Indian Tribes and the BIA Budget

Essay by Joe HoganCollege, UndergraduateB, July 2007

download word file, 6 pages 4.0

The proper funding of Indian tribes has gone overlooked for too long in the federal budget process. The federal government has a trust responsibility and is legally committed to keep its promise to American Indians.

This promise was created when Indian lands were ceded to the United States. This commitment is written in treaties, upheld by federal law through executive orders and confirmed by the Supreme Court. The main obligations by the federal government are protection of Indian trust lands; protection of tribal self-governance; and provision of basic social, medical, and educational services for tribal members. These promises have fallen short and in some cases the Indian lands have been taken which Congress has the authority to do must provide compensation for the land. The Indian nations are a good or bad example of trickle down economics where the ones at the top get more and the ones at the bottom get less.

To show the timeline of Indian history and how these disadvantages were created let me give a brief summary of events from 1492 to present day highlighting what has happened over this time period.

From 1492-1787 Columbus discovers North America thinking he had landed in the East Indies. About a century later people from Spain, Holland, England, and France began coming over to the new land. This migration leads to conflicts between existing tribes and the new settlers. A key point to mention during this time period is that the Iroquois tribe was the most powerful tribe in that region and has sided with the British during the Seven Years’ War. If the Iroquois had chosen the French side instead things could have been very different. Then the Revolutionary War started and the colonists moved quickly neutralize Indians siding with the British by destroying their homes and...