In May of 2001, as Chair of the Citizens Equal Rights Alliance, we ran a campaign requesting an investigation of Federal Indian Policy before more lands could be placed into so called “trust lands” and taken off the fee land tax roles. Our request was made to Sen. Orrin Hatch, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate. We also wrote the President, the Secretaries of the Administration, a special letter to the Attorney General of the United States, another letter to the Governors and Attorney Generals of the 50 states and over 2,000 media. We asked them all to support our request for the investigation. Each received a packet which included copies of the letters plus an eight page fact sheet on how the Tribal U. S. Citizens didn’t have any rights, and how federal agencies were depriving millions of other U. S. citizens, some of whom lived near newly re-invented Indian country of their rights. About 500 of the media packets also included the book “Legalized Racism”, about the Mille Lacs’ Treaty Case.
We were going to visit the office of Senator Hatch the following Tuesday, after our annual CERA conference in D.C. to talk about our request. On Friday rumors started that Senator Jeffords was going to change parties. The rumor picked up steam over the weekend and on Monday Sen. Orrin Hatch was no longer Chair of the Judiciary Committee. We will never get the credit for making this change happen but in our heart we feel that it was our campaign that was responsible.