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How Washington Is Regulating American Indians To Death

U.S. policies have turned Indian reservations into ‘small third-world countries,’ Naomi Schaefer Riley claims in her latest book.

Most Americans take property rights and law enforcement for granted. But Americans living on Indian reservations can’t do that, according to New York Post columnist Naomi Schaefer Riley.

Riley is the author of “The New Trail of Tears: How Washington Is Destroying American Indians,” released by Encounter Books on July 26. In the book, she exposes how Washington’s regulation of American Indians has led to intense poverty and crime on Indian reservations.

“One of the tribal legislators I spoke with actually said to me, ‘We are the most over-regulated race on earth,’” Riley said at a book release hosted by the Independent Women’s Forum.

Native Americans Need Washington Approval To Buy Or Sell Land

Although American Indians on reservations technically own their land, they essentially have no property rights.

“These people have lots of land, but they have no equity, there’s nothing that they can do with this land,” Riley said, explaining that American Indians are typically required to get approval from someone in Washington before they can develop or sell any land. The result is what economist Hernando de Soto called “dead capital.” “They cannot get a mortgage on their property, because no bank could ever foreclose on property, because no banks could ever own reservation land.”

Years ago, the belief was that American Indians wanted a place primarily to farm and hunt, with no desire to develop or sell land for profit. But holding this same belief today, Riley said, is offensive and arrogant. It attempts to dictate a notion of what Indian culture is rather than listen to what American Indians want. And it assumes those wants can’t evolve over time.

“Just because your Chinese or Jewish or Russian ancestors lived a particular way, that doesn’t mean you have to today,” Riley said. “But that’s essentially what I think we’re saying to the Indians: we have this idea of what you were like 300 years ago, and let’s just stick with that.”

Read more at The Federalist – http://thefederalist.com/2016/08/04/how-washington-is-regulating-american-indians-to-death/

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