Treaty Rights & Tribal Sovereignty

“Take these Tribes Down” The Anti-Indian Movement Comes to Washington State

“Take these Tribes Down” The Anti-Indian Movement Comes to Washington State - 4.5 out of 5 based on 15 votes

This IREHR Special Report takes you inside the April 6 meeting hosted in Bellingham, Washington by the anti-Indian groups Citizens Equal Rights Alliance and Citizens Equal Rights Foundation. The report sheds light on these groups’ anti-Indian ideas and goals, their legal strategy and their plans to re-invigorate anti-Indian activism in Washington State and around the country.

“Take these tribes down”
The Anti-Indian Movement Comes to Washington State

By Chuck Tanner

April 6, 2013. As blue sky peeked through the clouds of an overcast Northwest morning, a group of mostly indigenous people gathered near the Lakeway Inn Best Western in Bellingham, Washington. Drumming and singing pulsed as those present held signs reading, “Honor the Treaties” and “We are All the People.” Event organizers, Idle No More Bellingham, had called community members together to protest two organizations “who are holding a conference to discuss opposition to the existence of tribes as separate and sovereign entities.”[1]

Inside a Lakeway Inn conference room, about fifty people were gathered to hear a lineup of speakers assail the very ideas of tribal sovereignty and treaty rights – of tribal nationhood.  The anti-Indian movement had come to town.  The concerns of Idle No More Bellingham were entirely justified.

The Bellingham conference was sponsored by the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA) and Citizens Equal Rights Foundation (CERF), one of a series of events being hosted around the country by these closely-linked national anti-Indian groups. CERA/CERF held previous meetings in New York and Massachusetts; others are slated for late April in the Midwest and June in Northern California.  CERA/CERF organized these forums after canceling their regular annual Washington D.C. conference.


New Report by Borderlands Research and Education

New Report by Borderlands Research and Education - 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

IREHR is pleased to re-publish this Background Report and this Bulletin by Borderlands Research and Education in Silverdale, Washington.

Long-standing and very contemporary attacks on Indian tribal sovereignty should be repudiated by all those who reside in the United States. Understanding the origin of these modern-day attacks is essential information. We thank Borderlands for their work.

To more fully understand these reports, please also see Keeping our Word: Indigenous Sovereignty and Treaty Rights.

If not embedded below, you can download the report here, and the Bulletin here.

Trial Set for Attack on Blackfeet Nation Member

Assailants called Glacier County Commissioner "Dirty Indian" as they kicked him.

The trial of three Montana men who hurled racial slurs as they assaulted a Blackfeet man will begin February 3 in Libby, Montana. The attack occurred in September 2008 as Ron Rides at the Door, a member of the Blackfeet Nation and a Glacier County Commissioner, attempted to break up a fight outside a Great Falls bar.


Light Sentence in Artifact Looting Case

Light Sentence in Artifact Looting Case - 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 votes

A Eureka, California man received a light sentenced in late October for illegally removing artifacts from a cultural site of the Yurok tribe. After pleading guilty in September  to illegally excavating a Native cultural site, James Edward Truhls, 30, was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 60 hours of community service and ordered to pay a $350 fine for illegally removing artifacts from a cultural site of the Yurok tribe. Truhls could have received up to one year in prison and a $10,000 fine. A judge had previously dropped a grave-looting charge which potentially carried a stronger sentence.


Reporting on Violence, Harassment and Discrimination Against Indigenous Peoples

A regular feature in IREHR's Treaty Rights and Sovereignty issue area of the website will be to report on incidents of violence, harassment and discrimination directed at indigenous peoples. While many bias crimes against native peoples are similar to those against other people of color, motivated as they are by the bigotry of their perpetrators, they are reported separately here because of potentially distinct aspects of bias crimes against Indian people.


Keeping our Word: Indigenous Sovereignty and Treaty Rights

The struggle for equality in the United States is most identified with the heroic battles of the Civil Rights Movement. As African Americans fought for equal protection under the law and full participation in society, Americans and people around the world were inspired. Our most noble pursuits have been inspired by the genuine call to equal rights and justice for all: the struggle for women’s equality, the stand against white nationalists and anti-Semites, the battle for full Constitutional rights for people of all sexual orientations, the voices that rose against the persecution of Arabs and Muslims after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the fight for immigrant rights, and many more.


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The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights (IREHR) is a national organization with an international outlook examining racist, anti-Semitic, white nationalist, and far-right social movements, analyzing their intersection with civil society and social policy, educating the public, and assisting in the protection and extension of human rights through organization and informed mobilization.


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