Promises are important, at least that’s what we tell our kids. In Montana and around the country, there are groups advocating that we break the promises made to our American Indian friends and neighbors. These groups, which form the anti-Indian movement, represent a systematic effort to deny legally-established rights by terminating American Indian sovereignty and culture. They feed on the public’s lack of knowledge regarding treaty rights and the negative stereotypes directed at American Indians. They strive to create fear and rancor, especially in white communities on or near reservations and in other places where American Indians survive and thrive despite America’s genocidal history.
The Montana Human Rights Network has monitored and organized against the anti-Indian movement for decades. Over the past few years, the media and public have increasingly scrutinized how right-wing extremism finds its way into the political mainstream. At the same time, the number of hate groups seems to continually rise. In this context, the anti-Indian movement is too often viewed as just another conservative movement. The reality is it belongs on the right-wing fringe, which is where it originates and why it easily overlaps with militia and white nationalist groups.