In an amazing display of boneheadedness, the British government thwarted the Iroquois lacrosse team from competing in the Federation of International Lacrosse world championship. And yes, the Federation does consider the Iroquois Confederacy to be a real nation.
To make a long story short, the Iroquois developed the game of lacrosse. Fast forward a few centuries, the present-day Iroquois team raises a lot of money to make the trip to compete in the world championship. As a nation, they want to use the same Iroquois passports they've been using for decades. But they can't get visas from the British consulate, the UK wants written assurance that the athletes will be able to use these passports to return to the US after the tournament. The US bureaucracy shrugs its collective shoulders and says "I dunno." Elected officials who know stuff about Native rights (like NM gov Bill Richardson!) contact people in high places (like Hillary Clinton and Janet Napolitano) to say, "What's the deal here? They're a sovereign nation, right?" To which Hillary responds, "and a lot of them live in my turf, NY!" A one-time waiver is granted to allow travel on the Iroquois passports, but the British government still says, "nah, we don't know no Iroquois passports. Come back with a US or Canadian passport."
The Iroquois Nationals missed the tournament for the game they invented. That's just all kinds of backwards.
I don't know a lot about tribal passports and international travel, but there's a lot of stinkiness around this whole one-time only waiver, emphasizing that all Native Americans will be expected to use US passports in the future. Even though many tribes and nations are working on making their passports more secure in a post-9/11 world, these tribal documents may only be good for arrivals by land and sea -- not air travel, I guess. It's almost like the US expects Natives to stay put on reservations or something, and not do modern things like ride in airplanes. Huh.
In other news, the Concerned Citizens of the United States have compiled a list of 1300 Utah residents they believe to be illegal immigrants. Can you imagine if the Iroquois Confederacy or other Native nations decided to compile a list of residents they believed to be here illegally?