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NATIVE TREATY RIGHTS

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If abrogate treaties, give back land? Pay for resources? Usufructuary (Use) Rights. Tribes could not survive on reservation resources alone, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: NATIVE TREATY RIGHTS


1
NATIVE TREATY RIGHTS
Dr. Zoltan Grossman Faculty member in
Geography and Native American Studies, The
Evergreen State College, Olympia,
Washington http//academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossma
z
Supreme Law of the Land (U.S. Constitution
Article VI )
2
Treaties for cessions (Land transfers to U.S.)
  • Cessions traded land for peace (prevented war)
  • U.S. benefited from ceded lands resources
  • If abrogate treaties, give back land? Pay for
    resources?

3
Usufructuary (Use) Rights
  • Tribes could not survive on reservation resources
    alone,
  • so treaties reserved use rights on ceded
    lands
  • -- Hunting, fishing, gathering
  • Similar to use rights after selling private
    property
  • Access to fruit tree, boat landings, road, etc.
  • Some treaties further specified that services or
    payments were to be provided to the tribe
  • Unequal to lands value

4
Treaty annuity payments to Ojibwe LaPointe,
Madeline Island, WI 1852
5
Treaties
Treaties are agreements between sovereign
nations. 371 treaties signed by U.S. Native
nations to 1871, implied recognition of
sovereignty. Only federal government can
negotiate a treaty State laws cannot impinge
6
Reserved Rights Doctrine
Treaties removed rights. They did not grant
them. Tribes sold land to U.S. under
conditions. Rights to control ceded lands taken
away. Tribes retained some rights practiced for
centuries.
7
Canons of Construction
Accounts of treaty talks, translations often
ambiguous Historical inquiry into context of
culture economy Ambiguities must be resolved
in favor of Indians. Treaties must be
interpreted and construed as Indians would have
understood them.
8
Violations of treaty rights
  • Ward vs. Race Horse decision, 1896
  • Statehood nullified treaties
  • Hunting/fishing for sport rather than
  • food in early 1900s (T. Roosevelt)
  • Conservation of resources
  • used to curtail tribal rights
  • Treaty rights practiced in secret
  • Confiscations, jail terms if caught

9
Washington Fish-Ins, 1960s
  • Treaties of 1854-55
  • guaranteed fishing rights
  • Returning vets asserted rights,
  • called poachers
  • Attracted national support
  • for Puget Sound tribes
  • Violent reaction from police,
  • local vigilantes

10
Boldt Decision, 1974
  • WA tribes entitled to a share
  • of fish (50) in common
  • Can fish in usual and
  • accustomed places
  • Tribes need a modest
  • standard of living
  • Belloni decisions for
  • Columbia River tribes

11
Backlash to Boldt
  • Backlash from sportfishermen,
  • commercial fishermen
  • Steelhead/Salmon Protective Assoc.
  • and Wildlife Network (S/SPAWN)
  • Joined reservation whites
  • opposing tribal jurisdiction
  • Interstate Congress for Equal
  • Rights and Responsbilities

12
National Anti-Treaty Movement
  • Spread from Northwest to Great Plains to Midwest
  • Overlap with national Wise Use movement
  • some contact with right-wing extremist groups
    (Ryser)
  • Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA) national
  • network strongly denies racism

www.citizensalliance.org
13
Definitions of Place
  • SOCIAL
  • Defines place as belonging
  • to one ethnic or racial group
  • (Law of the Blood)
  • TERRITORIAL
  • Defines place geographically
  • as home for all who live there
  • (Law of the Soil)
  • Ethnic cleansing in early 90s
  • to match ethnic, state boundaries

Flag of Bosnian Serbs (ethnic)
Flag of Bosnia (multiethnic state)
14
Geographies of Exclusion (Sibley)
  • Insiders belong in the place
  • Outsiders are transgressing
  • in the place
  • Insiders set up boundaries,
  • rules to exclude outsiders
  • Examples Gypsies, Homeless,
  • Ethnic minorities, etc.

15
Indians as Outsiders
  • Native Americans belong
  • in place (on reservation)
  • Spearfishers transgressing
  • into non-Indian social space
  • Whites border towns
  • zones of social exclusion
  • Wisconsin chants
  • White Mans Land,
  • Indians Go Home

16
Anti-Treaty Movement Equal Rights for Whites
  • Interpretation of civil rights
  • as individual rights
  • Whites victims of
  • Red Apartheid
  • Martin Luther King would
  • have opposed treaties?

17
Anti-Treaty Movement Access to natural resources
  • Indians granted special rights to resources
  • Tribes are pawns in
  • federal land grab
  • Fish game endangered
  • by rape of resources
  • Sport is higher use of
  • resources than harvest

18
Anti-Treaty Movement Economic dependency
  • Indians opposed for being on welfare
  • Welfare Cadillac message
  • Indians have free housing,
  • education, medical care, cash
  • Indians use tax , dont pay taxes
  • Indians opposed for getting off welfare

19
Pro-Treaty Movement
  • Response to displays of
  • racism by anti-treaty groups
  • Witnessing of anti-Indian
  • harassment and violence
  • Public education on history,
  • culture, resources
  • Build environmental and economic
  • common ground with non-Indians

20
Shared identities in conflict
  • Both Native non-Indian fishers
  • depend on resources for identity
  • Both highly value outdoors
  • for cultural lifestyle
  • Both relatively poor
  • mom pop businesses
  • closing for corporate chains
  • Both independent rural people
  • often at odds with government

21
Anti-Treaty Movement Equal Rights for Whites
  • Interpretation of civil rights
  • as individual rights
  • Whites victims of
  • Red Apartheid
  • Martin Luther King would
  • have opposed treaties?

22
Anti-Treaty Movement Access to natural resources
  • Indians granted special rights to resources
  • Tribes are pawns in
  • federal land grab
  • Fish game endangered
  • by rape of resources
  • Sport is higher use of
  • resources than harvest

23
Anti-Treaty Movement Economic dependency
  • Indians opposed for being on welfare
  • Welfare Cadillac message
  • Indians have free housing,
  • education, medical care, cash
  • Indians use tax , dont pay taxes
  • Indians opposed for getting off welfare

24
Pro-Treaty Movement
  • Response to displays of
  • racism by anti-treaty groups
  • Witnessing of anti-Indian
  • harassment and violence
  • Public education on history,
  • culture, resources
  • Build environmental and economic
  • common ground with non-Indians

25
Shared identities in conflict
  • Both Native non-Indian fishers
  • depend on resources for identity
  • Both highly value outdoors
  • for cultural lifestyle
  • Both relatively poor
  • mom pop businesses
  • closing for corporate chains
  • Both independent rural people
  • often at odds with government

26
When America says something, America means it,
whether a treaty, or an agreement, or a vow made
on marble steps. Great nations, like great men,
keep their word. -- President George Bush,
Inaugural address, 1989
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