Dan Jones: US not always the strong one in Indian relations

"John Stossel stirred up controversy recently for his comments about the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Many American Indians are not happy with the performance of the BIA. It has a long history of mismanagement of American Indian Tribal and individual resources.

I am not defending the BIA; I am here to shed some light on why the BIA is here. Stossel was misleading his viewers into thinking the BIA was no longer useful because it is old. Mr. Stossel, if someone stole your home and land 200 years ago their family would be living there and you and your family wouldn’t. End of story.

But if you take control of someone’s land through an agreement, then it doesn’t matter if it has been 200 years, if the terms are still in effect and both parties have agreed to them. Let’s look at some of these agreements between the United States and American Indians in general.

Not all had to do with land. Some agreements had to do with mutual understandings and respect for one another’s territory. Many older agreements favored Indian tribes. In the ebb and flow of power the United States was not always the stronger of the two parties."

Get the Story:
Dan Jones: Why BIA, Why Fox News? (Indian Country Today 4/13)

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