Steven Newcomb: Indian nationhood a well-settled concept

"After reading Steve Russell’s column “Citizenship and Nations,” published March 20, I have to wonder why he would publicly challenge one of the strongest words we have in the English language to express the political existence of Indian nations and peoples. I am referring specifically to the word “nation.”

As Mr. Russell stated in his column: “‘Nation’ or ‘tribe’ is another semantic issue that conceals as much politics as citizenship. I dislike ‘nation’ because we don’t have all the attributes of a nation and most of us are ill-equipped to take on nationhood…The problem is we are not states.”

Well, what are the attributes of nationhood? There are five: A population, a territory, a culture, and language, and a decision-making body or government. So which of these do American Indian nations not have? Vine Deloria, Jr. made this very point in his 1974 book, Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties: An Indian Declaration of Independence."

Get the Story:
On Indian Nationhood: Steven Newcomb Responds to Steve Russell’s March 20 Column (Indian Country Today 3/22)

Related Stories:
Steven Newcomb: Rick Santorum and his religious fanaticism (3/1)
Steven Newcomb: Refuting notion of domination in Indian law (2/16)
Steven Newcomb: Allotment a massive grab of Indian lands (2/9)
Steven Newcomb: Bible was a guide for European colonization (2/6)
Steven Newcomb: President Obama undermines Constitution (01/09)
Steven Newcomb: New law a big threat to rights of all citizens (01/03)

Join the Conversation