Tag Archives: sovereignty

Jobs and American Indian Sovereignty: The Obstacle of Video gaming

Civil liberties and Native American sovereignty rights seem to be moving toward a head on crash.

Campus News| Oct 19, 2017|By

UNLV News Center Editor’s Note:

UNLV Center for Video Gaming Research Study Eadington Fellow Colleen O’Neill is an associate professor of history at Utah State University and previous co-editor of the “Western Historical Quarterly.” She is presently working on a book job, Labor and Sovereignty, analyzing the changing meaning of wage work for American Indian neighborhoods in the 20th century. She will deliver a colloquium, Jobs and American Indian Sovereignty: The Obstacle of Gamingat 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, in the Goldfield Room, Lied Library. The talk is open to the public. Here, she shares insights she’s gathered from research in UNLV Libraries Special Collections.

After almost

a

years

in

the making, the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2017 is likely to become law in this legal session. Excusing people from the National Labor Relations Act, the costs must settle a long and heated dispute that shaped negotiations in between federal, state, and tribal federal governments since the early 1990s.

Unions, representing primarily non-native gambling establishment workers, think labor rights need to be safeguarded by federal law. They argue that as “Americans,” their rights to organize makes up a civil right. People have ardently rejected those claims, insisting that the National Labor Relations Board, the administrative body that enforces federal labor law, does not have jurisdiction to regulate Indian enterprises on tribal land. Imposing federal labor law, inning accordance with tribal leaders, is an attack on American Indian sovereignty. Civil rights and sovereignty rights appear to be moving toward a head on crash.

The battle over who has the right to control gambling establishment labor raises complicated questions about the relationship between tribes, states, and the federal government and the rights of workers in a market governed by brand-new rules. My colloquium will examine how that dispute fits into a wider historic shift in the significance of wage deal with Indian Bookings in the 21st century. Deployed by federal authorities as an assimilationist tool in the late 19th century, wage work was indicated to detribalize Native Americans. Today, as this story continues to unfold, controlling the workplace has ended up being a “best” that tribes have used to strengthen their sovereignty claims.

I have actually spent the majority of my two-week Eadington Fellowship residency at UNLV reading reports, press accounts, and testimony generated by tribal and union leaders, and federal and state legislators who shaped those debates. The Katherine Spilde Papers on Native American Video Gaming in UNLV University Libraries Special Collections and Archives will assist me weave these completing voices into a historic narrative that, I hope, will use helpful insight into a turning point in Native American and labor history.