Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wanderers 2012.11.28

Elizabeth Furse spoke knowledgably and from much personal experience at the Linus Pauling House this morning.

I came late, as pre-arranged, given Sarah Angel (a nonhuman) needed to be left at the vets for a procedure.

The subject was treaties and do they matter.  Article 6 of the Constitution is quite important here.  Elizabeth, an immigrant from South Africa, served three terms in the US Congress as one of Oregon's representatives.

We learned a lot about the "termination movement", which got rolling in Congress in the 1950s when people grew tired of honoring treaty obligations.

Oregon had much valuable timber along the coast.  Simply ending a tribes existence, a kind of "de-listing" was the easiest way to get at those resources.  Governor McCain help free up a lot of land for deforestation by commercial interests.

In many ways, the Federal government is defined by its interface with other sovereignties, including these internal ones.  Tribal populations, of necessity, have steeped themselves in both the lore and the technical arcana, the better to further prevent erosion of their rights.

We had a lengthy Q&A period (in which I didn't participate), touching on many issues, including casinos and the Indian Gaming laws.  Elizabeth is masterful with this material and a font of relevant information.  I'm so glad I managed to stop in.