[Foundation-l] Native American Tribes Policy

Jeffrey V. Merkey jmerkey at wolfmountaingroup.com
Tue May 15 22:17:58 UTC 2007

Here's a great article on the topic with an explanation of the legal 
issues surrounding this debate.



Philippe Beaudette wrote:

>I have to tell you, as a former employee of an organization that dealt with Indian Sovereignty on a daily basis, I'm loathe to recommend that Wikipedia get involved in the recognized/non-recognized battle.  Particularly given that tripes are having recognition stripped and given even today - just google "Tribe Sovereignty stripped" for some interesting reading.
>There are too many uncertainties in this area, and frankly, I don't want to be the one (or suggest that anyone else is) to involve us in tribal policies.  I don't want to call the Chief/Chairman/Chief Executive of any of these tribes and say we're going to alter their article and this is why, and I think it's not good policy for us to get in the middle of this one.
>Federal recognition does not equal validity.  Until the BIA is straightened out, and the Department of the Interior, and ancient treaties, this is a field full of landmines, and I think we're best to stay the heck off of it.
Well, I can see I am wasting time with this debate. Federal recognition 
= verifiability (not validity). I think perhaps the policies may already 
be in place to deal with these issues under WP:V. One such fake tribe 
already has had an article purged out and deleted without the policy, so 
it appears folks have gotten the point. It does not matter if Wikipedia 
is involved in the debate or not. If a fake tribe gets listed, they use 
WP for misinformation and something happens, Wikipedia can retroactively 
deal with it the same way it handled the "fake professor" fiasco -- lots 
of bad publicity and public scrutiny. I guess it will get dealt with if 
and when it happens.


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