Constitutional rights of Native Americans violated by totalitarian tribal governments

Lenore Banning owned over a million feet of timber on her trust land – but lived in poverty her entire life. It was impossible for her to sell any of her timber, even though she owned it. The tribal government wouldn’t allow it.

Posted on by Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare

Toddler Lauryn Whiteshield was murdered a little over a month after her arrival to her grandfather’s home on the Spirit Lake Reservation, in the spring of 2013. She and her three-year-old twin sister were taken from a safe, loving home in Bismarck and placed with their grandfather and his girlfriend, a woman known by Spirit Lake to have been abusive to children in the past. The woman beat the girls several times. On June 12, 2013, they were thrown down an embankment. Sometime later that night, Laurynn died next to her sleeping sister.

Without doubt, current federal Indian policy infringes on the personal liberty, health and property of persons of Native American heritage. 

Federal policies mandate tribal government jurisdiction over individuals of lineage – whether the individuals want it or not – in several situations, including:

  • Children across America who have never been near a reservation nor involved in tribal customs
  • Women of any heritage, victimized by reservation related violence, who are only allowed to seek justice in tribal court and are denied the option of county court
  • And as the Department of Interior holds title to the property of millions of individual tribal members
  • Adult U.S. citizens who are not allowed to sell or use their property as collateral without permission. 

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