Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor Urges Native Americans To Debunk Their Own Myths

Here, from KGOU in Oklahoma.  An excerpt:

“Halito, (words in Choctaw) yakoke. As Professor Tai said, my name is Kelby Kennedy and I’m a proud citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma,” said Kennedy. “I am so glad that you are preserving your native language. It’s so important for people in your generation to do that, thank you for attempting and succeeding obviously!” Sotomayor said.

Sotomayor surprised everyone by going out into the audience among the students to answer pre-selected questions and take pictures with everyone who could squeeze into the frame. Choctaw law student, Kelby Kennedy, whose greeting in Choctaw was warmly received by Justice Sotomayor, continued with her questions.

“Being in Oklahoma we’re definitely in the heart of Indian Country and of course you are at one of the top law schools with one of the top Indian law programs in the nation. As a proud Native American citizen, would you please share your sense of some the challenges that you and other members of the court face when dealing with Indian law issues,” Kennedy said.

“Hmmm…You know I recently wrote an opinion where I spoke very directly to an issue that I don’t think my colleagues recognize and a lot of Americans don’t recognize,” Sotomayor said. “I think there is a popular image that Native Americans are rich because of gambling, because of gaming. We hear about the massive amounts that are made by some tribes and think that means that every tribe has their economic problems solved.”

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