Peggy Flanagan, White Earth Nation tribal member and former Minneapolis School Board member held up her tribal ID during a rally and declared that this government issued ID might not be considered sufficient if the Minnesota voter restriction constitutional amendment passes this November.
“If this passes that means that this (tribal ID) is no longer valid. For me, that’s a lawsuit. I hope we don’t have to get there. I hope we can defeat this at the polls,” said Flanagan.
Hundreds of Native Americans who live on reservations all over Minnesota rely on their federally issued tribal identification to board a plane, to open a bank account and to cash a check. Yet, it remains unclear whether this form of identification would be deemed acceptable as a proper form of state issued identification-as defined by the amendment’s authors-when going to the polls.
Flanagan was speaking at a rally that connected civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King to the amendments opponents claims that this is a civil rights issue. She said that a federally issued ID should be able to trump a state issued one.
“We have to get the word out because a lot of people in our community don’t know about this,” said Flanagan.
Asked if there was apathy on this issue from the Native community because of so many other pressing social issues such as poverty, Flanagan refused to denounce the voter restriction constitutional amendment as a “boutique” issue for her community.
“This will fundamentally take power away from our community to determine what they want for themselves,” she declared.