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Indigenous sovereignty has its passport privileges

If Hawaiian sovereignty becomes law, can Hawaiian passports be far behind? That could happen if a settlement by the State Department and the British government becomes precedent for travel requirements of Indian tribes.

The Iroquois national lacrosse team represents the six Indian nations that comprise the Iroquois Confederacy, which is recognized by the Federation of International Lacrosse as a full member nation. However, the British consulate would not issue visas for the team to play in the world championships in Manchester, England, unless the U.S. would allow them back in America with their tribal passports, as it had done in the past.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department agreed, and the team departed to England on Wednesday—even though the Iroquois passports are partly hand-written and include none of the security features that make U.S. passports resistant to counterfeiting.

It’s all in the minor details

Just because you’ve got a natural advantage doesn’t mean it’s wrong to accept what comes with a head start.

Witness the case of Hawaii, invariably at the head of the pack where diversity is concerned, letting a special boon pass it by. Specifically, a recent survey shows this state with the highest percentage of minority-owned businesses. But fewer than 1 percent get a special certification for minority ownership that could help them get contracts from government and Fortune 1000 companies.

Could it be because in Hawaii—where no single ethnicity is in the majority—many minority groups don’t even consider themselves in need of such help?

 

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