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Indian Reservations: Soverign Or Not?  
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43
Posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1836 times:

Recently, I took a drive out to the Low Desert (Cochella Valley/Salton Sea area) of SoCal. Since it was hotter than $hit, I decided to go to one of the so-called "Indian" Casinos.

I saw a rather interesting sign at the entrance when driving in:

'Welcome to the Sovereign Nation of _______ Tribe' (I don't want to say which one it was).

Then, after having a nice lunch, I decided to try my luck on the [quarter] slot machines.

Well, I stuck a $20 in, and after winning a few, losing a few, with 35 credits still on it, I hit a jackpot (10,000 quarters, or $2500).

So I thought that was cool. Definitely made my day. But then, before giving me the stack of cash, I had to fill out a declaration that I indeed won that money, and it is subject to taxation. So as I walked out of there with a stack of 25 fresh new Uncle Bens in my pocket, and a lot of quarters (I always quit when I'm ahead), one thing trouble me. If this was really the "soverign" nation they claimed to be, then why am I being required to sign tax forms? If this Reservation is indeed "out of the country", then technically, whatever I win there is none of the IRS's business. Also, there was no "customs" at the "border". The currency didn't bother me. Heck, most of Mexico uses the US$D.

So can someone please 'splain to me what's going on?

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAvt007 From Canada, joined Jul 2000, 2132 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 1808 times:

Putting up a sign in your driveway really doesn`t have much legal power. It`s a political statement, to be sure, but legally it means nothing.

User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 15368 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1797 times:
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Putting up a sign in your driveway really doesn`t have much legal power.

From what I understand, Avt is technically correct. While the U.S. Government gives the various tribes the "Sure, you're a sovereign nation!" wink-wink, nudge-nudge speech, they're no more sovereign than if I planted a flag in my front yard and declared that my property was seceding from the Union.

"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1798 times:

They are called Native Americans (cuz they were here first). I am Indian (from India, duh) and it really bugs when the natives themselves as well as other refer to themselves as Indians. What, now everyone is embracing ignorance?? It has been 500 freakin years since Coloubus' mistake, why is not anyone interested is fixing that BS!?

In any event, I think they are using the word to make themselves feel more independent appart from the USA. To possess sovereignity, one must simply have supreme power especially over a body politic or freedom from external control, i.e. controlling influence.

Anything else is...technical.

I think they are not, because they still need a vote from the state they are in to built a casino, otherwise they don't need anyone's approval.

The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
User currently offlineIMissPiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6544 posts, RR: 29
Reply 4, posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1767 times:

But the fact remains that the resevations are indeed sovereign nations under non revokable treaties. True they need state permission to operate casinos (I don't understand that part at all) and, as long as you are driving on a state highway, you are protected by the US Constitution. Just don't go out into the desert and get caught breaking any laws, You may just find that they need not read you the Miranda warning (though they probably will), you can be held incommunicado for extended periods and the punishment will probably be harsher than in the city.

Also you cannot serve a civil summons on a reservation to a resident without tribal approval. In fact many criminal summons cannot be served on tribal lands.

The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
User currently offlineJohnboy From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2665 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1747 times:

Congrats to you. I drove to Cache Creek in Northern California last night and won $2500 on a dollar slot ("The Mummy" -- oooooohhhh!).

BTW, the weather you mentioned made it up here with lightning flashes but no thunder, and minimal rain. Probably only my 3rd or 4th time to see lightning since I moved to California about 10 years ago.

User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1732 times:

I had the chance to spend some time in the Navajo Nation last summer, which is located in southern Utah and northern Arizona mainly. While there I spoke with a Navajo legislator, and he told me that one of the things that was being considered in the Navajo legislature was the concept of trying to get statehood for the Navajo nation...a rather interesting idea...

Also, the Four Corners National Monument is run by the Navajo Nation as well, something which I thought was a little ironic given the whole "sovereignty" thing...


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User currently offlineN312RC From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 2684 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1714 times:

Statehood... why would they want statehood?? Look at all the benefits they have for NOT being a state!

User currently offlineAvt007 From Canada, joined Jul 2000, 2132 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1704 times:

You can't be kinda pregnant, or kinda sovereign. Either you are or you're not, and anyone who thinks the reservations are is deluding themselves. BTW, I'm not for one or the other, I don't have an interest in this. But if they were truly sovereign, they wouldn't need approval from anyone for casinos, they'd have their own government, and wouldn't receive any support from the States ( or Canada, depending on where they are). By any measure, they are not sovereign anything.

User currently offlineSccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 6065 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (12 years 10 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1675 times:

The Indian Nations are legitimate governments. They have no obligation to adopt or follow the laws of the states that they are "in" (actually, surrounded by), because they have separate existence.

Many of the basic functions of government are handled by the federal government, by practical necessity, but many tribal entities issue passports (legit), they have their own courts, customs, license plates, etc.

The casinos exist precisely because the states have no say.

...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (12 years 10 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1667 times:

Sccutler, as for customs you mentioned, what they do in them? As I understand, no of them has embassies or issues visas and I doubt they has to fear illegal immigrants...

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