The outrage began after the President announcedon December 16 that the U.S. would reverse course and support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. The Declaration was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2007, but the U.S., under President Bush, opposed it.
"The aspirations it affirms -- including the respect for the institutions and rich cultures of Native peoples -- are ones we must always seek to fulfill," the President said of the Declaration at White House Tribal Nations Conference where he announced the reversal. He went on to describe efforts to improve health care, education, and unemployment rates in tribal areas.
"While the declaration is not legally binding, it carries considerable moral and political force," the State Department wrote of the Declaration, "and complements the President's ongoing efforts to address historical inequities faced by indigenous communities in the United States."
Despite this, the right has seized onto some of the language to attack the President -- including Article 26, which says:Obama was adopted as an honorary member of the Crow tribe during the 2008 campaign, and was even given the name "One who helps people throughout the land." Most of the outrage lobbed at the President in the wake of the announcement, naturally, references that fact.
Last week, the "Director of Issues Analysis" for the Christian conservative American Family Association, Brian Fischer, wrote a blog post claiming that "President Obama wants to give the entire land mass of the United States of America back to the Indians. He wants Indian tribes to be our new overlords."