Kitcki Carroll: Shaping the future of federal trust responsibility

"Change is in the air in Indian country as we continue to evolve from the damage and consequences caused by years of failed federal Indian policies. As deplorable as U.S. history was during these years for Indian country, it remains a part of U.S. history most often untold and it continues to have contemporary significance in U.S.-Tribal relations.

The Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 (ISDEAA) and the Tribal Self-Governance Act of 1994 (SG) have provided us with the policy framework that has supported and promoted the idea of empowerment rather than one which destroys. An honest assessment of ISDEAA and SG recognizes the tremendous benefit that they have had in supporting our efforts to rebuild our tribal nations- rebuilding to the strong and powerful nations that we were prior to colonialism.

However, ISDEAA and SG still fall short in terms of realizing full sovereign authority. As such, a new policy framework and understanding of the trust relationship is necessary; one that offers greater acknowledgement, protection, and promotion of our inherent sovereign authority and independence. Further, it must recognize that the execution and fulfillment of the trust responsibility is a legal and sacred responsibility. It should never be viewed through partisan lenses and/or become lost in the politics of Washington D.C. The U.S. should be held accountable for doing what is just and right, rather than only as a response to our growing political might."

Get the Story:
Kitcki Carroll: The New Trust: Shaping America’s New Federal Trust Responsibility (Indian Country Today 6/7)

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