Reply To: Full Citizenship for Native People

Home Discussions General NMHEP Statewide Policy Reccomendations Full Citizenship for Native People Reply To: Full Citizenship for Native People


Excerpt from the 2016 HEP Policy Strategy Summary

Through our discussions, participants learned about the Citizen Act of 1924 which gave Native people statutory citizenship versus constitutional citizenship. Participants identified the need to ensure full citizenship for Native Peoples. We recognize this is a federal policy that requires a local movement to influence change.

During this conversation and follow up survey, many questions were raised. For example, there were concerns about defraying treaty agreements, such as health care and autonomy for tribal nations. Alternative suggestions, such as working on full funding for Indian Health Services and enforcement of treaty agreements were offered. The Santa Fe Indian Center and University of New Mexico are currently working on a HIA which examines the impact of underfunding of the Santa Fe Indian Health Service Hospital on the Santa Fe Urban Indian community. Additionally, other perspectives were brought forth on the topic of “Full Citizenship for Native Peoples”. Some people suggested that citizenship is not necessarily the answer, particularly when the current system is not healthy and is viewed as a colonial democracy and oligarchy which does not care about the earth.

Participants recommend first looking deeper into this issue and educating and informing ourselves and those most impacted by this issue.
Christina Morris shared additional information on this topic at the Action-Oriented Small Group Gathering and Deswood Tome formally presented at the 13th Annual New Mexico Public Health Policy Forum. These were opportunities for HEP network members to learn more about this issue. The following possible recommendations, which speak to some of the concerns raised above, were shared by Mr. Tome at the 13th Annual New Mexico Public Health Policy Forum:
• To begin a new era for Tribes and Nations in America, lead a presidential effort in calling on Congress to end the old Indian era.
• Invoke a 10 year plan with tribal consultation to create independence and sustainability.
• Pursue a Constitutional Amendment to make Native American people first class citizens by ending statutory citizenship.
• Turn over all federal lands known as “Indian Reservations” directly over to Native American Tribal control.
• Write and implement a new U.S.-Indian policy to replace “Self-Determination” with “Sovereignty and Independence.”
• The Federal Government created the present day conditions for Native American Tribes and Nations, it therefore requires Congressional Action with the implementation by the President of the United States of America.