In regards to the current controversy regarding the Supreme Court Nominee, I have no comment on the hearing tomorrow except to say that where there is smoke there is fire. And in this case, you have a forest fire that is larger than any we saw last summer. I do have other reasons to vote against Brett Cavanaugh and it has to do with his potential jeopardy to a Tribes most sacred right, which is Tribal Sovereignty. Native organizations in Alaska have been very vocal about this and to some extent so have other Tribes here in the Lower 48.
Judge Cavanaugh has very limited exposure to Tribal affairs as he sits in a court that does not often hear Tribal cases. And yet there is enough evidence to reveal that he is a threat to Tribal Sovereignty and to the Indian Child Welfare Act specifically. Given that he will be the swing vote on the Supreme Court, this may be the greatest threat we have seen to Tribal Sovereignty since the Termination era.
Of course President Trump supports Judge Cavanaugh but we must also remember that President Trump is no fan of Tribal Sovereignty either. His Secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinke, had discussions in May on eliminating Tribal Sovereignty. And don't forget that Trump fought against the Indian Gaming Act more than anyone in the Congress. And if you think I only have it in for Republicans you are dead wrong. President Nixon was the one who initiated the legislation that resulted in the Indian Self Determination Act which is the most important law to protect Tribal Sovereignty in the last 50 years. So give credit where credit is due.
However, when we see any leader in Congress, the executive branch or on the courts who are threats to Tribal Sovereignty we need to do everything in our power to confront it. Without our Tribal status, all we have fought for these past 500 plus years will have been for nought. As the famous congressman Tip O'Neil once said: "All politics is local." And this is about as local and personal as it gets for Tribal people.
An excellent training course which covers this is How to Achieve True Self-Determination.
For more information on how you can create self discipline among your Tribal workforce, give us a call at (206) 437-5884 or get in touch with us here.