Obama Set to Return Manhattan to Native Americans?

At least that’s the latest fear to develop in the right-wing blogosphere, where, apparently, all questions about Obama’s birth certificate have been answered.

This particular concern comes from the pesident’s support of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, which conservative critics say contains ambiguous wording about land claims since it says, “indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.” 

The conservative Web site World Net Daily thinks however that the the treaty “could accomplish something as radical as relinquishing some U.S. sovereignty and opening a path for the return of ancient tribal lands to American Indians, including even parts of Manhattan.”

Theodore Frank, a fellow with the Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute, tells World Net Daily “U.N. resolutions like this claiming amorphous rights can be a stalking horse for future attempts to have international courts enforce broad interpretations of those rights at the expense of American sovereignty,” and adding, “One can anticipate that some tribes will seek to use this resolution to re-litigate centuries-old land disputes that courts have already rejected.”

And Julianne Jennings Nottoway, an anthropology professor at Pima Community College in Arizona, tells WND that 30 percent of aboriginal land was not ceded to Americans through the process of treaty, “but assumed – false premise or without proof – ownership and subordination. Tribes are not asking New Yorkers to leave Manhattan and leave their homes, memories and the lands on which they are built upon, but to make available open lands/spaces for repurchase that would be used exclusively for tribal affairs.”

Joseph Farah, an editor at WND, wrote a sarcastic column on the issue yesterday titled “I’ll Take Manhattan.”

“Truth be told, I have a fair amount of Indian heritage on my mother’s side. So this proposed redistribution of wealth is welcome news for me. Where do I apply? I want to return wampum for Manhattan,” he writes.



Obama Set to Return Manhattan to Native Americans?