Antone Minthorn: Having Tribally Managed Services,”That’s Freedom”

In this excerpt, Antone Minthorn talks about the impact of treaties and the importance of tribes having their own government services.

Bio: Antone Minthorn has served for more than twenty years with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) in various roles, from chief planner to chair of the board of trustees. He is a founding board member of Confluence.


The concern is that tribes can do things, they can get things done and I just think that the Cayuses are a product of that because of the ground that they stood when the missionaries came and settlers came and the soldiers came. And they fought them. The fought them, the stepped up and they fought them. They stood their ground and they’re here today. And what they said in that treaties is not for us that we’re doing this, it’s for the children that we’re doing it. And that sounds simple until you realize it’s you that they’re talking about. That then you have that same responsibility of protecting your people, your nation. That there are 3,000 CTUIR tribal members today, growing. And if they were attacked from the outside by an enemy, if they were attacked right now, you would stand up and you would go out and you would fight. You would have to fight. That is your obligation to do that.

But that’s a message that we’re that that needs to get across because of all this hammering by the federal government. You know, that you’ve got to comply, you got to assimilate, you’ve got to be like us, you know. But the tribes, most of them have been resisting that all along.

But they need to know how to manage their own responsibilities in the 21st century.

Yeah, they have to know how to manage in providing government services to their people. Because if the federal government, the United States is not going to do it, you do it and you better deliver. You better know how to deliver those services. That’s your responsibility. That’s freedom.

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