interference in plans, but should insist upon 
      equitable treatment of all Indian Nations and general 
      Indian people who would not be denied their respective 
      direct relations with the Congress, or with the President. 

  F.  The office of Federal Indian Relations would assume the     
      administrative responsibility as trustee of Indian 
      properties and property rights, until revision of the trust 
      responsibility might be accomplished and delegated for      
      administration as a function and expression of the 
      sovereign authority of the respective Indian Nations. 


     The central purpose of the proposed "Office of Federal Indian 
Relations and Community Reconstruction" is to remedy the break-down in 
constitutionally-prescribed relationships between the United States and 
Indian Nations and people and to alleviate the destructive impact that 
distortion in those relationships has rendered upon the lives of Indian 
people.  More directly, it is proposed for allowing broad attacks upon 
the multitude or millions of problems which confront Indian lives, or 
consume them, and which cannot be eliminated by piece-meal approaches, 
jerry-built structures, or bureaucracies or by taking on one problem at 
a time, always to be confronted by many more.  The Congress with assent 
of the Courts, has developed its constitutional mandate to "regulate 
Indian commerce" into a doctrine of absolute control and total power 
over the lives of Indians -- through failing to give these concerns the 
time and attention that the responsibilities of such power demand.  The 
Congress restricted the highest authority of the President for dealing 
with Indian matters and affairs, then abandoned Indian people to the 
lowest levels of bureaucratic government for administration of its part-
time care and asserted all-powerful control.  The constitution 
maintained Indian people in citizenship and allegiance to our own 
Nations, but the Congress and the Bureau of Indian Affairs has converted 
this constitutional standard into the most bastardized forms of 
acknowledged autonomy and "sovereign self-governing control" -- scarcely 
worthy of the terms, if remaining divested of their meaning.  A central 
priority of the proposed Office should be the formulation of legislation 
designed to repeal the body of "Indian Law" that continues to operate 
most harmfully against Indian communities -- including sections of the 
1934 Indian Reorganization Act and prior legislation which instituted 
foreign forms of government upon our Nations, or which have served to 
divorce tribal government from responsibilities and accountability to 
Indian people. 

     At this point in time, there is demonstrable need for the Congress 
to exercise highest responsibilities to Indian people in order that we 
might have a future in our homeland.  This requires that Congress now 
recognize some restrictions upon its own authority to intervene in 
Indian communities and act to totally exclude the exercise of local 
tribal sovereignty and self-governing control.  The proposed Office of 
Federal Indian Relations and Community Reconstruction should be 
authorized the greatest latitude to act and to remove restrictions from 
the positive actions of Indian people.  This can be achieved if the 
Congress establishes a new Office in the manner proposed, and authorizes 
it in promising degree to operate as instrumentality of its 


     The Congress should enact a statute or Joint Resolution certifying 
that trade, commerce, and transportation of Indians remain wholly 
outside the authority, control, and regulation of the several states.  
Congressional acts should provide that complete taxing authority upon 
properties, use of properties, and income derived therefrom, and 
business activities within the exterior boundaries of Indian 
reservations, as well as commerce between reservations and Indian 
Nations, shall be vested with the respective or related tribal 
governments, or their appropriate subdivisions -- or certify that, 
consistent with the 14th Amendment, Section 2 statehood enabling acts, 
prevailing treaty commitments, and the general policy of the United 
States, that total Indian immunity to taxing authority of states is 
reaffirmed and extended with uniformity to all Indian Nations as a 
matter-established or vested right.  (These questions should not have to 
be constantly carried to the courts for reaffirmations -- disregarded as 
general law, and attacked by challenge with every discernable variation 
or difference in fact not considered at a prior trial.)  (Tribes have 
been restricted in their taxing authorities by some of the same laws 
which exclude federal or state authority.  However, there are areas 
where taxing authorities might be used beneficially in the generations 
of revenues for financing government functions, services, and community 
institutions.)  (The Congress should remove any obstacles to the rights 
of Indian people to travel freely between Indian Nations without being 
blocked in movement, commerce, or trade, by barriers of borders, 
customs, duties, or tax.) 


     The Congress shall proclaim its insistence that the religious 
freedom and cultural integrity of Indian people shall be respected and 
protected throughout the United States, and provide that Indian religion 
and culture, even in regenerating or renaissance or developing stages, 
or when manifested in the personal character and treatment of one's own 
body, shall not be interfered with, disrespected, or denied.  (No Indian 
shall be forced to cut his hair by any institution or public agency or 
official, including military authorities or prison regulation, for 
example.)  It should be an insistence by Congress that implies strict 
penalty for its violations. 


