The Indigenous Peoples Caucus has submitted a letter to the United Nations calling for adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This would be a great step forward around the world but more work needs to be done. The next step forward can happen in the United States with federal legislation that will provide reparation payments to all American Indians.
The funds for these reparations can be drawn from the creation of a small fee attached to all property transfers across the United States. Though the fee for each individual property transfer would be small, the total funding pool would add up considering all the property transfers in the United States. Why property transfers? Property was what European settlers took from American Indians and it resulted in the widespread loss of American Indians' lives and culture.
The time for such legislation is now with the new populist majorities in Congress.
- Michael Boyajian,
Former human rights judgeFishkill, N.Y.