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Indians (as in cowboys and...)

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thedrew
732731.  Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:53 am Reply with quote

Here are some QI, I, and MI (marginally interesting) facts about Indians:

First Nations or First Peoples are unknown terms to most Americans. Aboriginal is strictly understood to refer to Australians here. "American Indian" is probably the least confused reference to the people who greeted European explorers and their descendants, though in recent years "Native American" has risen in popularity.

The United States Constitution makes several references to "Indians" most of which have been rendered moot by Constitutional Amendment. In several places the Constitution says, "excluding Indians not Taxed, and three-fifths All other Persons," (slaves, horribly, were considered 3/5th human for enumeration purposes).

One reference that remains valid is that "Congress shall have Power . . . To regulate Commerce . . . with the Indian Tribes. This restricts State and local authority from regulating Native American tribes. (I had a very upbeat meeting with the local Tribal Elders Council last week. I did not pretend to know their Tribal protocol and used standard American government salutation: "Mr. Chairman and Honorable Tribal Elders." Those last three words sounded like they came from the lips of a barbarous cavalry officer in an Old Western film!)

Most Americans know it is very rude to say "how" to any Indians (including the pun, "How do you do?"). The local greeting is "haku." There are of course hundreds of American Indian languages, and each had its own greetings. The origin of "how" is likely to come from "ho," or "hau" from the Plains Indians, where the word normally ment, "Well," "So," or "Now look here." It's as if "Oi" or "Hey" were thought to be the formal greeting of the English language.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs was originally housed in the United States Department of War. In 1849 it was transfered to the Department of the Interior. Today the Bureau of Indian Affairs administered 55 million acres of land held in trust by the United States Government for the 564 Federally Recognized Tribes. Housed within it is the Bureau of Indian Education, which was originally intended to stamp out Native languages, culture, and traditions, but is now a promoter of them. The BIA also funds the tribal police forces, and tribal courts. The current Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs is Larry EchoHawk. Though not the first Native American to hold the post, he is the first with a native surname.

Blood quantum reform (i.e. too few people are "pure" enough to meet tribal definitions of descent) and soverenity (including the issuance of passports) are major tribal issues getting press coverage in the past few months.

 
plinkplonk
733086.  Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:33 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Most Americans know it is very rude to say "how" to any Indians (including the pun, "How do you do?"). The local greeting is "haku." There are of course hundreds of American Indian languages, and each had its own greetings. The origin of "how" is likely to come from "ho," or "hau" from the Plains Indians, where the word normally ment, "Well," "So," or "Now look here." It's as if "Oi" or "Hey" were thought to be the formal greeting of the English language.


Still I can't imagine a 60s/70s children's programme entitled Haku!

 
Woodsman
733324.  Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:49 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
One reference that remains valid is that "Congress shall have Power . . . To regulate Commerce . . . with the Indian Tribes. This restricts State and local authority from regulating Native American tribes.


The one exception is Maine, where the primary relationship had been between the state and the tribes with no federal recognition. This goes back to early treaties.

From a land claims settlement in 1980, the federals are now, as of 1980 for 3 tribes and 1991 for a fourth, trustee for the tribes. But the state can still regulate certain activities, which generally causes friction between the tribes and the state.

See at:

www.mitsc.org/documents/42_nativeamericansovereignty.pdf

See Page 7 right column.

 
Efros
733326.  Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:56 pm Reply with quote

That, amongst other things, probably explains the lack of casinos in Maine.

 
Woodsman
734608.  Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:21 pm Reply with quote

The sovereignty thing can get tricky; see commentary here:

http://www.passamaquoddy.com/

 

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