Monday, March 9, 2020

Native American Tribes Shaking Off The Shackles Of Socialism

In my last post on American Indian reservations, I talked about how the majority of them are perfect examples of how Socialism has failed in America. The bottom line is that since the 1870s, Native American tribes were promised free stuff -- and the federal government failed to meet its promises.

Like it or not, the federal government created tracts of land called reservations for Native Americans with a multi-purpose mission in mind: Bring Native Americans under the complete control of the federal government, minimize conflicts between Indian tribes, stop the violence against American settlers, and encourage tribes to change their ways, accept peace, and hopefully assimilate.

The American Indian reservation system is a Socialist "care program" which has treated Native Americans as wards of the Federal Government. Since many of you have written to ask what is meant by "wards of the Federal Government," let's look at that for a minute or two.

As defined, a ward is someone placed under the protection of a legal guardian. Children who are in the custody of the government are considered "wards of the state." In the case of Native Americans on reservations, that Socialist system makes the government "in loco parentis" as if they were children. The Latin term "in loco parentis" means "in the place of a parent".  That's what Socialism is. It refers to "the legal responsibility of a person or organization that takes on the functions and responsibilities of a parent."

As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court case Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 30 U.S. (5 Pet.) 1 (1831), Native Americans were legally made "wards of the federal government." Yes, "with a relationship to the United States like that of a ward to its guardian," which is how Supreme Court Justice Marshall put it.

That means, Native American tribes gained the status of being dependents of the Federal Government. As stated in my previous article, the Indian Appropriations Act passed in 1871 reaffirmed that all American Indians were made "wards of the state." 

Please understand, the problem here is that no one should be treats like children. The federal government is not my parent. It's certainly not the parent of Native Americans. The reservation system enabled the federal government to strip Indian tribes of their rich heritage of self-governance, religious freedom, and most importantly their property ownership. 

Ever hear of the Burke Act of 1906? According to it, Indian lands and resources must be held in trust by the federal government on the premise that Native Americans were not "competent and capable" to manage their own lives and affairs. 

Such a horrible premise came about when the federal government got involved when the question of the citizenship status of American Indians came up. In 1887, Congress passed the General Allotment Act, or Dawes Severalty Act, which stated that "Indians who received land allotments or voluntarily took up residence away from their tribes were to be given United States citizenship." The land allotments they speak of are essentially Indian homesteads. 

While that seemed simple enough, some folks in the government had a real problem with that since they believed that allotments of land were to be held in trust on behalf of the Indians by the federal government for twenty-five years. Some courts held that an Indian gained citizenship at the end of the twenty-five-year trust period. Other courts said that Indians possessed citizenship as soon as they received an allotment of land was received.

The Dawes Act exempted the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole, and Creek Indians as well as five other tribes residing in the Indian Territory, present day Oklahoma. Later that was fixed when it was amended in 1901. As for the Burke Act of 1906, it pertained to Indians who took allotments. 

The condescension in that act is obvious to anyone reading it. The law withheld citizenship for American Indians until the end of the twenty-five year trust period or until the allottee received a fee patent from the Secretary of the Interior. It also states that any Indian who had taken up residence away from their tribe and who had "adopted the habits of civilized life" was declared a citizen and was "entitled to all the rights, privileges, and immunities of citizenship." Although, the Burke Act also stated that its "provisions shall not extend to any Indians in the Indian Territory".

Under the Burke Act, the Secretary of the Interior was given a great deal of authority over Indians who took land allotments. He had the power to decide whether an Indian was "competent" enough to handle his own affairs before he could even receive an allotment. And here's something else, the Secretary of the Interior actually was responsible for choosing the legal heirs of a deceased allottee.

If he determined there were no legal heirs, the allotted land could then be sold. Imagine how the system was used by crooks wanting to steal Indian lands. Of course, as you can see, Indians were cheated out of their legal lands through such asinine notions that Indians were simple-minded children incapable of acting on their own behalf or in their own best interest.

This was Socialism at it's worse. This is the concept of Socialism that's being pushed today. It's what Socialist believe in. It goes to the heart of the Socialist belief that the federal government should act as our parent. Socialists believe that only government should be trusted to know what's best for us. 

The Burke Act of 1906 believed that if Indians with allotments were completely free of federal guardianship -- that they would be prey to unscrupulous persons who would soon cheat them out of their lands. Of course the irony there is that government officials cheated more Indians out of their lands than anyone else. All while using the law to do so. 

My post on Socialist reservation system aggravated some die-hard Bernie Sanders supporters. Yes, I've gotten all sorts of hate mail from people who want Socialism and have a desire for a Communist America. For those who are writing to tell me how Socialism works on reservations, please don't bother spreading such lies here. I've visited reservations in the past. I've listened to what friends who have lived on reservations have told me. Comments spreading such Leftist propaganda, such lies and distortions of the truth, won't be published here.

And as for you name callers, you are a pathetic group. Why is it that you pretend to be caring people when you spew some of the most vile hate? And by the way, this is not a discussion forum. You people who call me a racist because I hate the slavery that Socialism brings with it. My rejecting Socialism is not racism. It's Patriotism!

