What Does Sovereignty Mean to You? Josiah Pinkham, Nez Perce Tribe


In this video, Josiah Pinkham discusses his upbringing on the Nez Perce reservation and the importance of remaining close to his community in terms of keeping up with cultural developments and advances in language education. Pinkham describes self-determination as a layer of sovereignty and how the ability of a tribe to enact its sovereignty is dependent on their financial resources and organizational capacity. Pinkham also discusses his preference for the term sovereignty. One example that he provides is the ability to try people in tribal courts. Pinkham expresses concern over the survival of tribal sovereignty and the passing on of culture to younger generations. Pinkham also presents pieces of Tribal art and discusses their connection to the idea and history of sovereignty in the Northwest. He discusses briefly how a treaty between the United States and several Northwest tribes provided the United States access to land controlled by the tribes involved in the treaty in exchange for the right to control reservation land and maintain access to resources important to the tribes.