Are there real troubles on tribal reservations in the U.S.? Yes. But there’s a very good argument that the problem is not lack of land, but a smothering and dispiriting mix of federal subsidies and regulatory intervention, including selective favors that enrich a few but do worse than nothing for the rest.
Rather than address that, the Obama administration has focused on providing a $1 billion settlement, announced last month, for claims dating back more than 100 years, or, as The Independent Sentinel described it, “Obama Buying Native American Votes.”
Whatever one’s view of that settlement, apparently it was not enough to satisfy the administration — which also called in reinforcements from the UN, in the form of inviting Anaya to “visit” his own native haunts, and provide a UN condemnation and prescription for the doings of America.
Citing “exemplary cooperation” from the Obama administration in his UN venture, Anaya, according to the Guardian, “declined to speculate on why no members of Congress would meet with him.”
Anaya will now present his “findings” to the next session of the UN Human Rights Council. If the U.S. administration is as eager as it appears to be to cooperate with this latest UN mission to remake America, here’s a suggestion. By all means, transfer some land back to the tribes who once lived there — but please, for the sake not only of native Americans, but all Americans — indeed, all mankind — let’s start with the ample patch of midtown Manhattan that currently houses the headquarters of the United Nations.