James Giago Davies: The beginning of the end for tribal sovereignty

Authorities in North Dakota evicted the last remaining residents of Oceti Sakowin, the #NoDAPL encampment that hosted tens of thousands of people, during the fourth week of February 2017. Photo: Rob Wilson [GoFundMe]

Divide and conquer the weak minded
A knife in the back comes from people you trust
By James Giago Davies
Native Sun News Today Columnist

A couple of weeks back I wrote about Public Law 280, about how a 1968 civil rights amendment to that Law provided tribes with a protection against state encroachment. If a state, like South Dakota, wants civil and criminal jurisdiction over a tribe, like the Oglala, a majority of tribal members must approve, which we all know they never will.

Two North Dakota state senators introduced a bill to implore the US Congress to remove that amendment. North Dakota wants jurisdiction on Standing Rock. This would mean the beginning of the end for tribal sovereignty.

No tribal leader was doing anything about this. No paper but Native Sun News Today was writing about this. They were all preoccupied with the DAPL situation. They mostly still are. This is a threat far greater than any DAPL poses.

My column appeared on our Facebook page. Comments were left, but even the comments which were positive, did not address the 1968 amendment threat. I wrote that if our leaders don’t know about this threat, aren’t concerned about this threat, we need new leaders, and so I was attacked on a personal level by several posters.

A Wasicu college professor from Oregon questioned my motivation, thought I needed to be “looked into.” Because I don’t live on the reservation, I was told to “stay in my lane.” One person said “I think he’s jealous.” What I might be “jealous” of, was never revealed.

The question is, why do people respond this way, instead of addressing the issue of Public Law 280?

People want to talk about people first—in this case, me, the water protectors, tribal leaders, evil presidents, greedy oil companies, and then they want to talk about events, deadlines, announcements, transgressions. The last thing they want to talk about is ideas.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Divide and conquer the weak minded

(James Giago Davies can be reached at skindiesel@msn.com)

Copyright permission Native Sun News