Oneidas challenge leader of anti-sovereignty group

Members of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin questioned the leader of an anti-sovereignty and anti-treaty rights group.

Elaine Willman, the chair of the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance, praised the tribe for its economic development successes. But she said the tribe's goal to reclaim all of its land goes against other citizens' rights.

"Federal recognition does not bring nationhood or sovereignty — it brings quasi-national sovereignty," she said at a forum, The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported. "But if you get your land back, what do you suggest the other citizens do with the land they rightfully own?"

Loretta Metoxen, the tribe's historian, challenged Willman's views. "Sovereignty is not given; it is an inherent right," Metoxen said. "There were sitting governments before Columbus landed."

Willman, who is based in Washington state, claims Cherokee ancestry but is not enrolled in any federally recognized Cherokee tribe.

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Cultural conflicts dominate presentation in Hobart (The Green Bay Press-Gazette 9/20)

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