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Opinion: Sovereignty not afforded to all Indians

"The U.S. trust policy makes each tribe a �ward of the state.� All so-called �Indian land� is, in reality federal land that Congress has designated to be used as �reserves� for Native Americans. Congress, through its plenary powers, can terminate a tribe and extinguish Indian land title at any time, in any manner, without the tribe's consent.

Does that sound sovereign to you?

In 1991, the Connecticut General Assembly voted to approve $30,000 for the Connecticut Indian Affairs Council, but when CIAC Chairwoman Paulette Crone requested the release of those funds so they could hire an attorney, the attorney general refused to release the funds, citing Connecticut's trust agreement. There are numerous examples where a tribe was denied the right to legal counsel of it choice.

Does that sound sovereign to you?"

Get the Story:
Kathleen Grasso Andersen: Tribal Sovereignty? It Doesn't Exist (The New London Day 9/12)