From Lingit Latseen
I’d like to introduce the Tlingit people and Pacific Northwest Coast tribes and First Nations to the Republic of Cascadia Secession Movmenet.
They are a bioregionalist movement and aspiring nation based in Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Southeast Alaska. Obviously, the proposed borders of this nation encompass traditional tribal territories. This Cascadian page speculates on what, exactly, Cascadia is.
An international economic relationship? A republic? A bioregion? A cooperative commonwealth? A network of communities based on mutual aid? A utopia?
Cascadia is a lot of things to a lot of different people. Some people see Cascadia as just a bioregion while others envision a republic or a commonwealth. Some see Cascadia as an ecological utopia waiting to awaken while others see Cascadia as one clear-cut after another between petroleum driven suburbia and sprawling shopping malls. To anyone truly looking or experiencing what Cascadia is then knows that Cascadia is many things with many possiblities.
Among proposed Articles of Cascadia is this one:
The entire document is worth a read, but Part 2. of Section 2. is of particular interest to me.
2. The First Nations shall have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired. All associated fishing and land use management shall be given to the respective Tribal Assemblies as part of their autonomy to govern as they see fit.
This article would essentially return traditional clan and tribe control of territorial waters to the tribes of Alaska, B.C. Oregon and Washington.
I firmly believe that our sovereignty comes from no outside entity, neither the US Government nor the aspiring Republic of Cascadia. We are sovereign and independent clans and tribes because of our acknowledgement of clan and tribal rights by our sister clans and cousin tribes, through our centuries of occupation of our land, through the blood shed in defense of our respective tribes and way of life, and through our sacred mothers, who have birthed and raised hundreds of generations of Native people’s in their respective nations. Still, we ought to think critically about whether or not our current relationship with the US Government ought to be severed and an alliance formed with secessionist movements.
During the rebellion of the 13 American colonies against Great Britian’s rule, East Coast tribes joined both sides of the conflict out of tribal self interest. In some cases the British offered a better deal than the Americans with regards to protection of tribal lands and acknowledgement of sovereignty. In other cases the Americans offered the better deal. Moving forward, I don’t think the US Empire is a stable entity, and I expect it to not outlive my children. Consequently, I think our respective tribes should think critically about who we form tactical alliances with in pursuit of our sovereignty and self determination.