Hartford, Connecticut — April 1, 2015 – Today, the Institute for Liberty (IFL) has initiated a campaign in the State of Connecticut to bring attention to the actions of the State of Connecticut against the sovereignty of Native American tribes throughout the country. This multi-faceted campaign is meant to educate the people of Connecticut through billboards, mail and grassroots activities about the actions of their government officials and the effect those actions have on our nation’s native people.
Over the last six months, the State of Connecticut’s Department of Banking, under the leadership of former Commissioner Howard Pitkin and General Counsel Bruce Adams, has tested the bounds of its legal authority by attacking the tribal sovereignty of a Northern Oklahoma tribe, by preventing them from offering online financial services to Connecticut residents. The Institute for Liberty is dedicated to preserving liberty for all, and that includes living up to our nation’s century’s-old commitments to Native American tribes.
“This attack doesn’t just threaten this one tribe. It threatens all of them. What Connecticut is trying to do is to ignore hundreds of years of legal precedent and threatening the basic human rights of tribal people—rights guaranteed by our Constitution,” said Andrew Langer, President of the Institute for Liberty. “This is racial discrimination plain and simple against a people who have been attacked repeatedly as they have tried to provide for the needs of their own people through a range of innovative financial products and services. It is emblematic of the historic treatment of Native American tribes by the federal government. Telling them they cannot work to provide for themselves, to make their lives better, is an illegal act against these tribes and state regulators must stop this attack on Indian country.”
The campaign will charge that Governor Malloy’s administration is blindly advancing President Obama’s controversial attack on short-term lenders across the country. A prominent Indian tribal leader has already filed a personal civil rights lawsuit against the State of Connecticut and tribal entities have filed an appeal against the Banking Department’s determination.
IFL is an aggressive defender of the rights of individuals to pursue the American dream. They inject the perspective of small businesses, and the working families that depend on them, into the public policy debate. IFL’s President, Andrew Langer, has been a vocal critic of the federal government’s dishonest and unethical dealings with Native American tribes for many years.
For more, please visit: NativeKidsFirst.com