Note: What follows is a guest post sent from a member of the public who has been digging into the issue of federal and tribal fraud, waste and abuse. They asked that their identity be withheld. We’ve invited them to be a guest author on the blog to discuss some of the results of their research.
Thank God for the internet. As much as traditional media outlets have tried to quiet stories on the perversion of our country’s intelligence agencies, the news is still getting out to those who seek the truth and are able to understand the implications of a possible large scale surveillance of American citizens.
It ALMOST makes the problems in western Montana seem small in comparison, however we cannot ignore that there is in fact a HUGE problem, an INDIAN SELF DETERMINATION monster, created by the federal government and fed by state and federal taxpayer funds. Keep in mind that self determination tribes are little more than special interest federal corporations.
INDIAN SELF-DETERMINATION AND EDUCATION ASSISTANCE ACT (ISDEAA)
Signed into law on 4 January 1975, this legislation completed a fifteen-year period of policy reform with regard to American Indian tribes. Passage of this law made self-determination, rather than termination, the focus of government action, reversing a thirty-year effort to sever treaty relationships with and obligations to Indian tribes. (Source: Encyclopedia.com)
The purpose of the ISDEAA is to allow tribes to contract federal functions that are created for the tribe because of their special status as tribes. For example, the Indian Health Service was created for Tribes, so they can contract that federal function. But the Tribes cannot “contract” projects that are built for everyone, like the Flathead Irrigation and Power Project. The Tribes tried to “contract” the FIPP but were denied it by the Department of the Interior.
The Tribes have perverted this concept of self -determination into a notion of “sovereignty”, by which they claim to be able to control the affairs of others.
Under the guise of Indian Self Determination, tribes around the country are being awarded vast amounts of grant, financial assistance and contract monies. A large portion of this money is used to hire attorneys, grant writers and lobbyists for the purpose of gaining control and jurisdiction over non-members and their property, to acquire ownership of infrastructure and natural resources within their “aboriginal ceded lands”, and to seek creative new ways to plunder additional resources out of taxpayers pockets.
As a friend likes to say: self determination as intended by the federal government is SELF determination for the tribes to make their own path. It does not mean Indian determination over the future of everyone else. Unfortunately western Montana has become the poster child for what was a well intended program that has gone seriously wrong.
To paint a very small picture of this problem, over the last 9 years tribal governments in the United States have received more than $18 billion in Department of Defense Contracts:
Note that this is not the total amount of the contracts awarded to tribes, it is simply payments that have been made to tribal governments against those contracts.
Getting on the Department of Defense bandwagon, Montana’s tribes have received $1.5 billion of those funds, 86% of which went to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes. Adding to that, last November the CSKT was awarded an additional $4 billion dollar Department of Defense contract.
This begs many questions, but here are a few that quickly come to mind:
- Do tribes have the “expertise” necessary to fulfill Department of Defense contracts, or do they perform a lesser administrative type role?
- Have the tribe’s “partnered” with others concerning these contracts?
- Are contracts being awarded because the use of a tribal partner gives a contractor a “minority” preference advantage of some kind during bidding?
- Does the award of these contracts have anything to do with the tribe’s special exemptions from certain laws?
- Is there some kind of tax benefit for this kind of arrangement?
- Does the award of these contracts in any way shield the funds from special scrutiny that other government contractors might be held accountable to?
- Do individual tribal members benefit from these contracts, or is the profit from them used for other purposes?
Department of Defense contracts are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to taxpayer largess for all things tribal.
Stay tuned for more.
Note to readers: For the record, this is not just a western Montana problem. Over the years, this blog has been contacted by people in many different states expressing similar concerns about the overreach of tribes in their area.