In 1968, the Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) was originally introduced and enacted as an effort to protect individual Indians form the "arbitrary and capricious" actions of tribal governments and/or officials. Unfortunately, while the ICRA was well intended and expressly forbid tribes from taking actions that violated an individual's rights, the ICRA failed to include an effective enforcement mechanism which would hold tribal officials accountable for violations of its provisions.
As a result, the number of civil rights violations in Indian Country has reached epidemic proportions. Thousands upon thousands have been stripped or denied the basic due process and equal protection rights provided for in the United States Constitution, the ICRA, and tribal laws.
Oversight hearings on the current civil rights situation in Indian Country are not only warranted, they are long over due.
Please consider adding your name to a request for the House Resources Committee to hold oversight hearings on the growing problem of rights abuses in Indian Country and the lack of enforcement of the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968. This request is made on the heels and is intended to support a similar request made by Congressman Mike Thompson (Dem-CA) on April 29, 2010 to Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (Dem-WV).
We must do our part to move the hearing forward and make it a reality. It starts with your signature. One does not have to be Indian, or have been the victim of rights violations to sign - anyone can. Please sign, share and get family and friends to sign.
John Gomez-National President of The American Indian Rights and Resources Organization