Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
July 15, 2000 - Issue 14

A Resolution by the Native American Caucus

Co-authored by California Democratic Party
Chairman Senator Art Torres, (Ret.) and Unanimously Adopted by the California Democratic Party July 9, 2000

Whereas the Washington state Republican Party, on June 17th, 2000, in a reprehensible and racist attack on the American Indian people, passed a heinous resolution calling for the termination of American Indian tribal governments; and their proponents have called for, in a time of peace and in a new era of tribal self-reliance, the use of military forces against tribal communities that would justly defend their right to self-governance; and the proponents of this outrageous and offensive measure have urged the American government to use “whatever steps necessary to terminate” tribal governments; and

Whereas the United States Congress in 1789 pledged to this country's first Americans that “the utmost good faith shall always be observed towards Indians; their land and property shall never be taken from them without their consent”; and the passage of the Washington state Republican party resolution blatantly defies the very principles of justice upon which this country was founded and, without regard for the right of Indian people to self-determination, calls for the slaughter of tribal sovereignty in this new century; and

Whereas, the United States' participation in 700 treaties with the indigenous peoples of North America established more than a century of government-to-government relationships under both international and U.S. domestic law; and both the United States Constitution and the Supreme Court upheld tribal governments as "distinct, independent political communities" and as such, are qualified to exercise powers of self-government, not by virtue of any delegation of powers from the federal government, but rather because of their inherent tribal sovereignty; and the action of the Washington state Republican party is a fundamental violation of the American government's commitment to tribal sovereignty;

Now therefore be it resolved that the Native American Caucus of the California Democratic Party, assembled on this day July 7, 2000, denounces the resolution of the Washington State Republican Party. We call upon Democratic and Republican leadership, citizens and elected leaders, in the true spirit of liberty and justice for all, to condemn this resolution and reaffirm the preservation and protection of tribal sovereignty and tribal self-government for America's 557 federally-recognized Indian nations.

Read about the Washington State resolution:

Washington GOP plank to terminate tribes ignites firestorm



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