Forgoing the Franchise: When Voting Endangers Indigenous Sovereignty

Date & Time: March 25, 2021, 1 p.m.
Location: Online


Join the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies for the Distinguished Visiting Scholar lecture by Maurice S. Crandall.

For many who uphold values of democratic inclusion, the vote is seen as the "gold standard" of civil rights. Numerous movements throughout the history of the United States have fought for full enfranchisement. But what if the act of voting endangers community sovereignty and self-government? This talk will explore how during the territorial period (1846–1912) Native Nations in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands fought against colonial mandates by the United States, rejecting voting and U.S. citizenship in favor of self-determination. In so doing, they chose sovereignty over "rights," and thereby preserved their existence as independent peoples.