ERIC Number: ED277518
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Reference Count: 0
The Situation of Indigenous Populations in the United States.
Wicazo Sa Review, v1 n1 p30-35 Spr 1985
Viewing indigenous peoples of the United States as ethnic/racial minorities is a misconception because there is no given ethnicity which might be correctly said to encompass the more than 400 distinctly identifiable ethnicities comprising what is lumped in the catchall category of "Native Americans" and because notions of ethnic/racial minority status fail to convey the sense of national identity by which most or all North American indigenous populations define themselves. Three major premises support the contention that indigenous peoples of North America have constituted and continue to constitute nations in the strictest definition of this term. The "right of inherent sovereignty" doctrine holds that a people constitutes a nation simply because "since time immemorial it has always done so." The fact that the United States government, between 1790 and 1870, willingly entered into 371 treaty relationships with various indigenous peoples in North America corroborates the claim to status as sovereign national entities under the right of inherent sovereignty. The examples of tiny European and Pacific Island nations illustrate that indigenous nations may not be too small to survive in the contemporary international context. The recent history of the North American indigenous struggle must be viewed/understood from this perspective. (NEC)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Seminar on the Situation of the Black, Chicano, Cuban, Native American, Puerto Rican, Carribean and Asian Communities in the United States (2nd, Havana, Cuba, December 4-6, 1984).