Monday, December 3, 2007
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Why is it so important for the Virginia Indian Tribes to gain federal sovereignty? Why it is the first Indians the new world explorers came in contact with have never received recognition when in 1998 the BIA statistics list 556 federally-recognized American Indian Tribes?
The profile of the American Indian looks something like this. Almost one percent of the
There are 314 Indian reservations located with the
The smallest Tribe, the Augustine Band of Mission Indians in
Thirty-nine percent of the American Indian population is under the age of 20 (Twenty-nine percent for total
American Indians tend to have larger families than the average, because about 80% live in extended-family households.
Thirty-four percent of American Indians over age 25 never graduate from high school. Nine percent of American Indians have a bachelor's degree or higher (3% have graduate or professional degrees). The unemployment rate among American Indians is 14% (6% for total
In 1996, 67% of the Tribes had no gaming operations. Of the Tribes that did have gaming, 10 of them earned more than 50% of the gaming income (GAO, A Profile of the Indian Gaming Industry, May 1997).
Twenty percent of American Indian households on reservations lack complete plumbing facilities (hot and cold piped water, a flush toilet, and a bathtub or shower). Eleven percent lack complete plumbing. About 1 in 5 disposes of sewage by means other than public sewer, septic tank, or cesspool. Eighteen percent do not have complete kitchens. Wood heat is the primary source for one in every three homes.
In rural areas, 12% of Native households lack electricity and 23% lack gas (EDA 1999). Only 39% of rural households in Native communities have telephones compared to 94% for non-Native rural communities (EDA Assessment of Technology Infrastructure in Native Communities, June 1999). Of rural Native households, only 22% have cable television, 9% have personal computers, and of those, only 8% have Internet access (EDA 1999). Talk about the great digital divide.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Members, 110th Congress
Chairman, Byron Dorgan and Vice Chairman, Lisa Murkowski steer this committee. How does the Virginia Indian Tribe get their request before them?
Congratulations to Senator Murkowski, she has the distinction of being the first woman to serve in this position.
Maybe there will be another first in 2008 and the Virginia Indian tribes will be granted federal recognition.
Friday, November 30, 2007
After endorsing the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2007, Webb joined Representatives James P. Moran and Bobby Scott, along with members of six Virginia Indian tribes, in urging the Senate on Indian Affairs Committee to approve the bill.
Early in October 2007 Webb announced his support of the tribes’ bill. He wrote a letter to the leaders of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, requesting the committee approve the federal recognition bill. Senator Webb says, ''I have come to the conclusion that this recognition is justified based on principles of dignity and fairness''. Webb feels the tribes meet the established standards for proper recognition on a federal level and should be placed on equal footing with our nation's 562 other federally recognized tribes.
The six Virginia tribes include the Monacan, Upper Mattaponi, Chickahominy, Chickahominy - Eastern Division, Rappahannock and Nansemond.
Representative Moran wrote the federal recognition bill and is an advocate of the 400 years of history of Virginia tribes. Jamestown is an icon of Virginia Indian history which the unique Virginia “documentary genocide” attempted to remove Indians from the records.
Webb told the tribes he did his research, and he believes that the tribes should have federal recognition and believes the congressional way is the way for the tribes to receive recognition, said Chief Adkins. ''I believe Senator Webb is the kind of person that when he gets behind an issue, he works hard for it, and we're hopeful that's what he'll do for our recognition,'' Adkins said.
Nansemond Chief Barry Bass, though not at the press conference, said he was happy when Webb announced his support of the tribes' federal recognition bill.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
WASHINGTON, DC - The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held three oversight hearings, a series of listening sessions, and multiple meetings with tribal leaders to discuss the longstanding problem of violent crime in Indian Country. Senator Byron Dorgan, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, has developed a concept paper which has been sent to tribal leaders. Read the concept paper which is a compilation of comments from tribal leaders that examines the problems and lists a number of proposed solutions to law enforcement issues in Indian Country.
The Committee will continue to meet with tribal leaders over the next few months in the development of legislation to address this issue. For those who wish to provide additional comments are invited to share their comments and ideas through the Senate on Indian Affairs website. Click on the link below and share your thoughts. If you wish to submit any documents in addition to your comments you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with both your comments and attachments. You may fax the comments to (202) 228-2589 if you prefer.
