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Passport flap raises sovereignty issue


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An American Indian lacrosse team's refusal to travel on passports not issued by the Iroquois confederacy goes to the heart of one of the most sensitive issues in Indian Country — sovereignty.

The rights of Native nations to govern themselves independently has long been recognized by federal treaties, but the extent of that recognition beyond U.S borders is under challenge in a post- Sept. 11 world.

After initially refusing to accept Iroquois-issued passports because the documents lack secur i ty f eature s, the Stat e Department gave the team a onetime waiver.

But leaders of the Iroquo...

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