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Articles > Sovereignty, Poverty and Healthcare Reform


14 Mar 2010

      Several years ago I received a revelatory word which simply stated “poverty will rob you of your sovereignty.”  This word was significant to me because being Native American I am a member of a federally recognized tribe.  To those of non-Native descent this word probably doesn’t mean much at all.  However, today as I reflect back on this simple statement, it’s relevance to current health care reform efforts helps to clarify the potential outcome of such legislation.  Let me explain.

     First, we need to see the word sovereignty means having the “ability to rule or to self-govern” and involves the “freedom and ability to make choices.”  For the Tribal Nations of North America, sovereignty is a major legal principle for their continued freedom to exist.  Ever since Chief Justice John Marshall and the Supreme Court ruled in 1830 that the Cherokee Tribe was a “domestic sovereign nation,” sovereignty has been a key aspect of Indian Law. 

      The 1830 Supreme Court decision determined the unfolding relationship the federal government would have with Indian tribes across the United States.  The recognition of tribes as domestic sovereign nations established the federal government as having sole jurisdiction in defining legislation and policy making concerning Indian tribes in the U.S.

      Today there are over 585 federally recognized tribes that function as sovereign nations within our boarders.  However, there is one problem.  Although all tribes are considered sovereign the vast majority of them are poverty-stricken.  Although there are many reasons for this poverty, the primary cause is the U.S. government’s deliberate imploding of the Native economy, which destroyed the livelihood of almost all the tribes.  This was done to bring tribes into submission to the peace plans sculpted by Washington lawmakers.  Cutting off tribal access to natural resources, plundering those resources, and relegating many tribes to isolated tracts of land also contributed to current reservation poverty.

      Looking at the concept of sovereignty on a personal level will help us gain greater clarity as to the bigger picture regarding health care reform.  For example, while I may have sovereignty – the freedom and ability to make choices – if I do not have the financial capability to activate and carry out those choices, then my ability to choose is very limited.  In other words my lack of financial resources hinders my personal ability to exercise my will.  Instead of buying a brand new Yukon Denali, I have to settle for a used clunker that may cost me a few hundred dollars.

      However, if I have unlimited resources I can choose just about any model or make of vehicle I want.  In fact, I actually have a vast array of vehicle options to choose from.  Because of my financial capability, I can maximize the use of my personal sovereignty by having the freedom to choose from a long list of possibilities.  I can choose to buy a Cadillac, a Lexus, a Mercedes-Benz, or select from a whole slue of other vehicles if I so desire.

      But, such is not the case for most tribal groups.  While they may have sovereignty status their impoverished state hinders their ability to exercise that sovereignty.  Instead of constructing sturdy well built housing for their elderly they can only afford flimsy poorly-insulated shacks.  Instead of fine dining in the best restaurants, many Native families exist on homemade bread and beans. 

      So we see that sovereignty as a concept is great but can be incredibility influenced by lack of financial prosperity.  Hence, the word, “poverty can rob you of your sovereignty.”  Another aspect of sovereignty is its association with free-will and the whole idea of freedom.  Ultimately, when God gave mankind a free will He also created him a sovereign creature, giving man the ability to make choices and in many ways order his individual world and thus, determine his destiny.

      Now, we can see that sovereignty is linked to several things, freedom, poverty, financial capability, and personal choices.   So what does this have to do with health care reform? 

      First of all, passage of this massive 2.6 trillion legislation package would put our nation in an even deeper financial hole than it already is and thus, make us financially vulnerable.  With nations like China and Japan currently holding our debt, this added expenditure would make us even more susceptible to these and other nations manipulating us into making choices that may not be in our best interests and could threaten our national security.  Also, at any time they could call in our debt and usher in financial ruin.  Remember the book of wisdom says “the borrower is servant to the lender” (Prov. 22:7).

      Secondly, passing such huge legislation would pose a threat to an already troubled economy and make us extremely vulnerable to total financial collapse.  Instead of being one of the most prosperous nations in the earth, a rapid economic descent would transform our nation into a land of lack and would impoverish millions of our citizens.  Such an economic collapse would set the stage for us to be robbed of our sovereignty.  Remember, the word “poverty will rob you of your sovereignty.”

      This potential scenario is frightening indeed.  However, we must see the strenuous and manipulative political efforts to pass massive health care reform as part of a bigger picture.  Not only is nationalization of health care, an initiative to expand government control over individual lives, but we believe it is also part of a larger plan to bring the United States into the New World Order or One World Government system. 

      The European Union (EU) is sort of a test sample of how this system might work.  To become a voting member of the EU each nation must surrender its right to national sovereignty.  Joining the EU also requires coming under the constitutional mandates developed by the member states.  This means those desiring membership must also surrender constitutions that have long governed their individual nations.

      For the United States to become part of a New World Order it too would have to surrender its national sovereignty.  Surrendering of national sovereignty is something the global elitists have pushed for a number of years now.  If such an economic collapse as outlined above were to occur it would thrust our nation into such a state of poverty that we would not be able to maximize our sovereignty.  It would make us more apt and willing to surrender our national sovereignty to become part of a one world government system.  A system that would promise to help us regain financial stability but in reality would move to control our individual lives in minute detail.  The trickle down effect of surrendering our national sovereignty would mean that our individual freedoms would soon dissipate.

      This is one reason why the Native American nations hold so steadfast to their sovereignty status.  Though many are in poverty, at least they have the freedom to make choices within their designated tribal territories.  Again, there is a lesson to be learned from the tragic experiences of North America’s Native people.  If we want to save this nation and maintain all the freedoms written in our constitution we must see the big picture, in some way get actively involved, and then, pray like we’ve never prayed before.              

 © Copyright Ivan Doxtator 2010 (Revised 8/22/2010 & 7/13/011)

Ivan Doxtator