The Indian Tribes in Virginia have a peaceful history and would be no trouble to the federal government if only they were granted federal sovereignty.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Equity is the part of the equation that supports the rule of law with respect to Native American justice. The honesty and integrity that has been maintained by Native American Indians is reflected in the caricature and expression of Native American blogs: THE NATIVE BLOG
National American Indian Heritage Month, 2007
A Proclamation By the President of the United States of America
National American Indian Heritage Month is an opportunity to honor the many contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives and to recognize the strong and living traditions of the first people to call our land home.
American Indians and Alaska Natives continue to shape our Nation by preserving the heritage of their ancestors and by contributing to the rich diversity that is our country's strength. Their dedicated efforts to honor their proud heritage have helped others gain a deeper understanding of the vibrant and ancient customs of the Native American community. We also express our gratitude to the American Indians and Alaska Natives who serve in our Nation's military and work to extend the blessings of liberty around the world.
My Administration is committed to supporting the American Indian and Alaska Native cultures. In June, I signed the "Native American Home Ownership Opportunity Act of 2007," which reauthorizes the Indian Housing Loan Guarantee Program, guaranteeing loans for home improvements and expanding home ownership for Native American families. Working with tribal governments, we will strive for greater security, healthier lifestyles, better schools, and new economic opportunities for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
During National American Indian Heritage Month, we underscore our commitment to working with tribes on a government-to-government basis and to supporting tribal sovereignty and self-determination. During this month, I also encourage Federal agencies to continue their work with tribal governments to ensure sound cooperation. Efforts such as on-line training programs will improve interagency collaboration in the Federal Indian Affairs community and help to strengthen relationships with tribes, building a brighter future for all our citizens.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2007 as National American Indian Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to commemorate this month with appropriate programs and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.
GEORGE W. BUSH
Friday, November 16, 2007
The Court issued a decision in the Zuni Public School District, et al. v. Department of Education, et al. case on 4/17/07.
Petition for writ of certiorari was denied on 4/16/07 in Davidson v. Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
To quote Robert Kennedy, "moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change...and those [who] enter the moral conflict will find themselves with companions in every corner of the world."
A man who's influence has inspired many through out the years. Who will take up the flag for a cause that everyone agrees is morally right, but can not agree on how to accomplish "the right thing to do"? I believe it is this type of thought that brings merit to the theory of using International law related to indigenous people to complete the circle for the Virginia Indian tribes pursuit for federal sovereignty. Forging thoughts and ideas to lay a foundation cemented with International Law that would bring support from the four corners of the earth to breath life into the combination of law and moral rights to force this issue in new light.
The dawn of a new era should embrace new ideas and new concepts where men come to an agreement using tools shaped during the last 400 years together with a desire and understanding for peace, respect, and prosperity. It is these ideas that will force America and polish it for all times to come. With the help and support of the right people whose new ideas would bring justice to this issue.
The Virginia General Assembly has accomplished a portion of that which is necessary to make this dream by granting state recognition. It is now incumbent upon the United States Government to recognize the final and important last mile; granting federal sovereignty to the Virginia Indian Tribes.
Remember, John Marshal developed the "Doctrine of Discovery" based upon a moral theory not a rule of law by using the Inter Cetera bulls to establish Johnson v. McIntosh.
The indigenous community greeted the United Nations' decision to officially proclaim 1993 as the "International Year of the World's Indigenous Peoples" rather warily. Fourteen years later the United Nations created the Working Group on Indigenous Populations.
The purpose of this group was to formally address global indigenous issues. The gain has been more than an international symbolic response to a quest for cultural, social, economic, and political autonomy. The focus should be more on the human rights using international law to gain this perspective of a normative world development concept.
To gain a better understanding of this concept read:
- Indigenous "Sovereignty" and International Law: Revised Strategies for Pursuing "Self-Determination". Human Rights Quarterly - Volume 17, Number 2, May 1995, pp. 343-365
- Researching Indigenous People's Rights Under International Law
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Sovereignty may refer to:
- Sovereignty as a personalized monarch (real or ritualized);
- Sovereignty as a symbol for absolute, unlimited control or power;
- Sovereignty as a symbol of political legitimacy;
- Sovereignty as a symbol of political authority;
- Sovereignty as a symbol of self-determined, national independence;
- Sovereignty as a symbol of governance and constitutional order;
- Sovereignty as a criterion of jurisprudential validation of all law (grundnorm, rule of recognition, sovereign);
- Sovereignty as a symbol of the juridical personality of Sovereign Equality;
- Sovereignty as a symbol of "recogintion";
- Sovereignty as a formal unit of legal system;
- Sovereignty as symbol of powers, immunities, or privileges;
- Sovereignty as a symbol of jurisdictional competence to make and/or apply law; and
- Sovereignty as a symbol of basic governance competencies (constitutive process).
