Steve Russell: Voting doesn't conflict with my tribal citizenship

"Should Indians show up when elections are called by the colonial state? I can’t say “Yes” because a more appropriate answer is “Hell, yes!” Bias out front: my first career was as a state court judge, which is an elected position. If Indians should not vote, it stands to reason they should not work for state or federal governments, especially as elected officials who have to swear an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend” the US Constitution not unlike the oath those of us who are veterans took to enter military service.

I do not understand how my citizenship in the U.S., a state, a county or a city conflicts with my citizenship in an Indian nation. Without a doubt, American Indian governments sometimes have interests that do not jibe with the official policies of other political entities. How does it follow that I should not act to change those policies if such action is open to me?

The argument that one cannot serve two sovereigns in anachronistic nonsense for reasons I’ve set out here. A sovereign is no longer a person."

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Steve Russell: Vote Early and Often (Indian Country Today 8/4)

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