Tribal Nations Are Imperfect. So, Too, Is the United States

As I write this, the United States has a policy of snatching migrant children away from their families. I read an article this morning which said the UN has told the U.S. that this practice is illegal.

No one, however, seems to be arguing for the termination of the United States because of this evil policy. No one is arguing we cannot govern ourselves. No one is saying we need to be treated in a paternalist fashion because of it.

That’s not true for Native Nations. There are, unfortunately, people out there who argue, when a tribe does something wrong, that it–and, possibly, all tribes–should be terminated. They argue that Native people cannot govern themselves. They argue that, indeed, Native Nations should be treated in a paternalist fashion.

No nation is perfect. That includes tribal nations. What the United States has handed them is a huge, horrific mess. Sure, there may be corruption. There may be bad policies. But the United States has horrible, evil policies and tons of corruption. And no one argues those things about us.

The problem is that, for tribal nations, the feeling is in the air for termination. And it comes from people who are dead-set on being colonizers–who simply do not want to understand the history or intricacies of tribal governance. If tribal nations are terminated, that’s just one more step in the colonialist line of thought.

We need to, then, bring things down a notch. We need to not bring up termination as if it’s a cure-all because that’s like saying, in other life cases, that any tiny infraction is worthy of a death sentence.

Tribal nations are imperfect. So, too, is the United States. And don’t ever forget it.