United States v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co.
With respect to International Law the character of sovereignty is changing.
Read "The Changing Character of Sovereignty in International Law and International Relations."
By Winston P. Nagan and Craig Hammer
International law is an avenue the Virginia Indians could pursue in their quest for Federal Sovereignty.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
In The Antelope, Marshal laid down the rule that a rule of international law can be changed unanimously. Not confusing law with justice, but asserting what a court must assert that it is governed by the law of the government to which that court belongs, not by any doctrine of natural rights.
Most Nations belong to either the League of Nations and the Permanent Organization of Labor. The Permanent Court of International Justice is the judicial body of these two organizations, and is bound to apply the law of these organizations in cases arising under the provisions of the Treaty under Article 26, and under Part XIII, Article 422 of the Treaty these two articles provide the method of changing the rules of international law.
Virginia statute provided a definite means over the act of Congress by which the right of expatriation could be exercised, namely a deed approved in court, or a declaration in open court relinquishing the character of the citizen.
Compare the Virginia Statute with the Act of Congress of 1868. Virginia law are based on judicial and court basis.
This is one of the basis that Virginia Indians are having to fight for Federal Recognition.
Read the article in its entirety,
Virginia's Influence on International Law
Edward A. Harriman
Virginia Law Review, Vol. 12, No.2 (Dec., 1925), pp. 135-145.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs has been down since May and no further information on when a hearing is scheduled is available.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Authoring this blog was a legal exercise for a capstone class. My hope was to present facts to formulate legal answers. I felt this method would allow viewers to formulate their own answers and develop their own conclusion on this issue.
My initial intent was to generate a dialogue among legal, indian, government, and Virginia population about the federal recognition issue facing the Virginia Indian tribes.
How do you determine who is right and who is wrong on any issue?
In our American society we dictate that there must be a winner or loser in order to win an argument. Looking at all the issues and compromise is given little consideration.
Clarification using effective communications and the establishment of dialogue to state facts on this issue I felt was a good start. But then the question is what are the rules and who determines these rules based upon what principles?
Moral rights, congressional theory, business ehtics, basic human rights, self-conception or plain common sense how are the foundational lines drawn?
1. listen to what others say in detail. Rules of engagement for listening apply here.
2. feel you are heard in the discussion. All points must be made known.
3. refrain from making interpretations about someones thinking.
4. continuation of the process is important to the progress of your issue.
5. the ulimate end goal from the human point of view is to not create resistance to hearing and being heard or trigger reactions that are counterproductive.
6. treat others the way you would like to be treated.
No more information or facts can be forth coming until the Senate Committee on Indians Affairs meets on this issue. Their web site has been down for months and tracking the bill stopped with the House of Representatives.
Monday, June 18, 2007
H.R. 1294, the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act, passed the House by voice vote, but is now slated for the Senate. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee was the stumbling block during the 109th Congress. During the 110th Congress this new bill may meet with the same fate as the old attempt. Not everyone is an advocate of the Virginia Indians.
Congressman Frank Wolf’s statement on Federal Recognition of Virginia Indian Tribes weakens their legislative quest. A caveat is created by the weak support of the congressman comments like:
"Mr. Chairman, I'm going to vote for this bill because I believe it represents a significant step forward in ensuring that the Commonwealth's interests are safeguarded when it comes to preventing casino-style gambling from coming to the state while providing full federal recognition to these six Virginia Tribes.
"However, I hope the Senate will take a very careful look at it before proceeding because I have already begun hearing rumors that attorneys are being consulted about ways to overturn the limitation on tribal gambling included in the legislation.
"I believe the tribes when they say they aren't interested in pursuing gambling. Nevertheless, I would be extremely disappointed if there is any merit to the chatter I am hearing already – even before the bill gets out of the House – about their interest in a court challenge of the bill's gambling limitation. I certainly hope that's not true, and that what I am hearing is simply rumor.
"I also must admit that I am troubled by the fact the tribes have been paying a lobbyist at least $80,000 for the past several years to advance this legislation. I certainly hope that this bill isn't the first step down the slippery slope we've been down before relating to lobbying and tribal gambling.
"Again, my concern is not with the federal recognition of Virginia's Indian tribes. It has always been with the explosive spread of gambling and the potential for casino gambling to come to Virginia. No bill should become law unless it protects the interests of the Commonwealth.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Gov Track url: www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-1294
To increase communication about this topic this blog is a member of a Blogsphere (Technorati)
In addition, a wiki for Congress was created on Congresspedia about this subject.
