We are admonished to seek out the Truth in all things. I am interested in the Truth that lies in history, especially the history of America from 1776 to date. You have heard the slogan: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” credited to George Santayana. I am hoping that we want to learn…
The Louisiana Purchase does not extend all the way into North Dakota up to Canada. In fact, parts of North Dakota were never made part of the formal United States. Even today, some areas of North Dakota are recognized by Canada and other some corporate entities as an independent nation. This was interesting to me, so I investigated to find out the Truth.
I found out that the “red Lake and Pembina bands of Chippewa Indians” have a formal signed “Treaty” with the American Government, signed by Abraham Lincoln, and his Secretary of State, dated May 5, 1864. The written terms state that the duration “shall be perpetual.”…(I have an official copy, no. 327, of that Treaty from the National Archives of the United States, with their seal, dated May 5, 2003. Both on May 5! And there is also Cinco de Mayo…Coincidence?)
The point to notice here is that this is a formal treaty between sovereign nations, and is not an agreement, such as the ones that other Indian Nations have made with the US Government. Those agreements established reservations, the rights of those Indians to live on those reservations, and the “one-quarter Indian blood requirement” for individuals to be legally identified as belonging to a specific American Indian group, such as the Sioux. I then wondered: well, what rights do these Pembina Indians have that the other Indians do not? Or, that I do not?
It turns put that there has been a long and on-going , legal battle for the Pembina Nation Little Shell Band to establish just what their rights are. The battle seems to be over what the written Treaty and subsequent legal documents say, and what elected or appointed officials with the US Government think those rights should be. So, like any good lawyers, the lawyers for the Pembina band have painstakingly conducted many court cases and have compiled several volumes of legal documentation and judgments supporting the claims of this Indian band. The situation becomes even more complex in that other bands of Indians have been involved in these and other legal proceedings, such as the Turtle Mt. Band of Chippewa Indians, and the court decisions affecting one group have or have not affected the other group, based upon previous Treaties and agreements. This all seems like an elaborate chess game, with rather interesting high stakes.
The important legal point-to-note is that Canada and certain other agencies recognize the Pembina Nation Little Shell Band,” as being a sovereign nation – like France. This means that the members of that nation are sovereign.
Anyway, the Pembina Nation Little Shell Band is recognized as being a Sovereign nation, formally acknowledged by Canada, existing within North Dakota, and they have the power under their Treaty and legal documents to appoint whomever they choose to belong to their band – without concern to race or blood line. They do have a few requirements for admission, one of which is to agree to their “Code of Conduct”, which reads line-for-line very much like the first Ten Commandments, as listed in the Old Testament of the King James version of the Holy Bible. I am intrigued about the rights of these Sovereigns in comparison to the rights of US citizens, so I am investigating these issues in depth. I have already applied for, and have been formally accepted into their band, and I am now awaiting further developments.