Monday, November 22, 2010

Native American Sovereignty FTW

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Spotted today in an Old Town Eureka parking lot: A Toyota 4Runner with a license plate issued by the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

click to enlarge license_plate_crop_upscale_q85.jpg

I knew that some Native American nations issue passports. I remember the showdown earlier this year when the U.K. shamefully refused to let members of the Iroquois National lacrosse team travel to a tournament without documentation issued by The White Man. But I didn't know that a whole bunch of nations effectively have their own DMVs. 

There are many deep and tricky discussions to be had about native sovereignty. What is the proper balance of power between the federal government, state government, local government and sovereign tribes? To what degree does self-governance in Indian Country lead to a fragmentation of our legal system, or our society? (Teaser: This week's Journal will likely touch upon one of these questions.)

Everything else being equal, though, I declare my natural bias in favor of sovereignty. It just makes the world more interesting. And with that, I'm throwing down a challenge: Hoopa, you're first. I want to see some license plates.

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Simona Carini

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