If anyone has any suggestions to create effective communications please write me.
Friday, May 11, 2007
The new chairman is U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan. Dorgan said he will work closely with the committee’s vice chairman, Senator Craig Thomas, to ensure it continues to operate in its traditional bipartisan fashion. Dorgan said he is hopeful that the committee will address the most critical issues that face American Indian communities.” I believe there is a bona fide crisis in Indian health care, education and housing, and this committee has an opportunity to make a real difference on those issues during this Congress,” Dorgan said. “I look forward to charting a course that will help move our American Indian communities forward.”
I wrote to Senator Dorgan to congratulate him on his appointment and quiz him about his awareness of Virginia Indian Tribes attempt to gain federal sovereignty. To date I have received no response.
Even if the both houses pass the bill the President must sign the bill to become effective.
I am concerned about the current political climate between to the two branches and threats of veto power surrounding IRAQ. I have emailed "White House Interactive Page" quizzing them on the President's position on this bill. I am not sure why its titled "interactive" their lastest posting is dated March 26, 2007 | 10:57 a.m.(EDT) and others date back to 2005. Native Americans is not on the list of topics on this website.
With Jamestown 2007 Celebration under way it will be interesting to see how fast this bill is placed on the agenda of the Senate Indians Affairs Committee.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Messages such as, "Today we are all hokies" has shown the support from every corner of the globe. In the wake of bad things the good in all people come to light.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
The United States recognizes Indian tribes as political entities with regards to Indian law and policy based on the political status of Indian tribes. Indian law is not based on a constitutional race law paradigm.
Morton v. Mancari – footnote 24 describes the federal legislation and rules relating to Indian tribes as a political classification. The implementation of the rule of Johnson v. M’Intosh, Indian treaties, and Acts of the First Congress offers significant evidence that the original understanding of the Founders was that Indian tribes and the federal government enjoy a political relationship, not racial.
Legal opinions of Justice Blackmun, Justice Stevens, and Judge Kozinski, have been among the federal and state court judges confronted with the question of whether Indian law is a question of race law or politics. It is a rare occasion when federal courts are presented with the argument that statutes and regulations that create, for example, federal program preferences for Indian tribes or individual Indians are unconstitutional under the Fifth or Fourteenth Amendments, Title 25 of the United States Code relates to Indian Law. This area of Constitutional and Indian law is superficially theorized using judicial authority.
The First Congress’s statement of Indian policy in the 1790 Trade and Intercourse Act is the first major Indian law decision from the Supreme Court, Johnson v. M’Intosh. Johnson. It constitutionalized the rule that only the federal government could clear title to Indian land – or in the Court’s phrasing, “an exclusive right to extinguish the Indian title of occupancy, either by purchase or by conquest.” Congress had already exercised its Indian Commerce Clause power to ban the states from purchasing or acquiring Indian lands in the Trade and Intercourse Act.
Indian law’s general perception is one of the race law paradigm created by the Constitution and recreated by the Fourteenth Amendment. Justice Blackmun’s footnote in Morton v. Mancari, describes federal legislation related to Indian tribes as a political classification but offered insufficient guidance for lower courts.
American Indian law and policy can be researched back to the Johnson v. M’Intosh  and the Fourteenth Amendment and the treatment of Indian people under both the political and racial classifications. The rule of Johnson v. M’Intosh offers significant proof of this political relationship.
In order for Indian Law to be judged as race law they would be governed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. The main focus is that overwhelming political, legal, and historical evidence that the foundations of American Indian law are political, not racial.
While federal Indian law and policy has been on a track parallel to race law and appears to retain many of the same elements, courts and commentators misunderstand this relationship. As a result, they attempt to place Indian law into a cubbyhole in which it doesn’t fit – race law. As a result, courts and commentators continue to discuss whether certain statutes that apply only to American Indians should be analyzed under the rubric of Caroline Products’ footnote 4, debating whether or not to apply strict scrutiny.
Next time, How International law can be used to view racial discrimination regarding the Virginia Indian tribe’s journey for sovereignty.
