Legislation Legacy – Essay Example

Essay on Native American Legislation Legacy Essay on Native American Legislation Legacy Hollywood has always fantasized about Native Americans. But do they really count? According to Schaefer, there were 2,475,956 Native Americans in the United States in Census 2000. Thereby marking an increase of 32 percent over the 1990s. (p150)
Do these 2.5 million people have the right to land of their own? Despite being displaced and the general mistrust of the federal government , the greatest challenge that these indigenous people face is their right to land ownership. Their land, which is a storehouse of rich natural resources, is not economically viable, yet large businesses, developers, environmentalists are focusing on acquiring these – even if it is for their own gains.
Three legislations would be applicable to this pertinent issue. These are the 1971 Alaska Native Settlement Act which recognizes legally the lands of tribal people, the 1830 Removal Act which relocated Eastern tribes westward and the 1887 Allotment Act under which the tribal lands were subdivided into individual household plots.
|Bearing these in mind, consider these reports on the web page titled Native Americans and Land- Americans  Resist Forced Relocation," Green Left Weekly, April, 1997. 
The US government has begun an eviction process against the Navajo from areas of New Mexico and Arizona. The Navajo live on land which stores a large supply of coal and uranium. If these tribes dont move, mining companies will be unable to seize the profits. The Congress passed a Relocation Act a few years ago but did not enforce it immediately. Still the Native Americans residing on the land automatically became trespassers. Some government employees resigned rather than participating in forcing the people out. 
Those people living there are forbidden to repair their homes and are denied basic services. Now that the government wants to enforce the Act, the residents are being harassed. (Last Updated: Tuesday, 28-Dec-1999, 12:47:39 EST)
Consider this – If Native Americans live in the state of New York, they cannot sell at will. A statute places additional restrictions on the sale of Native American land. They need to get the sale of their land approved by the state legislature. This means that, outstanding claims related to their land must be resolved through the state legislature and all claims made without its express consent are invalid. 
(New York Assembly Bill 5850, State of New York, Senate Assembly, 1997-1998 Regular Sessions.) 
The federal government has had much greater control over Native Americans than over any other group in the nation. For Native Americans, the federal government and White people are no different.
Is this because Native Americans have a weaker collective voice and that only a handful of them have served in Congress. Here’s to quicker resolution of the problem.
Essay on Native American Legislation Legacy
References
Randall, Vernelia (Web Editor) & Blackemore, Edward, (1998), Native Americans and Land,
The University of Dayton School of Law
Schaefer, Richard, (2006) Racial and Ethnic Groups, Tenth Edition, Prentice-Hall, Pearson Education, Inc.