Campbell Brown, please don’t bow to the negative comments you have been recieving. I am the mother of several enrolled children of the Leech Lake Tribe, and what you said was correct!
However, whenever anyone speaks out against the obvious happening on the reservations, they are tore limb from limb. They are bullied to make them shut up, and that is exactly what is happening to you. I know this because it has has happened me and even to my husband, who was a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe – Leech Lake, born and raised on Leech Lake Reservation. He spoke out because he was tired of watching his friends and relatives die. He knew that it was the reservation system itself that was destructive to them. He took our entire family and moved 1200 miles away and became politically active in an effort to bring change, happiness and hope to the people he loved.
However, getting any word out that is contrary to the image that the tribal government (industry?) chooses to project is very difficult. Although my husband went to Washington DC several times to speak to Congressmen, it was very hard as a small person to combat the lobbying the tribes do. Remember Abramoff?
Senator Burns’ staff, (he was our Senator at the time), told me that the only way he would ever agree to any legislation changing Indian law is if all 500 tribes agreed to it. Never mind what’s constitutional and never mind the civil rights of millions of US citizens. Just please the tribal governments. They pay very well.
And yes, there are many constitutional attorneys and professors that say that much of Indian law is unconstitutional. Please contact me and I can refer you to some.
Look at the last US census and ask yourself why so many enrolled members have moved off the reservation. #1) life is dangerous there. #2) many enrollable people are primarily NON-indian; meaning, their blood quantums are less than 1/2 tribal heritage. They have other lives, other family, and other world views, not always the same as the tribal governents.
However, if they should die, no matter their personal choice, the tribal government has jurisdiction over their children.
Please stay strong in the truth that you spoke! Don’t let them bully you!