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President, N.B. Johnson, our program chairman, Robert L. Bennett, our capable Executive Secretary, John Rainer, who has done a wonderful and most capable job for us in the Washington Office, D'Arcy McNickle, Ruth Bronson, Bill Short, and many others who have worked relentlessly in behalf of the American Indians, without remuneration. They have put into effect a stronger tie among the people of our race who are scattered throughout the United States and Alaska. The American Indians have been through the years subjected to pronouncements of death, involuntary servitude, expropriation, physical decimation and an effort to take the spirit of the Indians. The government of the United States has not fulfilled its moral and legal obligations to the American Indians. There have been times during the past one hundred fifty years when the government has been linked with every form of deceit used against the Indians. This bit of infamy is known too well among all of us and the memory of it is written into this country's history and will perhaps linger with some of us for a long time to come. Yet, the Sixth Convention of this organization displayed its unquestionable integrity by adopting resolution No. 13, which unequivocally objected to any type of government or any type of subversive activity which seeks to undermine or overthrow the present form of government of the United States. The American Indians are one racial minority who have never associated with groups who profess a godless philosophy and a sophisticated immorality. The American Indians long ago, when this earth was still young, acknowledged the existence of Divine Providence in their daily social and political manner of life. We want freedom and security based on strength. But it must be the freedom and security not only of the strong. It must be the right of the weakest as well. Without that, there can be no real freedom in the world. The rights of the weakest are as sacred as the rights of the strongest. The fact that the principles of American democracy are now the law of the land does not mean that our liberties are secure. We cannot change men's minds by passing laws. Some of our problems will be solved through normal adjustment and not through so-called acculturation by law as has been attempted by the discriminatory "emancipation" measures introduced in the Congress of the United States. Our race has been increasing in recent years, but our land base has been diminishing at an alarming pace. We hope to see the day when the Indians of the state of Washington will be permitted to enlarge their land base to more adequately meet the needs of a growing population. Land is the basic need of the Indian population. At present, land acquisition for Indians is stymied by riders read into the appropriation bills which stipulate that tribal funds appropriated by Congress shall not be used to purchase land in the states of Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Wyoming. -3-
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