This isn't much of a diary. Essentially, it's a blurb with a request for more information and references - of which I'm sure there's a bunch.
Obviously, his definition of "help" must be highly subjective and heavily slanted, nuance-be-damned.
There are 562 federally recognized tribal governments in the United States. These tribes possess the right to form their own government, to enforce laws (both civil and criminal), to tax, to establish requirements for membership, to license and regulate activities, to zone and to exclude persons from tribal territories. Limitations on tribal powers of self-government include the same limitations applicable to states; for example, neither tribes nor states have the power to make war, engage in foreign relations, or coin money (this includes paper currency).
Many Native Americans and advocates of Native American rights point out that the U.S. Federal government's claim to recognize the "sovereignty" of Native American peoples falls short, given that the U.S. still wishes to govern Native American peoples and treat them as subject to U.S. law. True respect for Native American sovereignty, according to such advocates, would require the United States federal government to deal with Native American peoples in the same manner as any other sovereign nation, handling matters related to relations with Native Americans through the Secretary of State, rather than the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Bureau of Indian Affairs reports on its website that its "responsibility is the administration and management of 55,700,000 acres (225,000 km2) of land held in trust by the United States for American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives." Many Native Americans and advocates of Native American rights believe that it is condescending for such lands to be considered "held in trust" and regulated in any fashion by a foreign power, whether the U.S. Federal Government, Canada, or any other non-Native American authority.
"Forced termination is wrong, in my judgment, for a number of reasons. First, the premises on which it rests are wrong ... The second reason for rejecting forced termination is that the practical results have been clearly harmful in the few instances in which termination actually has been tried.... The third argument I would make against forced termination concerns the effect it has had upon the overwhelming majority of tribes which still enjoy a special relationship with the Federal government ... The recommendations of this administration represent an historic step forward in Indian policy. We are proposing to break sharply with past approaches to Indian problems."As of 2000, the largest tribes in the U.S. by population were Navajo, Cherokee, Choctaw, Sioux, Chippewa, Apache, Blackfeet, Iroquois, and Pueblo. In 2000, eight of ten Americans with Native American ancestry were of mixed blood. It is estimated that by 2100 that figure will rise to nine out of ten. In addition, there are a number of tribes that are recognized by individual states, but not by the federal government. The rights and benefits associated with state recognition vary from state to state.
—President Richard Nixon, Special Message on Indian Affairs, July 8, 1970.
Some tribal nations have been unable to establish their heritage and obtain federal recognition. The Muwekma Ohlone of the San Francisco bay area are pursuing litigation in the federal court system to establish recognition. Many of the smaller eastern tribes have been trying to gain official recognition of their tribal status. The recognition confers some benefits, including the right to label arts and crafts as Native American and permission to apply for grants that are specifically reserved for Native Americans. But gaining recognition as a tribe is extremely difficult; to be established as a tribal group, members have to submit extensive genealogical proof of tribal descent.
Concerns which Native peoples struggle to resolve include the presence of Abandoned Uranium Mines on or near their lands.
In July 2000 the Washington Republican Party adopted a resolution recommending that the federal and legislative branches of the U.S. government terminate tribal governments . In 2007 a group of Democratic Party congressmen and congresswomen introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to "terminate" the Cherokee Nation. As of 2004, various Native Americans are wary of attempts by others to gain control of their reservation lands for natural resources, such as coal and uranium in the West.
In 1947 the Indian Office was formally renamed the Bureau of Indian Affairs. At the same time, Congress was looking at the possibility of dismantling the agency and terminating federal relations with Indian tribes. In anticipation of ending the BIA, the responsibilities for Indian health treatment were transferred from the BIA to the Public Health Service (PHS). Many people felt that this transfer would provide better care for Indians because the PHS has more resources and political clout. Today the Indian Health Service remains a part of PHS rather than the BIA.
In 1977, the Bureau of Indian Affairs was upgraded within the Department of the Interior and the head of the agency was designated as the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. Within the governmental bureaucracy, assistant secretaries have more influence over budget decisions and they have greater access to members of Congress. The position of Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs is a political appointee who serves at the pleasure of the President. As a political appointee, the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs carries out the mandates and policies of the President with little input or consultation by or with tribal leadership.
The BIA does not deal with all American Indian tribes, but only with those tribes which have federal recognition. Traditionally, the government has sought to limit the number of tribes and the number of Indian people which it has to recognize. In the recent meeting with President Obama and tribal leaders, only federally recognized tribes were asked to attend. Leaders and members of other tribes often feel that they are left out of the process.
There are also some who feel that the BIA, as an instrument of colonialization, has outlived its purpose and should therefore be dissolved. The question for the twenty-first century is what should the role of the BIA be in tribal life, and, conversely, what should the role of Indian nations be in American government?
Some pieces by navajo:
And a project that may help out the folks at Pine Ridge: Pine Ridge Billboard Project by Aaron Huey.
There is a long history of disputes, differences, betrayals and failures to meet the treaty obligations that the U.S. Government has to Native America. There are many problems faced by Native American tribes and reservations that could be vastly improved upon, and which the government has yet to adequately address.
Can we list a few here?
Note: As noted above the fold, this isn't much of a diary. More a blurb, or a rebuttal-esque blurb to a video of an idiot making an idiotic statement based on his idiot-ological bent. And I'm late to get to bed, so I won't be able to monitor it - I'll be back in a few hours, but if you have items that could be listed and links to support 'em, please post 'em. I'd like to compile a crash course of issues, problems etc. that I suspect won't take long to create; it'll be good to have a list on-hand when idiots repeat Stossell's stalking points.
Thanks - see ya in a few hours...