Stop giving money to organizations and “causes” you know nothing about.
Non-profit organizations cannot be tribal governments. (The exercise of Tribal Sovereignty is not a charitable purpose.)
Organizations, like Sogorea Te “Land Trust” claim to be devoted to returning native land to native hands….
But which tribes are these organizations actually associated with?
Real Tribal Governments:
- Will be able to break down their history with facts, and evidence;
- Are recognized in Treaty–even if the government won’t recognize their own treaties. (And they have a documented reason for why they are not mentioned in Treaties. [e.g. Tribal Warfare, Government Favoritism of One Tribe Over Another, etc.])
- Hold elections.
The last point is super important. You can’t call yourself a Tribal Chairperson if there was never a vote. And, especially, if your Tribal Government is really just a corporation.
If the “Tribal Government” you’re working with has never petitioned for Federal Recognition from the Department of the Interior; that’s a red flag.
If the California Tribal Government you’re working with claims to be a California “State-Recognized Tribe“; that’s blatantly false.
California does not have a Tribal Recognition Process.
The California Native American Heritage Commission does not have the authority to recognize tribes. Only the Bureau of Indian Affairs can do that. [Absent certification as a Tribe by the BIA, no action to protect tribal lands may be maintained, United States v. 43.47 Acres of Land, 855 F. Supp. 549, 551 (D. Conn. 1994)]