New Book by Rebecca Webster: “In Defense of Sovereignty”

You can buy it here.

In Defense of Sovereignty
Protecting the Oneida Nation’s Inherent Right to Self-Determination
Rebecca M. Webster
Foreword by Richard Monette
With contributions by James R. Bittorf, William Gollnick, Frederick E. Hoxie, Arlinda F. Locklear, and James W. Oberly
“This valuable book lays out the features of a legal and political strategy to defend a reservation boundaries case. This material is thrilling where tribal citizens detail their ongoing, real-world struggles with the Village of Hobart. Successful and compelling.”
—Matthew L. M. Fletcher, author of Ghost Road: Anishinaabe Responses to Indian-Hating

A nuanced history by an Oneida Nation citizen directly involved in the litigation

The Oneida Nation has been engaged in legal conflicts to retain its sovereignty and its lands since forced removals in the 1820s from New York to what would become the state of Wisconsin. Legal scholar Rebecca M. Webster examines this history, including the nation’s treaties with the US and focusing especially on its relationship with the village of Hobart, Wisconsin. Since 2003, six disputes have led to litigation—the result of attempts by the local government to regulate the nation, repudiate its sovereignty, and relegate its government to the position of a common landowner, subject to municipal authority.

In Defense of Sovereignty shares the perspective of a nation citizen directly involved in the litigation, augmented by contributions from historians, attorneys, and a retired nation employee. It is an intimate and unflinching account of the impact of these jurisdictional battles and what is at stake for the future. Its lucid analysis is an invaluable contribution to public debates about the inherent right of Indigenous nations to continue to exist and exercise self-governance within their territories without being challenged at every turn.
 Rebecca Webster. Photo credit, Stephanie Stevens.Rebecca M. Webster, an assistant professor in the American Indian studies department at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, is a former senior staff attorney for the Oneida Nation.

Rebecca Webster on cooperative land use planning on the Oneida Reservation

Rebecca Webster has published “This land can sustain us: cooperative land use planning on the Oneida Reservation” in Planning Theory & Practice.

Here is the abstract:

Land use planning in indigenous communities often takes place within state-based planning initiatives, leaving indigenous governments to serve as token participants. Through these initiatives, state-based governments have the ability to wield their power and control the planning process to the detriment of indigenous governments. This study sets forth an alternative option involving cooperative land use planning practices where neither government controls the planning process. Drawing upon a case study of the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin, USA, this study explores ways to increase cooperative land use planning relationships between indigenous and state-based governments. As one of the few empirical studies to apply critical planning theory to advocate for increased cooperative land use planning, this paper proposes a series of recommendations that can help indigenous and state-based governments avoid conflicts and work toward cooperative relationships.

Rebecca Webster on Service Agreement Payment Formulas for Tribal Trust Lands on the Oneida Reservation

Rebecca M. Webster has published “Service Agreements: Exploring Payment Formulas for Tribal Trust Lands on the Oneida Reservation” in the American Indian Quarterly.

Here is the abstract:

Many tribal governments throughout the US struggle with developing and maintaining positive relationships with other governments that have overlapping boundaries. Sometimes a tribe and other governments are able to strike an accord and realize a wide array of ways their respective governments can complement each other in order to provide the best services to their shared communities. Other times tribal and local governments find themselves tied up in litigation and negative public relations campaigns due to their inability to find a way to peacefully coexist. The Oneida Reservation has a unique history leading to checkerboard landownership patterns and the presence of tribal and local governments providing varying levels of government services. With respect to tribal trust land, the Oneida Tribe and local governments have been working together for the past two decades to find equitable ways to recognize each other’s government services through service agreements.