North Dakota Native Americans
Native American tribes in North Dakota have their own distinct origins, history, and language, but they all had and still have the same behavior, with the exception of the Lakota (commonly known as Sioux). The tribes of the plain are united by fundamental beliefs and values derived from their history and culture. The tribes that have the greatest influence in today's North Dakota are tribes like the Lakota, Dakota, Lakotas, Chippewa, Sioux, Cheyenne, Nisqually, Ojibwe, Crow, Moccasins and Lakota, tribes with a common language, culture and history. Visitors are cordially invited to explore the reserve and discover the beauty of Indian culture. The Navajo Nation, the nation's largest reservation, had a population of 1.5 million in 2010, more than twice as many as most reserves. Even more dwarfed is the fact that nearly a quarter of them live with reservations, according to the US Census Bureau.
The Standing Rock Issue
In April, a US House of Representatives Elections subcommittee held a hearing on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Here, House members listened as tribal and local officials described the continuing discrimination against voters. According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 43% of the population lives on Standing Rock Reserves in the United States, more than in any other state. Advances in Native American voting rights have been made by new members of Congress and the judiciary, which have changed public opinion across the country. Many of the lawsuits in South Dakota revolve around districts used to dilute Native American voting rights in local and state government. The most important case in the lawsuit began in 2010, when the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of four Native Americans, claiming that the South Dakota Legislature's redistribution of Native Americans resulted in a single legislative district. A court ruled that the state had violated the Voting Rights Act by drafting a redistributive plan that diluted Native American voting rights. At least three Native American candidates are running for the North Dakota state legislature in Tuesday's primary after the tribes struck a landmark voting rights deal with that state earlier this year. The statutory redistribution, which will be based on the 2020 census in the two states, has raised concerns about the status of Native Americans, who are typically counted among those in censuses.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota and the Sioux Nation of South Dakota sued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for denying them the right to vote as Native Americans. The scheme ensures that only voters with a tribal affiliation - a specific address and a valid driving license - are allowed to vote. This is an unusual year for Native Americans, as due to COVID 19, ballots are not only delivered by mail, but also in person. North Dakota argues that the state's voter ID law, which requires residents to provide an address on the street, is a form of voter suppression and has reached a settlement agreement with American Indians who have sued. The deal requires states to assign and verify the street names of Native American voters to ensure they can still vote, said Tim Purdon, a lawyer for the tribes. Many tribal members don't know their street addresses or don't have verifiable ones because they live with friends or relatives and can't afford to have an updated ID, he said. Voting rights activists say a few thousand votes are cast in congressional elections each year, even though about 10 percent of North Dakota's eligible voters are Native Americans. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and other tribes filed their lawsuit against the state in 2019, but have yet to agree to the settlement agreement, which would halt a federal lawsuit scheduled for May on the issue. Nicole Donaghy, executive director of the nonprofit, said tribal members who do not live on the reservation must be helped, and that the state must make sure election officials are aware of the changes so no one is wrongly turned away.
Voting and Tribal Members
Last week, officials in North Dakota announced a new administrative rule to make it easier for people to use tribal identification cards and supplemental documents. The state government is then responsible for verifying voters' "home addresses and making that information available to tribes". Native Americans in North Dakota who vote in the election must put their residence on a map if they have no address. The deal was welcomed by the American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota, a nonpartisan organization that has sued the state. Several states have refused to allow Native Americans to vote because they believe their tribes are the guiding hand of their communities. South Dakota barred them from voting, contending in a lawsuit that Native Americans who live in reservations do not have the same voting rights as those in organized counties like the Dakotas and other states.