indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
The University of Tulsa College of Law - Master's in Indian Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Ivan Star Comes Out: Let's scrutinize the Indian Reorganization Act

Filed Under: Opinion | Politics
More on: elections, ira, ivan star comes out, native sun news, oglala sioux, south dakota
     
   

Ivan F. Star Comes Out. Photo courtesy Native Sun News Today

Harkening back to Mark Twain’s famous quote about politicians
By Ivan F. Star Comes Out
Native Sun News Today Columnist
nativesunnews.today

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain (1835-1910), writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer, wrote, “Politicians and diapers must be changed often – and for the same reason.”

I believe this is applicable to the current national political situation. However, we must think prudently before applying Mr. Twain’s quote to “tribal” government here on the Pine Ridge.

Well, there are a few “tribal” politicians who qualify for Twain’s quote. But, most of us have relatives that are in government, law enforcement, and education. If anyone is to be scrutinized and bashed, it should be the voter and the federal law known as the Wheeler-Howard Act of 1934 (Indian Reorganization Act - IRA) and its constitution.

The law and the constitution are inanimate. The manner in which they were deployed by man remains questionable as well as the voting population’s inaction. We reason are in this needy and dependent state is “not because of the acts of evil people, but because of the appalling silence of good people” (Martin Luther King, 1963) on the home land.

For sure, we cannot instantly return to the original Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires) system of government. Don’t get me wrong, I want to see the old system come back, too. However, the obstacles, from the federal government as well as the Oceti Sakowin descendants themselves, are overwhelming. Specifically, we do not know how to come together, much less to work together… anymore.

Meanwhile, we continue to survive under the paternalistic congressional law known as the IRA. It was also called the Indian New Deal shadowing President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s economic recovery plan. However, Pine Ridge has not experienced economic success as promised in 1935. Socio-economically, we are still experiencing the Great Depression of the 1920s.

Traditionally, if tiospaye leaders disagreed with a measure before them, they simply stayed away from any gatherings called to address the issue. This occurred during the election for the IRA clearly indicating that it was precluded in the hearts and minds of the majority. Nonetheless, the few that did vote were counted. The fact that this event was obscured by the government is proof of its own dishonesty.

The government’s hazy activity did not begin there. For one, the IRA’s voting bloc was reduced on June 15, 1934, to “Total votes cast shall not be less than 30 per centum of those entitled to vote.” The “Indian” voters of the time were not aware of this amendment. Despite its questionable election procedure, Congress adopted the IRA, “as is,” on June 18, 1934.

In other words, the participating voters on the Pine Ridge (and 6 other reservations) did not meet the amended “30 per centum” rule. Although the Majority Rule principle was met, only 28.7% voted in the election to adopt the IRA, even with a large number of non-Lakota men voting in the election.

Almost immediately, a constitution was drafted and promoted on the Pine Ridge and the other scattered territories of the Great Sioux Reservation established with the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty. The December 14, 1935, Secretarial Election met the condensed voting requirement and the constitution was approved with a vote of 1,304 to 1,041 on January 15, 1936.

This political shadiness appears in a local 1935 newspaper ad. “Think Wisely! How can we succeed without a constitution and by-laws under the Indian Reorganization Act? If you vote NO – Dependency! Incompetency! Powerlessness! Landless! Homeless! Continued poverty! If you vote YES – Organization! Credit! Industry! More Land! Better homes! Prosperity! SUCCESS!”

The ad continues with, “Ask your children which they prefer, future prosperity or continued poverty! Shall they profit or shall they suffer! Let them decide how you shall vote on December 14, 1935.” The only identify marking on the ad indicates the Shannon County News (1930-197?). The paper was also known locally as the American Indian and Eyapaha Wakokipesni (Fearless Crier/Announcer).


Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Harkening back to Mark Twain’s famous quote about politicians

(Ivan F. Star Comes Out can be reached at PO Box 147, Oglala, SD 57764; 605-867-2448 or via email at mato_nasula2@outlook.com)

Copyright permission Native Sun News


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Trump administration ready to let Cobell program run out of funds (5/24)
Northwest tribes slam Trump's budget for cuts to Indian programs (5/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe finds one bright spot in Trump's budget (5/24)
Pascua Yaqui Tribe reports jury conviction of non-Indian offender (5/24)
YES! Magazine: Native birthing center maintains tribal traditions (5/24)
Peter d'Errico: Founding Fathers conspired to take land from tribes (5/24)
Eastern Cherokee chief questions fairness of impeachment hearing (5/24)
Another guilty plea in theft of gaming funds from Winnebago Tribe (5/24)
Tribes clear legislative hurdle in bid for new casino in Connecticut (5/24)
President Trump confirms Indian Country's worst fears with budget (5/23)
Office of Special Trustee pitches lower budget as 'taxpayer' savings (5/23)
Steven Newcomb: Monuments to white supremacy harm our people (5/23)
Two more spills of oil from Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota (5/23)
Native woman in skirt and sandals wins ultramarathon in Mexico (5/23)
Brothers from Huichol Tribe murdered as drug war rages in Mexico (5/23)
Iowa Tribe misses deadline again to launch internet poker project (5/23)
Mississippi Choctaw citizens request vote on $25M casino project (5/23)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe must wait to restart work on casino (5/23)
Documents show few meetings between Secretary Zinke and tribes (5/22)
Landowners on 2 reservations in Nebraska receive buy-back offers (5/22)
Human Rights Complaint: 'We are only letting the white people in' (5/22)
Mark Trahant: Funds for Indian health in danger under Republicans (5/22)
Cronkite News: Navajo Nation school works hard to teach language (5/22)
Harlan McKosato: DNA tests can't reveal your unique tribal history (5/22)
Gyasi Ross: Fired FBI director made sure Peltier remained in prison (5/22)
Tiffany Midge: A response to winning the cultural appropriation prize (5/22)
André Cramblit: Treasure your aunties and uncles for their histories (5/22)
Treaty tribes celebrate after court refuses to rehear salmon dispute (5/22)
Eastern Cherokee leaders open impeachment hearing against chief (5/22)
Top Interior pick contradicts Trump on 'race' and Indian programs (5/19)
Arne Vainio: Expressing gratitude for the people we have around us (5/19)
Lawmakers dug deep to help North Dakota with #NoDAPL response (5/19)
Quapaw Tribe secures EPA grant for cleanup of contaminated lands (5/19)
Steven Newcomb: The racist and toxic roots of federal Indian policy (5/19)
Indian Country braces for worst with Trump's planned budget cuts (5/18)
Bipartisan task force announced to look into Indian Health Service (5/18)
Lawmakers push to renew Special Diabetes Program for Indians (5/18)
Albert Bender: Police slaughter of Native people rages unabated (5/18)
Steve Russell: There's a downside to impeaching Donald Trump (5/18)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe cannabis consultant goes on trial (5/18)
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe repays money to address federal audit (5/18)
House passes bill to extend federal recognition to Virginia tribes (5/18)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.