The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, just published her End of Mission Statement March 3, 2017. She wrote, “I have learned that many of the complex issues that Native Americans face in the energy development context today are rooted in a long history of land and resource dispossession. In particular, the policy of allotment implemented by the Dawes Act in 1887 continues to have significant impacts on the development of energy resources throughout Indian Country.” This is very insightful, but the Dawes Act which reduced the Indian land base from 130 million acres in 1887 to 49 million acres in 1933 must be seen as government sponsored land theft, plain and simple. To be sure, the letter of this unjust law allotted (gave or assigned) to each Indian a 160-acre tract while the other 81 million acres, they gave to themselves.
What any outside observer will more than likely miss is that even at Standing Rock, the Dawes Act is still at play. In the same way the Dawes Act purported to “give” the Indians land in 1887, today the government purports to “give” the Indians the right to occupy America. How is it that white man can
give something that he does not own? The truth of the matter is that here in America, there are two sets of laws: one for the Indians and one for everybody else. The definition of “American Indian law” is: “The body of law dealing with American Indian tribes and their relationships to federal and state governments, private citizens, and each other”. In this “body of law”, terms such as land “title” are redefined and you need a law dictionary to keep up with the double talk. You would think that land title would denote “ownership”. Not so in “American Indian Law”. In American Indian Law when the white man has title, the white man owns the land and when the Indian has title, the white man also owns the land. In order to understand this Satanic concept we need to refer to Black’s Law Dictionary. “Indian Title” is defined as, “A right of occupancy that the federal government grants to an American Indian tribe based on the tribe’s immemorial possession of the area. Congress does not recognize tribal ownership of the land, only possession.”
How can the Indians live on the land from time immemorial and when the white man shows up, he owns everything? The answer is very simple. The United States government is standing on the white supremacist colonial law which was codified in the 1823 Supreme Court decision of Johnson v. M’Intosh- the “doctrine of discovery”. On August 6, 2001, in reply to the question by the UN committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the U.S. representatives said that they considered the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley only in the context of Johnson v. M’Intosh.
This is significant because the Western Shoshone took their 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley all the way through the U.S. court system but each court found excuses not to address the treaty. In reality all Carrie Dann and the Western Shoshone got for their three decade court fight was a kangaroo court based on the Doctrine of Discovery. They wear you down, then throw paper dollars at you. Any time the U.S. government runs a people around for 30 years in the guise of justice, then offers a cash settlement to an impoverished people, the United Nations should declare any such fraud null and void. Why? Because the Doctrine of Discovery posits that American Indians are not human being enough to own anything. Why? Because the judicial system concerning Indians has been rigged with white supremacist colonial law.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples requires in Article 27 that, ”States shall…adjudicate the rights of indigenous peoples pertaining to their lands, territories and resources.” In “American Indian Law” the term “adjudicate” seems to have been redefined to mean “a kangaroo court where the Indians always lose.
Steve Melendez, Paiute
President , American Indian Genocide Museum
Member, Reno-Sparks Indian colony