     The Indian population is small enough to be amenable to voting and 
elective processes of national referendums, local option referendums, 
and other elections for rendering decisions, approvals, or disapprovals 
on many issues and matters.  The steady proliferation of Indian and 
Indian-interest organizations and Indian advisory boards and the like, 
the multiplication of Indian officials, and the emergence of countless 
Indian "leaders", represent a less-preferable form for decision-making, 
a state of disorganization, and a clear reflection of deterioration in 
the relations between the United States and Indian people as contracting 
sovereigns holding a high standard of accountability and responsibility. 
Some Indians seem to stand-by to ratify any viewpoints relating to any 
or all Indians;  others conditioned to accept any viewpoint or proposal 
from official source.  Whereas Indian people were to be secure from 
political manipulation and the general political system in the service 
of Indian needs, political favor, and cutthroat competition for funds 
with grants made among limited alliances of agency-Indian friends have 
become the rule -- while responsibilities and accountability to Indian 
people and Indian communities have been forgotten.  While the treaty 
relationship allows that we should not be deprived by power what we are 
possessed of by right -- little personal power and political games are 
being played by a few Indians while we are being deprived of our rights.  
This dissipation of strength, energies, and commitment should end.  We 
should consolidate our resources and purpose to restore relations born 
of sovereignty and to resume command of our communities, our rights, our 
resources, and our destiny.  (The National Council on Indian 
Opportunity, Association on American Indian Affairs, and the National 
Tribal Chairman's Association are examples of government, non-Indian 
directed, and Indian organizations which are among many which should and 
could be eliminated.  At least, none should be funded from federal 


     The Congress and Administration and proposed Indian Community 
Reconstruction Office must allow for the most creative, if demanding and 
disciplined, forms of community development and purposeful initiatives. 
The proposed $15,000,000,000 budget for the 1970's remainder could 
provide for complete construction of 100, 000 new housing units; create 
more than 100,000 new, permanent, income and tribal revenue- producing 
jobs on reservations and lay foundation for as many more in years 
following; meet all the economic and industrial development needs of 
numerous communities; and make education effective at all levels and 
provide health services or medical care to all Indians as a matter of 
entitlement and fulfilled right. Yet we now find most Indians unserved 
and programs not keeping pace with growing problems under a Billion 
Dollar-plus budget annually-approximating a service cost of $10,000 per 
reservation family per year, or $100,000 this decade. Our fight is not 
over a $50 Million Dollar Cutback in a mismanaged and misdirected 
budget, and cannot be ended with that then invisible amount-but over the 
part that it, any and all amounts, have come to play in a perennial 
Billion Dollar indignity upon the lives of Indian people, our aged, our 
young, our parents and our children.  Death remains a standard cure for 
environmentally-induced diseases afflicting many Indian children without 
adequate housing facilities, heating systems, and pure water sources. 
Their delicate bodies provide their only defense and protection-and too 
often their own body processes become allies to the quickening of their 
deaths, as with numerous cases of dysentery and diarrhea.  Still, more 
has been spent on hotel bills for Indian-related, problem-solving 
meetings, conferences and conventions than has been spent on needed 
housing in recent years.  More is being spent from federal and tribal 
fund sources on such decision-making activities than is being committed 
to assist but two-thirds of Indian college students having desperate 
financial need.  Rather, few decisions are made, and less problems 
solved, because there has developed an insensitivity to conscience which 
has eliminated basic standards of accountability.  Indian communities 
have become fragmented in governmental, social, and institutional 
functions as they have become restructured or destructed to accommodate 
the fragmentation in government programming and contradictions in 
federal policies. There is need to re integrate these functions into the 
life and fabric of the communities.  Of treaty provisions standard to 
most treaties, none has been breached more viciously and often as those 
dealing with education-first by withdrawing education processes from 
jurisdiction and responsibility of Indian communities, and from the 
powers of Indian self-government-and failing yet to restore authority to 
our people, except thorough increased funding of old advisory and 
contract-delegation laws, or through control to conduct school in the 
conditioned forms and systems devised by non-Indians, or otherwise 
commended by current popularity.  At minimum, Indian Nations have to 
reclaim community education authority to allow creative education 
processes in forms of their free choice, in a system of federally-
sanctioned unit or consolidated Indian districts, supported by a 
mandatory recognition of accreditation in all other systems in this 

Special Thanks to David Goyette for finding point 20 which was
not in _Trail of Broken Treaties_

Taken from _Trail of Broken Treaties:  B.I.A. I'm Not Your Indian 

Published by:

Akwesasne Notes
Mohawk Nation, P.O. Box 196
Rooseveltown, NY  13683

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