>I want to hear some feedback about this, but feel I may be treading >on a topic that is extremely controversial among all indian people. >If we can open a discussion, please tell me how this can be done. >I'd really like to know more.
Its not quite as controversial as one might think.
The petition, in my opinion is flawed in that it states that no government should determine bq or standards for defining members of an Indigenous Nation. That is flawed in the sense that every single nation that has ever existed has had methods for determining its citizenship. The United States of America has its standards, Finland, Norway, Cuba, Estonia, Niger do-as do the various Indigenous nations.
Prior to the arrival of Columbus citizenship was determined by birth into a nation and citizenship also was determined by clan, tiyospaye, society etc. Those remain traditional Indigenous governmental methods of determining citizenship.
The United States of America and Canada did impose enrollment/status for a variety of reasons, some as nefarious as the petition described-others for such innocous reasons as to determine to whom went what via treaty obligations (the few the US adhered to, and then usually the commods were/are rotten)
By the latter part of the 20th century most of the Howard-Wheeler Act/Indian Reorganization Act tribal governments had sole control (almost all do today) of determining methods for citizenship. The range goes from 1/2 to 1/64th and in a handful of tribes lineal descent qualifies. All determined by the voting members of that Nation.
There are those who eschew enrollment, such as in Florida the Independent Traditional Seminole Nation, or nationally folks like Peltier and others. However they legally fall into a caveat created in the 1970's by most tribal constitutions and subsequent federal laws as they are "eligible for enrollement"/
While there is no question that there are inherent flaws in the system and that there needs to be change. That change needs to come nation by nation from within that nation as to how they desire to determine their citizenship. thats sovereignty in action.