Friday, February 13, 2015

Hale Continues to Call For the Federal Government to Formally Recognize the Sovereign Status of Indian Nations

Hale continues to call for the federal government to formally recognize the sovereign status of Indian Nations

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels (District 7), gave an impassioned speech at the Arizona House of Representatives on Thursday, calling for the federal government to recognize the sovereign status of Indian Nations. He opposed HCR 2003, a bill calling for a constitutional convention, because it did not include a provision requiring recognition of Indian Nation sovereignty.

“This is a matter of correcting an inequity that has existed for centuries. Indian people are not covered by the U.S. Constitution, but they are subject to the authority of Congress. Ultimately, this is why Native Americans were pushed onto reservations. It was also used to take land from them without compensation, which is a right guaranteed by the constitution except for Indian people,” Hale said. “We were the first ones here. This was our land. The sovereignty of Indian Nations is inherent. The government should formally recognize that.”

The measure passed 32 to 26, and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Rep. Hale is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. He was born in Ganado and raised in Klagetoh, Arizona. He is Ashiihi (Salt), born for Todichiini (Bitter Water). His maternal grandparents are Hanaghani (Walk About clan). His paternal grandparents are Kiyanii (Tall House clan). He is a 1969 graduate of Fort Wingate High School, a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school located east of Gallup, New Mexico. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona (1973), and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1977), and an honorary Juris Doctor degree from Phoenix School of Law (2012).  He is the former President of the Navajo Nation.


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