Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Briefs. Discussion »
Kevin Gover - Pawnee
NATIVE BRIEF: WASHINGTON - The US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs provided an "American Indian 101" seminar for Congressional staffers on Thursday. The committee provided this seminar to educate and familiarize Congress about American Indian issues and concerns.
About three dozen Congressional staffers filled the committee room to hear the history of federal policy presented by Kevin Gover, Pawnee, the current director of the National Museum of the American Indian and former assistant secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs.
Gover provided the history of American Indian federal policy. His history went back to pre-federal era beginning in 1492 and covered the various periods that have altered throughout American history forward. He touched on the Assimilation Period that ushered in Indian boarding schools.
Congressional Staffers get American Indian 101
Gover also discussed the growth of Indian law and how rapidly Indian law has turned into several volumes.
“Indian law is a big thing! And, Congress makes it,”
Gover told the attentive Congressional staffers.
As he finished his remarks, he commented that Indian tribal governments have come a long way in their relationships with the federal government. "Tribal governments and courts are seen as an integral governmental mechanisms within the federal system," said Gover.
Michael Anderson, Muscogee, the founder of Anderson Indian Law and former deputy Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs at the US Department of Interior during the Clinton administration, provided an overview of Indian land trust issues. He pointed out that "land into trust" are separate from gaming determinations.
Other topics covered during the seminar were: Health and safety; education and culture and government and economic development.
updated 8:37 am edt posted July 8, 2011 7:15 am edt
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