Gabe Galanda is quoted at length in an Indian Country Today Media Network story about ignorant remarks that Fox News contributor John Stosell made about American Indians last week on live TV.
Gabe Galanda, an enrolled member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes and an Indian law attorney said Stossel’s lumping together of Indians, Puerto Ricans, African Americans and Irish reveals a lack of knowledge about the sovereignty of Indian nations.
“Stossel, like many Americans, fails to fundamentally appreciate that tribes are governments, not ‘groups’ of individuals as he says,” he said, pointing that American Indians are the only Americans who are indigenous to the United States and the only peoples to whom the U.S. owes a trust responsibility.
“The United States has historically done a disservice to Native Americans, by and through genocidal and assimilationist federal policies. As a result of federal allotment, assimilation and termination policies, which remain in force to this day despite Congress’ repudiation of those policies, some tribal communities are in fact worse off socio-economically than most other American citizens,” Galanda said.
In mocking Indians’ assertions about broken treaties and stolen land, Stossel shifts from speaking in the Indian voice when he says “we have treaties,” to speaking in the settler colonist’s voice when he says “we stole their land,” but it isn’t evidence of an identity crisis on Stossel’s part, Galanda said. “He’s confused. On the one hand, he recognizes the existence of Indian Treaties, bilateral agreements between sovereign nations, namely the United States and tribal governments; yet on the other, he refers to Indians essentially as special interest citizen groups.”
Despite hundreds of years of trust obligation to Indian people, the federal government has failed in virtually every attempt to ‘help’ Indians, Galanda said. With the exception of the last forty years of federal self-determination policy, federal Indian gaming, and contract preference policies in particular, the U.S. has failed in every effort to economically enfranchise Indian country, he said.
It's one thing to comfortably espouse right wing vitriol from republican pulpit Fox News. It's another to contribute "news" without having any idea what you are talking about.
Gabriel "Gabe" Galanda is a partner at Galanda Broadman PLLC, of Seattle, an American Indian majority-owned law firm. He is an enrolled member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes of Covelo, California. He can be reached at 206.691.3631 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or via galandabroadman.com.