Letter To The Editor: WHERE’S THE OUTCRY?
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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian was an inferior race. We are perhaps the only nation, which as a matter of national policy tried to wipe out its indigenous population moreover; we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade. Indeed, even today we have not permitted ourselves to reject or to feel remorse for this shameful episode. Our literature, our films, our drama, our folklore all exalts it.”
As the State of Connecticut and its Congressional Delegation continue the premeditated genocide of the remaining three state- recognized tribes, we find it hypocritical of them to now want to open three additional casinos.
The Governor and our Connecticut delegation are once again trying to apply political pressure on the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) as they did in 2004 to get them to write the new regulations in a way that would continue a process of political and bureaucratic genocide of the remaining three state -recognized tribes. The Governor has met privately with President Obama and Vice President Biden in an effort to undermine the legal process by which state recognized tribes can become federally recognized.
Several months ago Senator Osten came before the Eastern Pequot Tribal Council regarding our federal recognition. She stated she supported us getting our recognition back, but could not support us if we were planning to open a casino. She was adamantly opposed to any new casinos in the state and indicated that those were not the kind of jobs the state needed. Now she is leading the charge to open one or more casinos to save the same jobs that she did not think were needed.
Where is the outcry of opposition from those Connecticut citizens who wrote letters to the bureau opposing our recognition for fear of another casino? Where is the outcry of opposition from these twenty-nine towns that feared another casino in their towns? And finally, where is the outcry from Senator Blumenthal who said his biggest accomplishment while in office was getting our recognition taken away, preventing any more casinos in the State of Connecticut? We repeat our sentiments from 2004 when our recognition was politically taken from us when we say that there is a continued conspiracy to make sure there is no competition for the existing casinos and that the state’s piece of the pie is not jeopardized.
The United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples Document recognize the obligation of the nation states of the world to maintain a relationship with its Indigenous Peoples.
The National Congress Of American Indians (NCAI) resolution #ATL-14-012 further urges states and its representatives to recognize their legal, historical and political relations with the tribal nations whose tribal, social and political structures predate the creation of the United States and the establishment of the respective state governments and to engage in good faith dealings on issues of mutual concern and to refrain from using the Department’s political and regulatory processes and the courts to delay legitimate federal recognition.
As we have said before, our recognition is not about casinos. This is about our inherent right to self-determination as a people, which includes our right to health, education and housing development for our membership and an equal opportunity to pursue economic development and regain our federal recognition. We Will Continue The Fight.
Chairman Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation