Where is the GOP on tribes?
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AUGUST 1, 2000

Although Native Americans are conspicuously absent from the Republican Party national convention, the party's platform addresses Native Americans and tribes.

"Political self-determination and economic self-sufficiency are twin pillars of an effective Indian policy," states the GOP's year 2000 platform.

The platform also states that private initiatives, not public assistance, will improve economic conditions in Indian Country. They also state that too much taxes and too much regulation hurts, not helps, tribes.

Many Indian tribes could definitely agree with the party's stance on taxes and regulation. A recent bill designed to punish tribes who did not collect state taxes on their land was recently killed, to the relief of many.

Regulation is also a sore point for tribes. Tribal leaders recently told the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs about the conflicting views coming from the government regarding the regulation of gaming.

Not surprisingly, the GOP platform criticizes the government for its handling of Indian trust. The party blames the government for worsening conditions due to their fiduciary irresponsibility.

"Unfortunately, the resources that the United States holds in trust for them, financial and otherwise, have been misused and abused," states the party. "While many tribes have become energetic participants in the mainstream of American life, the serious social ills afflicting some reservations have been worsened by decades of mismanagement from Washington."

The Department of Interior and the Department of Treasury are the target of suit regarding the mismanagement of Individual Indian Money (IIM). The first phase of the suit resulted in a judge requiring the government to fix the trust fund system, while the second phase will focus on properly stating the money held by account holders.

Relevant Links:
The Republican National Convention -
The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs -
The National Indian Gaming Commission -
The Office of Trust Responsibilities, The Bureau of Indian Affairs -
Indian Trust Funds Mismanagement, The Native American Rights Fund -

Related Stories:
Republican convention opens (The Talking Circle 8/1)
The GOP 2000 Platform on Native Americans (The Talking Circle 8/1)
Tax bill killed (Tribal Law 7/20)
Has the GOP blown it? (The Talking Circle 7/20)
NCAI Vice-Pres: Republicans, Gorton (The Talking Circle 7/17)