Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Seattle Times: Indian policy comes under fire

Two national organizations — including a locally based group that emerged 15 years ago in a shellfish dispute with Western Washington tribes — have joined forces to push for reform of what they call the nation's flawed and fractured policy on Native people.

Redmond-based United Property Owners has merged with One Nation of Oklahoma, which includes oil producers and farm interests, and in its two years has aggressively challenged American Indian sovereignty.

The merger, effective Jan. 1, will form a megagroup called One Nation United, with 300,000 members in 50 states.

The combined group has taken aim at federal Indian policies, including tax allowances, which they say erode state and local tax bases and undermine free enterprise. They contend that a century and a half after many Indian treaties were negotiated, they are in need of review.