Native American rights--are they fair to "regular" citizens?

Just got into a heated discussion about Native American rights. Is it true that they don't pay taxes, get free education in state universities, make their own laws (they can operate casinos when average people are regulated) on the land they live on (reservations)? And if that's the case, is that really fair to the rest of us? Isn't there some kind of discrimination going on here? My friend says the fact that the Seminole tribe just bought the Hard Rock Cafe business for a billion dollars shows that something is wrong. Here are tribal leaders amassing tons of money to make more money while they keep their people in poverty so they can hold up the poor downtrodden Native American and try to make everybody feel sorry for them. He says it's like a third world dictatorship. I had to concede that something isn't right. What do you think?

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I am Native. I work in a casino, for my tribe. Tribal Casino's mission statements are to increase the economic oppurtunities of tribal members. Casino's take many years to hit the profit margin. Once a tribe hits this margin, the money is put into tribal funds for causes such as: Elder Care, Health benefits, Housing, Education, Youth activites, Community activities etc.

    If a Tribe believes that all the funds are well taken care of, then enrolled tribal members will recieve items from the tribe such as: Computers, Home improvement, etc. Then the tribe may issue checks to each tribal member.

    The "Tribal Leaders" Have no right to the money that is profited from casinos. It is "Owned and operated by...the said tribe". NEVER is a tribal leader entitled to any monies made by any enterprise ran by his/her tribe.

    Reservations are land that are soveriegn for our people, because that is what your fore-leaders decided.

    Natives were stuck on the most undesirable land, and banned from ever stepping foot from it(back in the day).

    Tribes have thier own government. Law and order are present, and punishment is rightfully given to those who do not follow the laws of the tribe.

    Native's go through the same steps as "regular" citizens (I have to say that this is a very bigoted statement, you act as if we are 2nd class or something...?) to obtain entry into college. Tribes that are wealthy from some sort of enterprise, pay for thier enrolled members to go to college, other tribes that struggle have a fund that is set aside and treated like a scholorship for enrolled members. No Native goes for "FREE" by way of payment from the government, just because the check the little box entitled "Native American".

    Oh and Taxes...yep, we pay those too, just like you "regular" folk.

    Just not in our tribally owned stores.

    You were grossly misinformed by someone, and I hope that I have helped in your venture for the truth.

    Good day.

    Source(s): My pure Native heart♥
  • ?
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    OK lets look at it this i a white by the way not native American..several hundred years ago we came with our guns and took there land we killed far more many of them than they killed of us mainly because we had guns and they had bows and arrow.. they don't make there own laws but they don't have to pay taxes if they live on a wether the tribal leader make a ton of money and hold down their people i dont know.. but i do believe there should be some kind of special conditions for them pretty much what they have going for them now..i think the education thing they may get free but it depends on grades and how much they are indian i mean if your only 1/4 you may not count .. it probly is like a scholarship type thing..maybe someone out there lives on a reservation and answer you better than i can because they would know ..i just feel for them because of the way our four fathers did them pretty much the way we did our black slaves 200 years ago

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Is it really fair that we stole all of their land in the first place, broke treaty after treaty after treaty, massacred millions of them, etc.?

    Is it really fair that the reason they have all that money to buy businesses is because "regular" citizens are so addicted to gambling that they flock to these Indian casinos and happily hand over their money?

    The casinos have indeed brought vast amounts of money to tribes. Most tribes have used the majority of this money to improve living conditions for their people -- in my own area, one tribe that operates a casino has built fire stations, 3 schools, a medical clinic, a library, and a community center. Every tribal member gets a revenue share of the casino earnings. Where just 10 years ago these people had nothing on their land, they now have a real community. Sounds pretty fair to me.

    If you don't like what they do with the gambling money, then don't go to their casinos and gamble. They wouldn't be opening so many casinos if they weren't hugely profitable.

  • 1 decade ago

    If we Indians as you call us (that is a term giving to us by you anglos, its racest toward us) hihger ups in our culture are getting rich and leaveing our poor poor. They learned it from you anglos. You anglos got us hooked on wiskey, told us we couldnt practice our way of life and forced us to follow your way of life. You slayed us by the thousands and took away every thing we had and force us to make long journeys to reservations with little or no food or rest and thin force us off those reservations on to others. You made our lives hell and you want to talk about how we are doing wrong and or are not fair to the rest of you. I think some one needs to go back and take a real look at history and see the real history not the anglo colored version of it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    well, i'm of course i'm going to have something to say about this...don't take my "tone" to mean i dislike non-ndns, but i will tell it like it is.

    first of all, your statement "regular citizens." is so insulting...we're not 2nd class citizens.

    YES, we pay taxes. we don't pay taxes on our tribal lands, to businesses operating there. as in sales tax.

    casino per capita monies are TAXED by the feds. most natives lucky enough have casinos on their tribal lands are receiving less than $10,000/year/person. that's still below the nat'l poverty level. the bulk of the money is for tribal operations, head start programs, diabetes care, elder care, education, investments, etc.

    don't forget we were placed on these lands against our will. the gov't thought it was useless land. many, many tribes are extremely poor and in isolated areas w/o natural resources that are marketable...we all want to be off the federal "dole." we want to be sovereign nations.

    some get free educations, most don't...that's why there's the native american college fund.

    can you even imagine what it's like to be hated and despised in your own country?? we know what that feels like, and we are not going to hang our heads in shame any longer...we haven't done anything wrong. we don't deserve your hatred.

    the feds LOVE ndn brings them a lot of revenue!!

    your friend needs to get his facts straight about ndn gaming. if there wasn't a market for it, it wouldn't be so successful. every ethnic group in the usa is allowed to purchase whatever they wish. we can buy land, businesses, etc., as long as we have the money to do so, and that's what we're doing.

    i hear many non-ndn ppl crying about fairness...where was the fairness when my ppl were being slaughtered, imprisoned, and starved to death? i think there is a fear that natives are finally going to have a political voice. you don't have to worry, we're not going to take over anything you have.

    we don't want your sympathy and pity, we want fairness, equality, and a voice in this nation.

    we have our own tribal governments, that the state and feds cannot dictate to. we make our own laws on our land...why do you have a problem with that? we're not owned by the u.s. gov't.

    as far as discrimination goes...what does that mean? you can work at a tribal business or casino...we hire everyone...after native preference. that's our right and develop jobs for our ppl. is there really something wrong with that? i don't think so, but then i've lived well below the poverty level my entire life, and i have an education, that i PAID for on my own, while raising 3 children alone.

    if you don't like gaming, stay away from the casinos. it's as simple as that. it's not like we're trying to get you addicted to it, like your forefather's got mine addicted to gut-rot alcohol...come on.

    more importantly, we are all in a race here...the human race. and we all need to come together and save this planet we all live on, before it's too late.

    mitakuye oyasin...."we are all related."

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    you have two points not in this order:

    1. The indian leaders are amassing wealth for their own gains (not helping their people)

    2. This type of freedom they enjoy is not the case for American citizenry.

    I think no# 1 is a crime of greed and selfishness and the indian community should have a recourse...#2 is there should be no one under the American flag that has more or less freedom than anyone else...they should pay taxes like we do...reparation to ethnicities is a con...

  • 1 decade ago

    You already asked this once. My answer is on the first one you asked.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    we owe them so much for what we did. we even broke federal contracts with them. their rights are the least we can do

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    shut up. they deserve everything they have. their land isn't part of the US. give em a break.

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