One More Way to Keep on Robbing Indigenous:

Colonial Entities Just Keep on Owing and Owing and Owing

May 18, 2011

"This story concerns all Native Americans who ever served in the U.S.

Armed Forces. We were unjustly and illegally taxed by our individual

states while serving in uniform,"

Richard Adame says.

Richard Adame is a Prairie Band Potawatomi and a 20 year army veteran

who fought in Desert Storm. He is not looking for fame or fortune,

only some justice for Indigenous veterans, many of whom are quite old

now. He insists this story is not about him alone.

Adame continues,

"Two years after I retired, I found out that I and every other Native

American who claimed the reservation as our homes were illegally

taxed. But, no one seems to know. . . I contacted a few vet reps and

they never heard of this. This injustice was not even known to us

ground pounders. We were just doing our jobs. How were we supposed to

know that we were being illegally taxed?"

"I grew up in Kansas on the reservation and joined the Army out of a

sense of patriotism and pride in my country. Most of the men and

women in my family served in the Armed Forces."

According to treaties signed between the US government and Indigenous

nations, Indigenous who were forced to give up their land and be

relocated to reservations, would not be taxed.

Deduction of state income taxes from the pay of American Indian

veterans living on reservation land at the time of their entrance into

active duty service was first prohibited by federal law under the

Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940, Section 514, and

continued under the newer version of the law, the Service members

Civil Relief Act of 2006, section 511e.

Between 1940 and 2001, many states illegally took income tax from

Indigenous veterans. The total theft would be in the $$millions$$.

It is impossible to estimate exactly how much because each person paid

different amounts of income tax. Even the numbers of Indigenous in

the US military are not known but are proportionally high compared to

nonNative people. This group of veterans would include many aging men

who have health problems and need medical care.

Indigenous men know that it is their duty to protect our families and

communities. Whether or not joining the US military will help these

proud warriors is another issue.

At the Eagle Watch, we find this latest injustice toward Indigenous to

be very outrageous. It's bad enough that our people have been and are

being used in colonial warfare for centuries. To rob these dedicated

individuals of their pay is really offensive.

At present, New Mexico is the only state addressing this issue that

affects hundreds, if not thousands of Indigenous vets in that state

alone. See below for links to claim form.

Adame concludes,

"Some of the [warriors] are no longer with us. Our tribal history is

full of our willingness to take up the challenge of military service.

I do this because it is the right thing to do. I do this for my

Grandfather and all my other relatives who are veterans and who are no

longer with us."

If you know any Indigenous US military veterans, please pass this

article along to them. Help spread the word so that they can pursue

this matter for themselves. The states/colonial entities are not

going to just do the right thing. They will no doubt find excuses to

avoid payment. We need to put some pressure on them for their

shameful thievery.




Pottawatomi Vet: Soldiers Wrongly Taxed By JoKAY DOWE


New Mexico's Native Vets Tax Settlement Fund - BUT Only in New Mexico

Thursday, September 23, 2010 9:31


Restoring Pay 01/01/2005

Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M.

Member, House Veterans' Affairs Committee


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