Patsy Whitefoot

What Does Sovereignty Mean to You? Patsy Whitefoot, Yakama Nation

In this video, Patsy Whitefoot describes her background in education. Whitefoot describes sovereignty by remembering how her parents and elders from Medicine Valley embodied sovereignty by enacting traditional daily practices and upholding values that are a part of Yakama culture. She expands this definition by highlighting the importance of being self-sufficient and building capacity to increase the Yakama Nation's ability to move forward in addressing their challenges on their own terms. Whitefoot expresses a preference for the term sovereignty as it describes inherent rights that existed prior to the colonization of North America. Whitefoot's primary concern regarding sovereignty is that various levels of United States government might not understand or respect the rights of the Northwest tribes impacted by the Treaty of 1855.