As for you folks who hate America, you are not going to get your venomous comments posted here. As for you folks who love Socialism and the enslavement of people by the government, I don't feel sorry for you -- I pity your stupidity and desire to be treated as children by a government that has never given anything away free.

You think I'm kidding? Name a government program that's free? Simply the fact that it's a "government program" tells us that it's an "American Taxpayer program." Veterans benefits were paid for by veterans when they served. Unemployment is paid for through payroll taxes and by businesses. Welfare, Food Stamps, Section 8 Housing, Medicare, are all paid for through taxes. The police, fire departments, public hospitals, are all paid for through taxes that come out of our wages. None of that is free.

All of the "free stuff" that Bernie Sanders is promising is not free. We would have to pay for it through higher taxes being taken from our wages. You think Sanders wants to raise the minimum wage to help you? He wants more of your money! And by the way, if he actually did get the government to pay off student loans, or my credit cards, my mortgage, my car loan, and pay for my electric bills and healthcare as he's promised, who do you think will pay for those things? We will. American taxpayers pay for everything.

Whether some folks want to admit it, and you should really see the hate mail that I received about this, over the last 150 years or more, the people in power in Washington D.C. have viewed the tribes as children needing to be cared for as children. Subsequently, the government has attempted to care for the tribes with little respect for their heritage, independence, or honor. Instead, the federal government has traditionally treated Native Americans as children -- unable to make their own way in the world. Yes, no different than how Democrats saw black slaves before, during, and after the Civil War.

Like it or not, while not all have had it rough, the overwhelming majority of tribes on reservations have had it very tough dealing with a Socialist reservation system where the government is nothing more than a benevolent master. Fact is, any way anyone wants to spin the truth of what takes place on most reservations, the federal government controls production and distribution of goods, forbids private ownership of land, and is in charge of all services. That's Socialism. And yes my friends, that's a problem.

And as for people who have written to tell me that their particular reservation is doing great and how wonderful it is that the federal government cares for you like children, I doubt you live on a reservation. And if you do, if I'm wrong and in fact you do, then it's a safe bet to say that you probably live on one of the few reservations that are doing better than the majority that are not.

In 2016, half of all Native Americans lived at the poverty line as "working poor." One in four, were below the poverty line. This is made up statistics, this is government statistics. And don't kid yourselves, there is a huge difference when it comes to employment between American Indians and other Americans. When compared to Whites, Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics, fact is Native Americans with similar factors such as age, sex, level of education, marital status, and state of residence, have it tougher to find jobs. In fact, their odds of being employed is about 30 percent lower than that of other Americans.

While my last article on this subject had to do with how bad things were as a result of Socialist policies, there are remedies to the problems faced by tribes. First, instead of the government limiting employment and investment for the good folks on reservations by treating them like children, something Bernie Sanders wants to do with all of America, government should support their independence, their self-determination, and allow them to create innovative Capitalist solutions.

Second, the federal government should stop the "care-giver" system and allow Native American communities to development financial institutions of their own. The feds should stop limiting Native Americans through regulations and Socialist ideals, and allow them to improve their lot in life. Native Americans need an improved healthcare system, high-quality early childhood education, and they need to support tribal programs supporting higher education and employment. As for employment, Native Americans should be allowed to harvest the fossil fuels on reservations. Not for the federal government, corrupt politicians, corrupt tribal leaders, or some outside concern, but to benefit their needs. 

My grandparents were young parents in the opening days of the Great Depression. My grandmother used to say, "a man feels better about himself when he's holding a job and working." As with society in general, all of social ills that reservations face today with rampant drug use, alcoholism, domestic violence, child abuse, depression, and suicides, are tied to non-existent employment opportunities on reservations. Whether people want to face the facts or not, idle hands create problems.

According to statistics, there are "326 Indian reservations in the United States associated with a particular Native American nation. Not all of the country's 567 recognized tribes have a reservation." But some tribes have more than one reservation, while some tribes actually share reservations.

Now for the flip side of what's taking place on some Indian reservations ... 

As for people writing to say that their particular reservation is doing better than others, and you really do live on a reservation, I think that's wonderful to hear. It really is. In my first article on this subject, I talked about those that were shackled to Socialism and how those places resemble Third World countries. Since I was contacted by a friend who belongs to a tribe, and he asked me to research and write on the problems with Socialism on reservations, I did so. That was part one. As for the reservations that are doing well, there are a few reasons why that's taking place. This is part two.

Fact is, more and more Americans Indian tribes are working very hard to shake off the shackles of Socialism which is the primary evil of the reservation system. They are doing so through increased income and wealth through new and innovative economic development. Yes, by embracing good old fashion "Capitalism" where the federal government is a pain in the butt -- but not one's master or guardian.

You don't think tribes aren't embracing Capitalism? Well according to studies published in the last 5 years, more and more tribes have increased their control over their own destiny by harvesting their natural resources and becoming players in our nation's energy sector. Some have embraced Capitalism through building casinos and resorts. Others are doing so by attempting to bring in manufacturing onto reservation lands.

