Defeat or Mixed Blessing — Tribal Sovereignty and the State of Sequoyah
43 Tulsa L. Rev. 5 (2007)
13 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2013
Date Written: 2007
The United States government’s rejection of the State of Sequoyah proved to be an unexpected boon to tribal sovereignty, rather than a further diminution of tribal autonomy. When Congress rejected the bill to grant statehood to the the proposed State of Sequoyah, the opportunity for continued Tribal sovereignty and Tribal autonomy was prolonged. Shortly after the rejection of the State of Sequoyah, Congress passed a bill creating the State of Oklahoma, which encompassed all the lands that would have been included in the State of Sequoyah. The Oklahoma Constitution preserved the rights of individual Indians and tribal nations.
Tribal leaders have exerted greater influence on the affairs of society because of the preservation of tribal sovereignty. In the State of Sequoyah, American Indians would have been greatly outnumbered, and in a very weak political position.Tribal members were granted dual citizenship with the creation of the State of Oklahoma, which allowed them to participate in state and federal elections, in addition to tribal participation. The continued influence of tribal leaders has allowed the Five Federally recognized Tribes in Oklahoma to exert more influence than a typical minority voting block. The termination of the State of Sequoyah movement has proved to be a victory for the members of the Five Tribes, instead of a defeat.
Keywords: Sequoyah, Tribal Autonomy, Sovereignty, Tribe, Oklahoma, Five Tribes, Congress, Constitution
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