Tribal Sovereignty | KNKX

Tribal Sovereignty

What was expected to be a two-day hearing on tribal sovereignty spilled into its third day Friday. The provincial government in British Columbia is appealing a landmark decision that reestablished hunting rights for members of an Indian tribe who live on both sides of the border.

Members of the Sinixt Indian tribe reside on the reservation of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville in Washington. Last spring, one of them won a landmark court case in Canada reestablishing their tribal rights there.

Paul Morigi / AP Images for National Museum of the American Indian

 

Protests over the last year that originated in North Dakota against the Dakota Access oil pipeline have once again highlighted the complex relationship among tribal governments and the United States. How exactly do these sovereign nations exist within the U.S.? And what does “sovereignty” even mean?

There’s been a lot of political buzz this week at the mid-year conference of the National Congress of American Indians in Spokane. Tribal leaders say the next president must understand the importance of tribal sovereignty.