Democrats fail to understand that tribes don't need more short-term federal handouts. Tribes don't need a parent in the form of the federal government. They need to bring in revenue and long lasting economic development. Yes, they need what Democrats don't know how to provide -- especially since Democrats see revenue and economic development as something that people are incapable of creating.

Some Socialists in our federal government believe Americans are not "competent and capable" of managing our own lives or our own affairs. Those same foolish people feel Indian lands and resources must be held in trust by the federal government for all of the same dubious reasons. And if you think they will ever relinquish their hold on Native Americans, remember that they are the same people who want to be the parent for all Americans. 

Some Call It "Reservation Capitalism"

According to the Washington Times, law professor and tribal member Robert Miller, in his book  "Reservation Capitalism," points out that "Tribes are making profits and creating economic development and jobs." 

Thankfully, some tribes are finding ways to open themselves up to the economic potential of their communities while they shake the shackles of Socialism for good. Take for example, Lance Morgan, who is the CEO of Ho-Chunk Inc. which is a $100 million Winnebago Indian tribal corporation. It employs nearly 400 people with good paying jobs.

In an interview in August of 2019 with the Washington Times, he said, "We’ve taken control of our destiny, gotten a taste of independence, and don’t plan on giving it up. Government-led economies have been a total failure. I refuse to believe the Winnebagos are Karl Marx's last hope."

About now, it should be noted that there are differences between reservations. In fact, as most who live on prospering reservations already know, there is very little similarity between those embracing Capitalism and those wedded to Socialism. Reservations embracing Capitalism and more economic development show the benefits of doing so with good homes with all of the amenities available off the reservation, better healthcare, better schools, great child care, and an education system that also encourages heritage learning among other things. They also don't have the widespread social ills that truly plague other reservations that are not doing as well. Yes, that's the flip side to the Native American reservation story.

The Washington Times article that I referenced a moment ago also talked about the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana "exemplifies" this new Native American spirit of restoring their rich heritage of self-governance through entrepreneurial development and capitalist concepts. The Coushatta Indians regained their recognition as a tribe and began to rebuild their culture and economy. They started out with a few acres which they put into federal trusteeship so they could build a successful casino. Now that tribe has more than 6,000 acres of private land which they use for "everything from crayfish farming to oil development." 

The great news is that the Coushatta Tribe has expanded from merely a local Indian casino to now being the second-largest private employer in Louisiana. And frankly, there are similar success stories seen with the Flathead Reservation in Montana, the Yakama and Colville reservations in Washington, the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon, and the Fort Bidwell and Hoopa Valley reservations in California.

As for energy resources such as oil and gas? More and more tribes are reasserting their ownership and sovereignty to harness their natural resources to benefit their tribes. For example, on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota, the Three Affiliated Tribes have used special legislation to assert their control of oil and gas leases. 

Tribal chairman Tex Hall said, "The potential here is to obtain financial independence for our nation, education for our youth, sustenance for our elders, maintenance of our culture and above all to set the people of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation on the road to independence."

While not all resource-rich tribes have achieved the autonomy that some have, chairman A.J. Not Afraid of the Crow Tribe in Montana pointed out that his tribe's "land is rich in energy resources, natural resources, and minerals, but over-regulation prevents the tribe from capitalizing on its resources." He went on to say, "We wait for permission from the federal government. By law, we need the BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs] to bless our business contracts."

As most know, in regards to the needs of Native Americans, a group that's only 1.5% of our entire population, the biggest hurdle to their success is that which face most tribes: Most reservation lands are owned by the federal government. That means many tribes wanting to shake off the shackles of Socialism, and get out from under the thumb of the federal government, needs the blessing of the federal government to achieve economic prosperity for their people.

So now, looking at things honestly, we know that the majority of reservations are still economically disadvantaged. But, also looking at things honestly, we can see there's a lot of good news. The good news is that there's hope in that "Reservation Capitalism" is taking place. And yes, that's a positive. 

If American Indians can get the government out of the way by lifting draconian regulations or by simply streamlining the permit process, then I believe more tribes will prosper. And maybe after more than a hundred years of insufficient good intentions and broken promises of free stuff, we will hear the good news that more and more tribes have rid themselves of Socialism -- and the horrible effects that it has had on a people rich in heritage and honor.  

Tom Correa


  1. I believe it was the Lokota tribe we stopped to visit in South Dakota. Their school was very impressive. Their tribal museum equally so, especially their exhibition on the Trail of Tears. We left the museum in tears; such a sad and humiliating event in history for all concerned. Overall our impression was that this proud tribe really has their act together and we departed on a hopeful note having learned much of the "other side of the story".

  2. The living conditions of the poorer tribes is an abomination. Our miserable mess called federal government apparently has no desire to do anything about the conditions the tribes face. I hope many people will read what you have written, take it to heart and see what socialism can do. What can we as citizens do to help besides keeping Bernie Sanders out of the White House? I live in Virginia and have no idea whether the Powhatan Indians live on a reservation. Guess I shall do some homework.


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