Reply to Indigenous Mapping Network (on linkedin) – Status Cards, Principle of Continuous Residence & Blood Quantum
June 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
Asked for my opinion on Principle of Continuous Residence, North American Indian Status Cards, and Indigenous Maps, my reply:
I have a few points of view on each depending on context of conversation, & how they are being applied.
Most of all I’m impressed by potential of ‘Principle of Continuous Residence’ and ‘North American Indian Status Cards’ (and blood quantum letters) AND I don’t understand why they are not more utilized in USA, i.e., I think it is because those North American Indian Status Card holders in USA don’t have accountants and attorneys that know how to use them, and local and state regulations do not acknowledge the federal law that accompanies those cards and status. An attorney – a generalist – that I am familiar with in Connecticut would rather his North American Indian client think that that the North American Indian Status Card is worthless than refer that card holder to an attorney and accountant more knowledgeable as to the potential of the North American Indian Status Card and Blood Quantum status.
I am also alert to the tense-politics of these cards, the maps and principle because when I was able to get a letter from a senior researcher at Smithsonian in DC office (USA federal government funded museum) describing 1 now Canadian tribe’s relationship to a USA tribe (before current geo-political boundaries between the 2 countries institutionalized) only to have that researcher’s ‘head of department’ e-mail me strongly (and that is putting it mildly) discouraging me from using the letter and map.
I would like to see these cards and the status that was once used to degrade North American Indians be used as they now can be – according to federal law – i.e., as tools of benefits and prerogatives for the card holders especially in the card holders conduct of commerce.
I also would like to see information about the North American Indian Status Cards, Principle of Continuous Residence from which the cards derive their prerogatives and Blood Quantum Letters be discussed publicly and prominently in USA immigration conversations because those that might be here in USA as a result of being victims-survivors of Canadian Scoops and thus not likely USA Citizens can get their quantum letters and status cards more quickly than their US Citizenship and thus by holding those documents avoid any threat of deportation, i.e., once they have the North American Indian Status Card AND Blood Quantum Letter they can not be deported (unless they have been convicted of committing felony of a certain degree).
And all of that relies on the Principle of Continuous Residence AND the acceptance of the enabling interpretation of certain indigenous maps.