The Situation

s Sovereignty of the Indigenous Population in America In his paper Ward Churchill explains the dynamics of the misconception surrounding the Native American population that labels them as an ethnic/racial minority. His paper on this highly controversial topic puts forth extremely plausible evidence that emphasizes on the fact that referring to the ‘indigenous population’ as nationality is not merely for effect but is in fact legally granted to them as per US law. It is also affirmed in the light of the concept of inherent sovereignty. which is highly pertinent to the case of Native Americans. Inherent sovereignty refers to the autonomy granted to a body through the consent of the people who are being governed.
According to the constitution, the federal government cannot enter into treaties with an entity, unless it is fully sovereign. The US government between the years 1790 and 1870 has entered into 371 treaties that affirm their sovereignty that is now both inherent and constitutionally valid (Churchill, 1985, p. 31). Throughout history, there have been numerous instances, besides the occupation of their homeland, whereby the government has failed to safeguard the interest of the Native Americans. Furthermore, from an economic point of view, the territories under the Native American tribes are extremely well-endowed with minerals and energy resources.
Hence, not only from an ethical viewpoint, the Native American population deserves to enjoy the status of a Nation from a legal and economic perspective as well. The Native population is further divided into three very distinct racial units. Hence essentially there is no all-encompassing term for the numerous racial divisions of the indigenous population of North America (Churchill, 1985, p. 30). Despite the fact that the American constitution has was composed in order to safe guard the interest of every group, but so far it has failed to do anything for the indigenous people or even control the crimes that take place within these tribes.
Inherent sovereignty may be a barrier, but it further demonstrates one of the key flaws within the country’s legislative and judicial system that has been unable to reach a position of compromise with the Native American tribesmen and the Government. The situation of the indigenous population is the perfect embodiment of the concept of ‘Internal colonialism’. which is the glaring disparity in development between two regions within the same society. As pointed out and elaborated by Churchill, it is truly a shame that the system fails to protect the rights of the indigenous, who have been calling this vast land home long before Christopher Columbus hoisted his flag on its ground and claiming it for the settlers.
Churchill discusses the numerous government acts that ended up with American authorities extorting vast area of Indian Territory. Not only this, there are several cases that has spurred resentment with the Natives. Hence, it is no surprise that the Native American tribes have become hostile and have created a full-fledged movement to attain liberation. Unless the authorities open up their eyes and acknowledge the crises that are brewing then it may also lead to an armed conflict between the two groups. The confrontation would indeed be a localized one, but even so, it will be pointless shedding blood and the country’s resources over a situation that can easily be resolved through negotiations and quick action on part of the American Authorities. (Churchill, 1985, 33-35)
In conclusion, the American authorities need to make drastic amendments in their policy to help the Native Americans, who have been reduced to the status of a minority within the country. The government needs to acknowledge their roots and the fact that this country was indeed their homeland before it was home to any other nationality. Not only acknowledgement, but they should be paid due credit to the historical and cultural heritage of the indigenous population and help them voice their concern and actively involve them in the running of the country.
Work Cited
Churchill, Ward. “The Situation of Indigenous Populations in the United States: A contemporary Perspective”. University of Minnesota Press, 1985. P.p 30-35