As an American Indian—the term I prefer—a Comanche from Oklahoma, I am offended by the very concept of a “Native American Heritage Month.” President George H. W. Bush established November as the National American Indian Heritage Month in 1990 (the name has been changed for the usual disgusting PC reasons). I don’t recall being consulted about it.
Of course, I wasn’t consulted either in 1924 when the United States government decided to declare all Indians to be American citizens. That in effect put the federal government in charge, which was why Obama was recently able to force the Cherokee Nation to admit the descendants of their black slaves. Indeed, Indians in general are not consulted about our national identities or destinies within the American society. A few liberal-whipped NGO Indians do not represent American Indians.
In fact, the most recent time Indians were consulted about anything was in 2002, then again in 2004. That was about the use of Indian images as sport team mascots. Two professional surveys revealed that the vast majority of Indians were not offended, or didn’t care.
So what do I find objectionable about a “Native American” month?
Plenty. It declassifies American Indians. We are stripped of our various national identities and lumped into a common “minority” identity, along with immigrants, former slaves, women, disabled, even foreign religious groups. To call Indians a “minority” may fit us into the currently fashionable narrative of American politics, but it robs us of our dignity as the preeminent warrior race of America. It deprives us of all historical honor and Indian national pride.
Evolving social and political circumstances do not change history. To call an American Indian people a “minority” is like calling the white American a minority—which he is, and has always been in the global picture. But he can’t be called that here and now, at least not yet.
Calling Indians a “minority” also associates us with the dependent classes. To call us dependents is to utterly deny the dignity of our wars and the blood-bought treaties our fathers procured thereby.
Treaty provisions are not the equivalent of welfare handouts. Our treaties are on a par with the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, as we are identified in both. We are subjugated nations—who made treaties. We are unlike any other group in this country.
And it is psychologically destructive to be counted with these others. Indeed, by the 1948 United Nations definition, which includes “serious mental harm to members of the group,” it is genocide.
The whole “Native American Heritage Month” is a socio-political gesture which declassifies us and makes everyone (including us) think of Indians as just another dependent, oppressed group—bent on historical justice. And, because of our indigenous status, it makes American Indians the spearhead of the liberal notion of “I’ve been wronged!”
I see one way out.
Indians must separate from the federal government. By treaty, the land is ours—but even our land is “in trust.” We don’t really own it. “Sovereignty” is an economic fantasy of some kind. We have sovereignty only insofar as the government allows it.
But we can have much more. My proposal: we need to sell or lease our tribes, the right to manage our assets, to private ownership. We need to become like corporations. Ethnic enterprises.
We need a business model for the Indian Nation, not a bureaucratic system.
I said “sell the tribe” when I ran for chairman of the Comanche Nation in the spring of 2012. It was a frightening idea, of course, and I certainly did not win the election. But the idea must be developed for the future.
American Indians need to quickly separate from the government. We keep our land, yes. But the management of our tribes would be much better in private hands.
Call it an economic secession. Indians should secede from the Union, as it were. In a way, we could set the pace for American states that are talking about secession. It is economic, not constitutional. If we were bought out, it would be in accordance to the terms we ourselves set forth in a new “economic” treaty.
We are still ourselves, still our tribe or nation, and still intact. We simply would be free of federal government control and regulation.
Who besides the imperial class in D.C. would object? They’re presiding over the selling of America to China as we speak.
Dr. David A. Yeagley [email him] is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation (Lawton, Oklahoma).Click here to donate to The Bad Eagle Legal Defense Fund, in support of Dr. Yeagley's lawsuit against the parties who shut down the American Renaissance Conference. His articles have appeared in TheAmericanEnterprise.com, FrontPageMagazine.com, VDARE.com, and on his own web site, BadEagle.com. He is a speaker for the Young America’s Foundation, and for the John Birch Society. David Yeagley’s columns for VDARE.COM include An American Indian View of Immigration, and To Deport or not to Deport. David Yeagley is the author of Bad Eagle: The Rantings of a Conservative Comanche and Altered States: The State of the Dead and the State of the Holy. Dr. Yeagley has contributed to Persian Heritage Magazine and served its editorial board since 1998.