On April 5, the vote taken in Tribal Council to ban all outside media is quite disturbing; all council members voted for the ban except for one. With that action, every one of us had our constitutional rights violated. Our right to a free press is contained in the very first amendment in the U.S. Constitution, and it is also the first provision in the Indian Civil Rights Act.
I find it hard to believe that any U.S. Veteran would allow anyone’s rights to be violated. Our veterans are forever bound by an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. So many of our service men and women died to protect those rights. I am confident that my husband, who is also a veteran, would have never sat by in silence and allow such a violation to occur. To say it was “legal” is ridiculous. When is it ever legal to violate someone’s rights? Never!
We need to ask ourselves: Does Tribal Council have the authority to issue this type of ban? No. Should they? Absolutely not. We should hope they would make sure none of our rights are violated…ever.
I consider the Chambers a place of honor and respect. But, where is the honor in violating our rights to a free press? Is it respectful to limit what we say to our government or to get the unfiltered news from all sources? We are on a path of crossing that line where our opinions no longer matter and taking our rights from us that serve to hold our government accountable should never be an option.