You probably don’t remember Public Law 280 as it was passed
in 1953, but it is an interesting example of how our government
treats Native Americans. Said law affected tribal nations in
Alaska (after it became a state), Arizona, Iowa, Montana,
North Dakota, and Utah.
The law mandated that law enforcement be turned over to the
government instead of the tribes meaning sheriffs and such could
take tribal members who committed crimes on tribal lands to
state courts for trial. In states not affected by the law,
enforcement was left to the Bureau of Indian Affairs when
major crimes were committed.
It was supposedly an attempt to get American Indians out of
poverty by inserting them into society. Doesn’t sound too
terrible does it? In what was called the termination era
(1953-1968) 109 tribes were terminated, 2.5 million acres of
tribal land was sold to non-Native Americans, and 12,000
Native Americans lost their tribal affiliation.
Some Native Americans are now concerned, with Trump pushing
the pipelines, that the same thing might happen to them today.
Why? It is estimated tribal lands hold one fifth of our nations
oil, gas, and reserves.
It does appear Trump is not a fan of green energy so there
could be some validity in their concerns. If Standing Rock
were to be taken by the government, the pipeline could be
allowed to cross sacred grounds since they would no longer
be considered sacred.
We don’t know the answers nor can we see into the future,
but this could get interesting.
Enjoy the rest of our day, kick your feet up, have a cold
one, and relax. I’ll do the same as soon as I wrestle a pizza
and devour it.
Comments are always welcome.