By David Pego

Forgive me for daydreaming aloud. But hey, could this Iraq thing be the best thing that ever happened to American Indians?

Imagine how surprised I was when I heard that the United States and Coalition forces had held a small, private meeting and handed over a document giving Iraq back its status as a semi unfettered sovereign nation early Monday morning.

Now that there is a precedent, I figure that this may be the best time ever to ask the United States to give us American Indians our land back. I figure if they turned over an entire country back to a hodgepodge band of tribal peoples over there, maybe they’ll do it over here.

Take ’em all, Tony

Of course, in Iraq, the former occupiers are still there. But some day, they’ve got to leave. And once we have our land handed back to us, eventually these occupiers will need leave, too. And, I have just the place for them.

I saw President Bush shaking hands with his British buddy Tony Blair as they received word during a NATO meeting that Iraq was once again in control of its own land. Maybe Bush could ask Tony to ask Parliament to make some land available when everyone who isn’t an American Indian starts leaving. After all, a lot came from over there. And Blair would do that, wouldn’t he?

More border control

The new honchos in Iraq immediately hinted they would start stepping up control of their own borders. That’s a great idea and something we Indian folk should do immediately if we get our land back. After all, if we had had mandatory covered wagon checks way back when and looked harder for weapons of mass buffalo destruction, I think things might have been a bit better these days.

I know the court system will be busy for years after the turnover. That’s bound to happen. All the wannabe Indians are gonna get their crystals, snare drums and pink feathers up in a snit. And what do we do about the Cleveland Indians? Should they stay? I guess not. They rarely have winning seasons anyway.

And what would happen to my daughter? She’s only half-Indian, but a tribal member nonetheless. Would she and other mixed bloods have to spend half the year only halfway to Britain? Maybe in Bermuda? I know if I asked her, she’d quickly say yes, that would be no problem.

If we were given back our country, I figure things would run a lot smoother once most of the folks left. After all, there aren’t that many American Indian lawyers, are there? And Indian politicians? How much trouble can Ben Nighthorse Campbell get into by himself? Plus, right off the top of my head, I can’t even name one single American Indian telemarketer.

I know the U.S. Senate has been pondering a resolution to apologize to us Indians for taking our land, killing us and generally breaking more promises than … well… breaking more promises than those same Senators probably made during their election campaigns. Maybe if they just decided to give it all back, they could avoid needing to do that.

Hey, I’m not serious

I hope you’re not taking this too seriously, by the way. I sometimes write satire and don’t want to be misunderstood. My lovely new wife is of English origin and I don’t want to lose her just yet – or ever. But it is fun to think about what could happen if…

And in fact, I told her all of this that I just told you.

She said, “Oh, David! Let’s talk after you wake up!”

It was a nice dream while it lasted. Guess that ends my chance of ever being Lord Mayor of Wichita, Kansas.

Contributing editor and director of writer development David Pego is a Saginaw Chippewa tribal member. He was the first native journalist to be named a McCormick Tribune Fellow.  David was a delegate to the historic White House Conference on Indian Education and was the 2000 winner of the Innovators In Education Award. He also serves as National Chair for the new Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society national writing competition for young students. is committed to presenting diverse points of view. However, the viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at IMD.