Thursday, July 15, 2010

Federal Indian Law, The State Department and the Lacrosse World Champions

Fascinating story about the Iroquois Nation lacrosse team's efforts to travel to England for the Lacrosse World Championships on Iroquois Nation passports - and not U.S. or Canadian passports.  From Deadspin,

The Nationals, comprising tribe members located across the U.S. and Canada, were informed last Friday that they would not be granted visas by the British consulate unless the United States would guarantee their re-entry into the country at the end of the tournament. The U.S. demurred, citing the lack of security features in the tribe's passports and referring to a 2008 "internal directive" that outlawed the use of a tribal document as a stand-in for a U.S. passport while abroad.
The 2008 directive tightened international travel restrictions; when the Nationals last traveled abroad to the world championships, which were held in Australia in 2002, their passports "didn't pose a problem."

This time around, the Americans displayed their trademark brand of "who's your daddy?" benevolence, passive-aggressively offering to help the Iroquois by expediting U.S. passports for the team. It was a diplomatic middle finger to tribal sovereignty at a time when the Iroquois have assigned particular import to their national identity

Read the whole thing.