Opinion

Bryan Brewer: IRS singling out tribal governments for scrutiny





Bryan Brewer, the president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, says the Internal Revenue Service is unfairly targeting tribal governments:
Today, the IRS is under fire for targeting the new Tea Party movement in a violation of First Amendment rights. The IRS is not only targeting the Tea Party. The IRS is targeting real Indians and Indian tribes. Over the past 10 years, the IRS has had a program to audit Indian tribes on tribal government programs and services, which has resulted in an audit rate 3 times the national average. That’s wrong, and it violates the United States Constitution, treaties, and laws.

From the time of the first arrival on American shores, European nations recognized Indian nations and tribes as independent sovereign nations, with authority over our citizens and our territory. In 1778, the United States entered its first written treaty with an Indian nation, the Delaware Nation, based upon a model of international relations. Before the Constitution, the United States entered into 17 treaties under the Articles of Confederation—most of those treaties were Indian treaties.

Through the Treaty and Supremacy Clause, the U.S. Constitution recognizes Indian nations as sovereigns by affirming treaties “already made” and by authorizing those “to be made” as an integral and essential part of the Supreme Law of the Land.

Get the Story:
Bryan Brewer: Stop IRS Violations of Tribal Self-Government and Indian Rights (Indian Country Today 7/9)