Veterans at the National Congress of American Indians annual convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in October 2017. Photo: NCAI
Opinion | Politics | Trust

Jefferson Keel and Ernie Stevens: A moral obligation to help tribes restore homelands

The Trump administration is moving forward with rules that tribes say will make it harder to restore their homelands. Jefferson Keel, the president of the National Congress of American Indians, and Ernie Stevens, the chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association, explain why tribes are opposing the changes:
The Department of the Interior has embarked upon changes to Federal Indian policy that could negatively impact our tribal nations for generations to come.

Interior’s draft regulations on Tribal Land recovery would increase considerably the barriers standing in the way of tribal sovereignty, and give an increased role to state and local governments in deciding whether tribes are eligible to claim and restore lands that have been stolen from us.

We strongly urge tribal leaders to attend consultation sessions in your area to demonstrate Indian country’s unified resolve to oppose these regulations and equitably restore the land base of every tribal nation.

Interior’s draft regulations are built on a mistaken assumption that tribes generally have adequate reservation land bases. Tribal nations must present the facts, and share their stories and histories at these consultation sessions.

Read More on the Story:
Jefferson Keel and Ernie Stevens: Tribal Leadership Unified on Land Recovery, A Moral Obligation of the United States (Indian Country Today January 30, 2018)

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Tribes slam Trump administration for adding hurdles to land-into-trust process (October 17, 2017)
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