Citizenship vs. Secession

An article at Indian Country Today discusses Native independence vs. citizenship. It’s an issue that echoes that of empires past, such as Romes expansion into barbarian territories and the long history of conflict between civilizations and barbarian cultures.

The article shows the true nature of states as territorial monopolies enforced by conquest and violence by pointing out that:

  • the US claims dominion over Native Nations, usually out of the result of armed conflict
  • that Native Nations do not have any “legal” right to secede
  • that they may not enter into treaties with Nation States other than the US
  • and that the “U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples does not provide for indigenous nations to withdraw from the nation-states that surround them”

These territorial monopolies are maintained whether at the consent of the governed are not. That most Natives are agreeable to this these days is not surprising. As the article pointed out, we didn’t have much choice. Our dependence on the US welfare state was guaranteed through forcible theft of our resources and reorganization of our political and social lives. It is to the point that a lot of Native people can’t imagine self sufficiency.

I predict that at some point down the line the “benefits” we receive from the US will dry up. Empires do not last forever. We will then be in a position to reclaim our local resources & economy or starve, or be at the mercy of others. My tribe, for instance, would need to be poised and ready to resume management of our fisheries, as we have done for centuries up until very recent times.

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About Vince

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