Dec 2/89: US Senate acknowledges Haudenosaunee

[SISIS note: the following document is more empty promises from the US government to the native nations it has repeatedly broken treaty agreements with. Nevertheless, we felt it was an interesting document in terms of a settler government at least rhetorically acknowledging sovereignty of the indigenous nations it is occupying.]

- as posted to liberty-and-justice, by Kevin


December 2, 1989
Washington, D. C.

To acknowledge the contribution of the Iroquois Confederacy of Nations, the development of the United States Constitution, and to reaffirm the continuing government-to-government relationship between tribes and the United States established in the Constitution.

September 16, 1987

Mr. Inouye (for himself, Mr. Evans, Mr. DeConcini, Mr. Burdick, Mr. McCain, Mr. Adams, Mr. Boren, Mr. Conrad, Mr. Cranston, Mr. D'Amato, Mr. Dole, Mr. Ford, Mr. Fowler, Mr. Levn, Mr. Pell, Mr. Pryor, Mr. Read, Mr. Riegle, and Mr. Stafford) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Select Committee on Indian Affairs.


To acknowledge the contribution of the Iroquois Confederacy of Nations to the development of the United States Constitution and to reaffirm the continuing government-to-government relationship between Indian tribes and the United States established in the Constitution.

Whereas the original framers of the Constitution, including most notably George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, are known to have greatly admired the concepts, principles and government practices of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, and

Whereas the contribution of the original Thirteen Colonies into one republic was explicitly modeled upon the Iroquois Confederacy as were many of the democratic principles which were incorporated into the Constitution itself; and,

Whereas since the formation of the United States, the Congress has recognized the sovereign status of Indian tribes, and has, through the exercise of powers reserved to the Federal Government in the Commerce Clause of the Constitution (art. I s8, oI.9),dealt with Indian Tribes on a government-to-government basis and has, through the treaty clause (art. 62, Cl.a) entered into three hundred and Seventy treaties with Indian tribal nations; and,

Whereas from the first treaty entered into with an Indian nation, the treaty with the Delaware Indian of September 17, 1778, and thereafter in every Indian treaty until the cessation of treaty making in 1871, the Congress has assumed a trust responsibility and obligation to Indian tribes and their members to "exercise the utmost good faith in dealings with the Indians" as provided for in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, (1 Stat: 50); and,

Whereas Congress has consistently reaffirmed these fundamental policies over the past two hundred years through legislation specifically designed to honor this special relationship; and,

Whereas the judicial system of the United States has consistently recognized and reaffirmed this special relationship:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That

(1) the Congress, on the occasion of the two hundredth anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution, acknowledges the historical debt which this Republic of the United States of America owes to the Iroquois Confederacy of Nations for their demonstration of enlightened, democratic principles of government and their example of a free association independent Indian Nations;

(2) the Congress also hereby reaffirms the constitutionship recognized government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes which has historically been the cornerstone of this Nation's Indian policy;

(3) the Congress specifically acknowledges and reaffirms the responsibility and obligation of the United States Governments to Indian tribes, including Alaskan Natives, for their preservation, protection and enhancement, including the provision of health, education, social and economic assistance programs as necessary to assist tribes to perform their governmental responsibility to provide for the social and economic well being of their members and to preserve tribal cultural identity and heritage; and,

(4) the Congress also acknowledges the need to exercise the utmost good faith in upholding its treaties with the various tribes, as the tribes understood them to be, and the duty of a great Nation to uphold its legal and moral obligation for the benefit of all its citizens so that they and their posterity may also continue to enjoy the rights they have enshrined in the United States Constitution for time immemorial.

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