 Morton v. Mancari, 417 U.S. 535, 552-53 (1974) (“Literally every piece of legislation dealing with Indian tribes and reservations, and certainly all legislation dealing with the BIA, single out for special treatment a constituency of tribal Indians living on or near reservations. If these laws, derived from historical relationships and explicitly designed to help only Indians, were deemed invidious racial discrimination, an entire Title of the United States Code (25 U.S.C.) would be effectively erased and the solemn commitment of the Government toward the Indians would be jeopardized.”) (citing Simmons v. Eagle Seelatsee, 244 F. Supp. 808, 814 n. 13 (E.D. Wash. 1965), aff’d, 384 U.S. 209 (1966)).
 Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, 515 U.S. 200, 244-45 (1995) (Stevens, J., dissenting) (“We should reject a concept of ‘consistency’ that would view the special preferences that the National Government has provided to Native Americans since 1834 as comparable to the official discrimination against African-Americans that was prevalent for much of our history.”) (citing Mancari, 417 U.S. at 541).
 Williams v. Babbitt, 115 F.3d 657, 665 (9th Cir. 1997) (“If Justice Stevens is right about the logical implications of Adarand, Mancari’s days are numbered.”) (citing Adarand, 515 U.S. at 225-27, 244; Mancari, 415 U.S. 535; Stuart Major Benjamin, Equal Protection and the Special Relationship: The Case of the Native Hawaiians, 106 Yale L. J. 537, 567 (1996)).
 E.g., United States v. Antelope, 430 U.S. 641 (1977) (Fifth Amendment); Flynt v. California Gambling Control Commission, 129 Cal. Rptr. 2d 157 (Cal. App. 2002) (Fourteenth Amendment); cf. Rice v. Cayetano, 528 U.S. 495 (2000) (Thirteenth Amendment).
 See, e.g., Mancari, 417 U.S. at 552-53.
 Act of July 22, 1790, ch. 33, 1 Stat. 137.
 21 U.S. 543 (1823).
 Johnson, 21 U.S. at 587.
 Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 3.
 See Act of July 22, 1790, ch. 33, 1 Stat. 137; Akhil Reed Amar, America’s Constitution, A Biography 108 n. (2005).
 Morton v. Mancari, 417 U.S. 535, 553 n. 24 (1974) (“The preference is not directed towards a ‘racial’ group consisting of ‘Indians’; instead, it applies only to members of ‘federally recognized’ tribes. This operates to exclude many individuals who are racially to be classified as ‘Indians.’ In this sense, the preference is political rather than racial in nature.”).
 21 U.S. 543 (1823).
 United States v. Carolene Products Co., 304 U.S. 144, 152 n. 4 (1938).
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
The Secretary of the Interior has delegated authority to make acknowledgment decisions to the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs.
Two months after the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation received federal recognition in 2004, then-Interior Department Secretary Gale Norton attended a meeting where she was told to reverse the tribe's federal status, court documents have revealed. Norton's and Cason were questioned under oath by the tribe's attorneys.
Cason said that he based the recognition reversal ''entirely on the recommendation and advice of OFA Director, Lee Fleming,'' given at a meeting held on Oct. 5, 2005. Schaghticoke decision would set a BIA precedent and be of historic importance.
The General Accounting Office was tasked with auditing the dysfunctional recognition process of the BIA. In November of 2001 the General Accounting Office evaluated the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) tribal recognition process.
Findings delineate a process that is subject to manipulation and abuse. Basis for BIA is tribal recognition decisions is not always clear. No clear guidance to explain how to interpret key aspects of the criteria. Level of evidence for sufficiency to prove tribes continuous existence over a period resulting in less regulatory certainty about the basis for recognition decisions. This is a main concern of the Virginia Tribes.
THIS MESSAGE IS POSTED ON THE BIA WEBSITE:
The BIA website as well as the BIA mail servers have been made temporarily unavailable due to the Cobell Litigation. Please continue to check from time to time. We have no estimate on when authorization will be given to reactivate these sites.
Friday, March 9, 2007
On February 6, 2007 Moran introduced Senate Joint Resolution No. 333.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Senate Bill 480 did not gain federal recognition for the Virginia Indian Tribes.
Senator Byron Dorgan newly elected chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee opened the first meeting of the 110th Congress. A new begin to a hopeful year.
Working closely with the committee’s vice chairman, Senator Craig Thomas; Dorgan wants the committee to address the most critical issues that face American Indian communities.
The crisis issues are:
- Indian health care
According to Dorgan these are the critical issues.
The Senate on Indian Affairs Committee has an opportunity to impact these issues during the 110th session of Congress.
All noble causes but, how will this affect the Virginia Tribes who do not have federal recognition?
Future posts will feature diversity, BIA acknowledgment, Indian Nations, Senate on Indian Affairs Committee and judicial precedence.