There are more than 5 million descendants of American Indian families in the United States. Elizabeth Warren is one of them. For those persons who wish to criticize her for claiming her ancestors over blood relations I say, shame on you. Blood quantum is a concept used by the United States government to reduce and eliminate native peoples ever since the establishment of colonial times. Blood relations is a European concept brought to the western hemisphere by French, English, Dutch, Swedish and other European travelers who eventually settled as immigrants along the Eastern shores. Some American Indian Tribes retain references to “blood quantum” in their American created constitutions and they often work hard to keep their families divided by invoking “blood quantum” as a requirement for being in the community. What a sordid practice—destroying your own families over a divisive concept originally introduced into treaties to eliminate tribal peoples.
You see, the concept of “blood quantum” was deliberately introduced by Colonial and American politicians in an effort to implement the idea that in a generation or two “Indians would disappear” by reducing their blood quantum through out-marriage. This is essentially an historic practice of genocide by administrative law—intentionally seeking to eliminate a people in whole or in part through removals and introducing European “blood” into the communities.
The “reservation associated” tribal population of American Indians “recognized” by the United States is a little more than 1 million with about 750 thousand actually living on the reservations. Increasingly the main populations living on Indian Reservation are not American Indians, but dependents from settlers who came to the hemisphere over the last four hundred years. Indian people for economic, political and social reasons have been pushed off their own lands. In other words a third or more “reservation Indians” do not live on the reservation but live in “adjacent communities” or in remote locations.
What Elizabeth Warren has shown in her policy planning for American Indians as strong focus on the matters that count — sovereignty, self-government, poverty, health, education. Diverting attention from these important proposals clearly informed by thoughtful inquiries and listening to Indian Country is an insult to the more than 5 million Indian descendant by people who clearly fail to celebrate American Indian Heritage. I judge there is not a single American Indian in the United States who does not have an ancestor connected to a European Community. Does that make them non-Indians. No, that would be nonsense. It is nonsense to deny one’s American Indian Heritage too.
Elizabeth Warren, you do not need to apologize. Listen to your family. Continue to be an honorable, faithful and powerful spokesperson for plans that can be implemented for the good of the people. Thank you.
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