Not like I am an expert on Indian issues, but
Q: “What do you think tribal sovereignty means in the 21st century, and how do we resolve conflicts between tribes and the federal and the state governments?”
A: “Tribal sovereignty means that — it’s sovereign. You’re a … you’re a … you’ve been given sovereignty, and you’re viewed as a sovereign entity. And, therefore, the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities…”
Luckily for George, Jesse Jackson was available to explain the explanation.
AMY GOODMAN: President Bush speaking at the UNITY Conference this past Friday. Afterwards, the Reverend Jesse Jackson held a news conference and he was questioned by Brent Merrill of the publication, Smoke Signals.
BRENT MERRILL: As you saw today at the president’s conference, the leader of the free world does not understand tribal sovereignty. What would you do in your estimation, Reverend, what would you do and how would you advise tribes to educate our folks, just exactly what tribal sovereignty is?
JESSE JACKSON: The President explained. You just didn’t understand. Sovereignty is sovereignty. You understand? It’s like in sovereignity. If you are on a reservation, you have been soverized. Your Ph.D. is in soverbication.
You understand? I don’t think you understand.
BRENT MERRILL: You’re right. I didn’t understand that.
JESSE JACKSON: Well, needless to say — needless to say that the sovereignty of American – Native American tribes are federally protected rights. As long as Native Americans were perishing on those reservations it didn’t matter to states. But now that you have gaming on the reservations and economic development on the reservations, and indeed in some states voting on the reservations, the state now wants to impose itself on the federally protected sovereignty of the states. It has nothing to do with education, per se. It has to do with a legal relationship between federally constructed contracts or treaties, and states would not have the right to interfere with those federal territories. That is the real answer to that.