Are Indian Tribes Sovereign Nations?


Are Indian Tribes Sovereign Nations?



It is no secret that there are strained relations between Native American tribes and the U.S. Government. In fact, many tribes want to be considered sovereign nations, free from US law and expectations. Even more so, most Americans understand little about American Indian life, traditions, and history. How are we to have a serious conversation about Indian liberation if we don’t know the basic facts? On this episode, we look not only at political question of tribal sovereignty, but delve deeply into its relationship to Native American culture, theology and history.

George “Tink” Tinker is Clifford Baldridge Professor of American Indian Cultures and Religious Traditions at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver. He teaches courses in American Indian cultures, history, and religious traditions; cross-cultural and Third-World theologies; and justice and peace studies and is a frequent speaker on these topics both in the U.S. and internationally. His publications include American Indian Liberation: A Theology of Sovereignty (2008); Spirit and Resistance: Political Theology and American Indian Liberation (2004); and Missionary Conquest: The Gospel and Native American Genocide (1993). He co-authored A Native American Theology (2001); and he is co-editor of Native Voices: American Indian Identity and Resistance (2003), and Fortress Press’ Peoples’ Bible (2008).

Tink has volunteered in the Indian community as (non–stipendiary) director of Four Winds American Indian Survival Project in Denver for two decades. In that capacity he functions in the urban Indian community as a traditional American Indian spiritual leader. He is past president of the Native American Theological Association and a member of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians.


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Institute for Philosophy in Public Life


Grand Forks, ND


Sovereignty ; Indians of North America--Ethnic identity ; Indians of North America--Politics and government ; Self-determination, National--United States.



Are Indian Tribes Sovereign Nations?