Posts Tagged ‘Hopi Cultural Preservation Office’
This story comes from Felicia Fonseca, based in the Southwest for the Associated Press, who writes frequently on Native issues:
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — An American Indian lacrosse team’s refusal to travel on passports not issued by the Iroquois confederacy goes to the heart of one of the most sensitive issues in Indian Country — sovereignty.
The rights of Native nations to govern themselves independently has long been recognized by federal treaties, but the extent of that recognition beyond U.S borders is under challenge in a post-Sept. 11 world.
After initially refusing to accept Iroquois-issued passports because the documents lack security features, the State Department gave the team a one-time waiver.
The team maintained that traveling on anything other than an Iroquois-issued passport would be a strike against the players’ identity. But the British government wouldn’t budge in denying team members entry into England without U.S. or Canadian passports, leading the Iroquois Nationals to withdraw Friday from competing at the World Lacrosse Championships in Manchester in the sport their ancestors helped create.
“Any documents or IDs we put forth recognizing our members should also be recognized by the federal government and other governments,” argued Sanford Nabahe, a member of the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone, who — like many in the American Indian community — closely followed the Iroquois’ passport dispute. “The (federal) government has given us that autonomy.”
The Iroquois, whose members mostly live in New York, Ontario and Quebec, along with the Hopi and Western Shoshone are among the few American Indian nations in which members have had a form of their own passports.
The understanding that the Iroquois Confederacy’s lands are independent from the U.S. is taught early on in school, team member Gewas Schindler said Thursday as the team waited out the dispute in New York.
“You know that as a young person that you are sovereign, that you are not part of the United States,” he said. “We were the first people here.”
But some say the team’s adamant position went too far.
Tags: buffalo post, Haudosaunee Confederacy, Hopi, Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, Iroquois Confederacy, Iroquois Nationals, Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone, Montana Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council, Muscogee Creek Nation, Native American news, Navajo, Sen. Kirsten Gillebrand, tribal sovereignty, Tulsa Creek Indian Community, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. State Department, Western Shoshone, World Lacrosse Championships