Our ancestors were the original “insurgents.”

Americans Are the New Indians
Indian Country Today

On New Years Eve, President Obama signed The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law. Essentially the law does what previous NDAA incarnations have- it provides funding for the U.S. military. The controversy over this version of the NDAA arises from Section 1031. It gives the federal government, in particular the president, global authority to apprehend and detain anyone, including American citizens on U.S. soil, who are suspected of terrorism, assisting terrorists, or who are perceived as being in league with “associated forces.” The law also states that those detained may be held without being charged or receiving a trial, “until the end of hostilities.” In other words, perhaps indefinitely. That’s right: indefinite detention without trial is now codified law in the United States of America.

In your analysis of this law, I encourage you to put any personal politics aside. It doesn’t matter whether you support President Obama, or if you’re voting in the next Republican Presidential Primary. Section 1031 spells doom for the United States as we know it, and opens the door to turning the United States into a military run regime where freedom is an illusion, and innocent Americans are taken from their families and communities and locked away without being charged or given a trial, possibly for the rest of their lives. Think about it. What determines whether an activity supports terrorism or “associated forces”? Could someone be seized under Section 1031 for clicking on a website later found to be affiliated with someone on a terror watch list? Possibly. Could political activists protesting government activities be arrested under this law? More likely than not. So what do you think the chances are that Section 1031 could lead to natives being seized by the government for going against federal interests in the course of protecting native lands, natural resources, sacred sites, civil liberties and tribal sovereignty? Remember, we natives have often found ourselves at odds with the federal government, and with good reason. We are proud, sovereign nations that pre-date the United States. Our ancestors were the original “insurgents.”


About Vince

I am a Tlingit, born and raised in Tlingit Country, and a proud member of the Tlingit Nation.
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