Report on the American Lands Council and the Anti-Indian Movement

Written by: Matthew Fletcher

Primary Source : Turtle Talk, October 20, 2015.

Here. From the report:

The American Lands Council and the Anti-Indian Movement

A Special Report from Native Generational Change, the Montana Human Rights Network and the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights.

The South Jordan, Utah-based American Lands Council (ALC) is known around the country for its campaigns to transfer control of federal lands to state governments. The Lands Council has drawn criticism for a plan that could cost state governments millions of dollars and open federal lands to aggressive resource extraction. However, the Lands Council has fostered a moderate public face by exempting certain lands from state takeover, including national parks, wilderness areas and Indian reservations.

On September 26 the American Lands Council’s “moderation” was thrown into question when Montana State Senator Jennifer Fielder promoted the group’s cause at a conference hosted by the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA) in Kalispell, Montana. The Wisconsin-based CERA is the most notorious organized anti-Indian group in the United States, dedicated to terminating tribal governments, abrogating treaties and turning management of tribal resources over to state government. The American Lands Council’s ties to the organized anti-Indian movement do not end with Fielder’s CERA conference appearance. The ALC has, in fact, directly promoted CERA leader Elaine Willman’s writings and policy strategies. ALC’s alliance with CERA again highlights the group’s ties to a broader far-right movement that threatens treaty rights, civil rights and environmental protection.

CERA’s conference also highlights another point – that by exposing anti-Indian bigotry, and organizing against it, Native and non-Native people can join together to turn back these threats to all of our communities. A protest organized by the Missoula-based Native Generational Change, and a series of exposes on CERA by the Montana Human Rights Network and the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, demonstrated how communities can put racist groups on the defensive and expose their weaknesses to public scrutiny.

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Matthew Fletcher
Matthew L.M. Fletcher is Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law and Director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center. He is the Chief Justice of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Supreme Court and also sits as an appellate judge for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, the Hoopa Valley Tribe, and the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians. He is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, located in Peshawbestown, Michigan. In 2010, Professor Fletcher was elected to the American Law Institute.