Act of Repentance, Doctrine of Discovery

Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians: Supreme Court Decision

Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians: Supreme Court Decision

United Methodist Women Focus:

Act of Repentance, Doctrine of Discovery

Decision Summary:

This case was about the extent of Native American tribal sovereignty. A 4-4 split in the Supreme Court leaves intact a decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that recognizes the jurisdiction of the Choctaw tribal court to hear a suit against Dollar General regarding alleged sexual assault by one of its employees against a tribal member. The store is on tribal land. The suit against Dollar General can now continue in tribal court. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians had a contract with Dollar General that bound it to tribal court. The Appeals court ruling held that Native Indian tribes have sovereignty that predates the founding of the US, and Congress has not revoked tribal right to try civil cases on tribal grounds.

United Methodist Women Policy:

United Methodist Women is deeply engaged in the work of the whole United Methodist Church on the Act of Repentance with our Native American sisters and brothers, through concrete acts of accompaniment in their current struggles for sovereignty, land, water and mineral rights. We draw on the Charter for Racial Justice and United Methodist Church Book of Resolutions (2012) including: Confession to Native Americans #3322; Healing Relationships with Indigenous Persons #3323; Trail of Repentance and Healing #3324; Doctrine of Discovery #3331; Regarding Native American Culture and Traditions as Sacred #3334; Native American Tribal Sovereignty #3336; and Treaty Obligations With Native Americans #3338. Resolutions #3336 affirms that “Tribal sovereignty is an inherent international right of Native nations, and it encompasses various matters, such as jurisdiction over Indians and non-Indians on tribal lands ...”

Take Action:

Revisit the United Methodist Women’s Mission Study  Giving our Hearts Away, Native American Survival by Thom White Wolf Fassett to explore Native American history in the US, United Methodist history with Native American Tribes, and current realities of Native Americans, including United Methodists. Strengthen relationships with Native American United Methodists in your conference and within United Methodist Women and support their local concerns. Embrace Native worship expressions as you worship with Native American sisters and brothers. Use the Link opens in a new window. United Methodist Church’s Act of Repentance Guide to identify ways to engage in this journey of repentance and to walk with Native Americans. Read the former Reading Program Book “The Roundhouse” by Louise Erdrich, which addresses tribal sovereignty regarding acts of sexual violence by non-natives on tribal land. Continue to monitor UMW action alerts for legislative opportunities to support this ongoing issue.

 

Posted or updated: 6/30/2016 12:00:00 AM
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