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Undermining Coexistence

Published: April 3, 2008, Author: JayTaber

Anti-Indian agent provocateurs are notorious for inciting hatred among confused citizens attempting to come to terms with Native American sovereignty. One of the worst fearmongers in the 1980s and 1990s was Chuck Cushman, the registered agent for American Land Rights Association located in Clark County, Washington. But Cushman is just one of many masters of political violence who work with Anti-Indian organizations like One Nation United, a national non-profit headquartered in King County, Washington.

In addition to field work in promoting bigotry, these corporations also organize lobbying against Native American sovereignty, as well as conduct public relations campaigns to generate public fear of tribal initiatives. In 2006, for instance, American Land Rights Association and Alliance Against Reservation Shopping* joined One Nation United in sponsoring an Anti-Indian conference in Washington, D.C.

Capitalizing on genuine concerns of tribal neighbors across the US, Anti-Indian Movement entrepreneurs have become adept at manipulating ill-informed citizens into opposing tribes seeking to enforce federal treaties in pursuing self-determination, resource protection, and economic development. While there is usually room for negotiation between the good-faith parties involved, it is the persistent politics of land and bigotry that often undermines just resolution and peaceful coexistence.

*This is probably a typo for Citizens Against Reservation Shopping

(Jay Taber — recipient of the Defender of Democracy award — is an author, columnist, and research analyst at Public Good Project.)

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