Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was adopted into the Crow Tribe by Hartford and Mary Black Eagle during a campaign visit to Crow Agency. (James Woodcock/Billings Gazette)
The latest news release
from the Seneca Nation – which is furious over a new law banning mail-order cigarettes – accuses President Barack Obama of “deliberate betrayal” of Native Americans.
Obama signed the PACT (Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking) Act yesterday. Read the Buffalo News account here.
The tribe derives significant income from mail-order sales tobacco products. The tribe says that will cause the loss of 3,000 jobs, both Native and non-Native, related to those sales.
But both health groups and big tobacco supported the PACT Act, the latter maintaining that the tax-free nature of the mail-order smokes represented unfair competition.
“The President of the United States invited Native American leaders to Washington D.C. in November and looked us in the eye as a sign of good faith in his pledge to protect federal treaties. Now four months later he has betrayed that promise,” says Seneca Nation president Barry Snyder Jr.
The news release reminds readers that, during his campaign, Obama was adopted into the Crow Tribe, in southern Montana. His adoption by Hartford “Sonny” Black Eagle and Mary Black Eagle made him a member of the Whistling Water Clan, a child of the Newly Made Lodge, and brother to Cedric Black Eagle, now the tribe’s president
“I guess he’s forgotten friends he made when he wanted votes. He is no friend to Indian Country and I would hope the Crow revoke his honorary member status,” Snyder says.
Snyder also blasted members of Congress who voted for the PACT Act, but singled out South Dakota Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin for praise for refusing to support it.
“Congresswoman Sandlin, whose district includes Rosebud and Yankton Sioux nations, had the backbone to point out that the PACT Act will open the door for states to bring felony changes against tribes and tribal businesses. If only our Western New York lawmakers had this same respect for tribal sovereignty,” Snyder says.
Tags: Apsaalooke, buffalo post, Cedric Black Eagle, Crow Nation, D-S.D., Gwen Florio, Hartford "Sonny" Black Eagle, Mail-order tobacco, Mary Black Eagle, Native American news, PACT Act, President Barack Obama, Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking, Seneca Nation, tribal cigarettes, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin