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Posted: 11/15/21 06:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As Will Geer would say in Jerimiah Johnson, "Watch your topknot."

But in all seriousness, If you carry, watch their firearms laws. They will get you in trouble.



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Posted: 11/23/21 09:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

....practically all we ever do is visit tribal lands; this when proximate.

Our approach is to do some advance research. Usually, we visit to look at and possibly shop for artisanal items (ie. Navajo weaving: Crownpoint auctions; Pueblo of Zuni; etc). Also, I like to attend the Kahnawake Pow-Wow). Mohawks (up in the Northeast) were my classmates all through school, when I was a teenager.

Sometimes, it is difficult to determine IF you are actually driving on tribal lands (especially in the Southwest). We always look up the location of the Tribal Council (house), and will contact prior to contemplating staying (in the truck camper) on tribal land. Also, the most important thing to remember these days, are the native tribal area Covid rules. Find out in advance what the rules are, and follow them to the letter. Also, there are some tribal lands in the Southwest where being physically on Native land requires permission, absolutely. Know before ya go.

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Far away from this WOKE website!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Posted: 11/24/21 07:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do not conceal carry; concealed handgun licenses are not honored by Tribal Governments.


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Posted: 11/24/21 07:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

we used to do alot of back country fishing/camping up here in B.C.the indigenous bands were always blocking roads and claiming land rights to lakes and provincial parks.we found the best/easiest way was to stop in at the local band office and talk to someone with authority.sometimes we got a permit and sometimes we got a "no problem",but we always got the name of the persons we talked to just in case.

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North Pole, Alaska

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Posted: 11/29/21 11:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thunder Mountain wrote:

I would add a few more suggestions. First and foremost is RESPECT! Don't ask questions especially about their religion or culture. You will be told what you need to know not what you want to know. Slow down and don't be in such a hurry. You might find yourself invited to a ceremonial dance or family gathering. Don't talk too much. Just listen. Be especially respectful of the elders

These few more suggestions posted here is quite the unique situation upon traveling thru any reservation or "Indian Country" region as merely saying - expect the unexpected - which did not cover all the other types of encounters and great advice from everyone else that posted.

Living in the far north long enough, I knew going in the NWT of Canada is pretty much all First Nation territory - and furthermore not ever been in the region before I will always be extra cordial and very respectful in places where I am clearly an outsider.

This post by Thunder Mountain is the exact detail upon an encounter I had during my remote Northwest Territories trip of August 2008....

After staying in Fort Nelson BC for a couple days, I proceeded on my way to the NWT enroute to Yellowknife....

Mile 300 Alaska Highway at BC Highway 77 Junction :

Little did I know after stopping at the end of this one lane wooden acrow bridge that I was going to be in a potential vulnerable situation that would be beyond my control....
Mile 26 north of Alaska Highway Junction at Fort Nelson River :

Once I pulled off into a rest area turnout on the north end of the bridge, me and the dog walked around as within 2 minutes there was a large convoy group of people with 12 or so vehicles, (southbound from the NWT direction) proceeded to park where they completely blocked my camper rig in, as I held my composure while greeted everyone that looked at me while still walking the dog around (none said hi back or responded), as 5 minutes later another vehicle pulled in with 5 more people getting out.

One person was a 6 foot 40 Cochise type of character that seemed to be the chief or leader of the entire group, as after talking to the others - the leader walked up while interrogating me with the 1001 questions of where I'm headed, why am I here, how long have I owned my big blue Indian truck, etc. pretty much like going thru customs (we all know how that is !).

These people would not accept the "I'm just passing thru as I might go to Yellowknife depending on the road conditions" answer either.

After I had to disclose my travel intentions and life story to all of them, the leader tells me they have a pow wow going on 90km up the road and that I stop by there....told the guy I will consider doing so.

The leader tells me "NO you DON'T consider, you GOOOO - OK ?"

I tell the guy that with all due respect, there are 30 of you all surrounding me - and if you all are telling me that I have to go to your pow wow . . . . I better go (out of respect).

(and the fact upon should I ever need help or something happen to me or my 70 Ford Truck that I cannot fix on the side of the road and while not going to their pow wow would definitely show a sign of disrespect as they will leave you stranded and on your own which is remote as it gets in those parts).

I stop at the entrance of the pow wow as this lady with the traffic florescent vest is giving me the no way you're coming in here look, as I tell her I got interrogated by 30 people at the acrow bridge and they all told me I had to go to the pow wow and I am not going to disrespect them - so she moves the pylon and says ok man pull in - and she also gives me a leveled VIP parking spot to boot for my camper rather than parking in a cramped incline area - which I gave her $5 !

Traditional Ground - Petitot Pow Wow :

While walking the dog around and taking a few pictures, someone talks to me admiring my old rig and this lady screams at me to get that dog outta here and outta the tradition area (where there was a teepee full of hanging smoked fish as thank god my dog never done any collateral damage)

I quickly put the dog back on the lead rope and the lady tells me to leave and especially take that dog outta here, I sincerely apologize and clearly understand, she runs in the teepee and sees no fish was tampered with and runs towards me and says everything is ok in the teepee and that I just need to get the dog outta here, so I tell her she's not a dog however I am getting her out of the area.....

She replies "I don't care what it is, just get it outta here... so what is it if it's not a dog" ?

I tell the lady it's a toilet water buffalo - the lady asks why I call it a toilet water buffalo....

I explained because she is now terminally ill and drinks excessive water now and then, as no matter how much abundance of water I leave her to drink, she will drink all of that and all of the water from the toilet, so she turned into a toilet water buffalo.

Within 30 minutes, all the locals from Fort Nelson 105 miles away started showing up to the pow wow as a handful of them acknowledged seeing me in town with my toilet water buffalo, and everyone else at the pow wow now wanted to pet the toilet water buffalo (word got around real fast).

Petitot River (1 mile south of the Northwest Territories border) :

My dog's last RV trip - 5060 mile round trip along the Deh Cho route and then some as she passed away a month and a half after completion of the trip - she did not have a single mishap throughout the 24 days of travel.

The lady that screamed at me earlier asked me what brought me here to the pow wow all the way from Alaska after noticing my license plate, I told her about the 30 or so people insisting that I attend incident - as she tells me all those people that I encountered earlier were actually all kicked out of the pow wow.....

I ended up spending 3 hours of great time at a Canadian Pow Wow of all things, and I can sure contest to the term "crazy 8's" as this particular day happened on 08-08-08.


A word of warning that should be adhered to. Do not drive after dark on the reservation unless absolutely necessary

I can sure address this experience upon my one encounter in the Fort Mojave Reservation on the Arizona side at night....

After spending a full day in Las Vegas in June 1989, I was driving at night in my 70 Thunderbird with no AC back to Palm Springs (just a water spray bottle and windows down) and arrived in Needles as it was a blistering 101 F at 100am at the time, so I had the idea of needing to get real cooled off and plunge into the Colorado River despite the advice of my nephew telling me he would not do that on a reservation especially at night....

So I decide to do that anyway figuring I would not be hassled for a 10 minute dip in the water late at night (not being acclimatized to the desert anymore) and crossed to the Arizona side and as soon as I take a dip in the river, the patrol was on me like white on rice and told me I was trespassing....

One of the officers asked me where in Alaska I was from, and then asked me if I ever been in a certain a native village he mentioned and told him yes for pike fishing and I mentioned people that lived there and the officer knew two of the names I mentioned and was real nice to me and let me go back to the river to cool off some more before hitting the road again.

To the OP - All the posted experiences, replies and great advice in this topic clearly shows it is not a silly question and in general you should be mainly fine if just passing thru a reservation of sorts or stopping at all the destination public spots such as casinos, gas stations, convenient stores, etc., always remember that an Indian Reservation is their own sovereignty and show respect just like one would visit a foreign nation and adhere to the laws and signage....while using common sense, instincts, or street smarts going thru some unfamiliar hood with unwritten rules while not knowing what the rules are (which I have no experience in the NB or SD area in question).

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Posted: 11/30/21 01:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kohldad wrote:

One thing to remember, a state highway detour will only use state highways so there could be a much shorter detour they aren't allowed to use. A county road detour can use any road for the detours. In our case of the bridge closing, I wouldn't recommend the two track dirt road we took but a few of the locals were using it making it a very interesting 2-way traffic road through the gullies and mountains of south eastern Colorado but 10 miles of that saved about 120 miles of pavement.

While often the case that they stick to state routes, state detours can use local roads. The catch is the local agency will often ask for maintenance and repair costs for the detour route, so it's often not cost effective.

We typically pull up the route on google maps ahead of time and look it over to see if we agree with the recommended route. The challenge is if you aren't familiar with the local roads, you can wind up on a back country 2 track trying to second guess the official detour.

Back to the original question: Brought to mind old movies of Custer's Last Stand but a circle of random RVs with the injuns circling from high ground.

Reality is if you aren't stupid and obey the laws, it's not a big concern driving on state routes thru the reservation.

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Posted: 11/30/21 06:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would feel safer and more welcome in Native American territory than lets say, SE Washington DC, North Ave in Baltimore, Chicago, Seattle, and several lawless areas of the US. And growing up in Tucson I have spent a lot of time on the reservations. Then living in DC and Baltimore---you get the idea.


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Posted: 12/08/21 09:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No firearms, no alcohol, tread lightly, you are on THEIR land.


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