Another reason for the importance of this conference is sites like this, of the Morongo Reservation just east of Riverside, California.
Across the United States, there are literally hundreds of points like this. For most people in the United States they appear to be little more than casinos run by poor destitute Native Americans, or money grubbing Indians. For many others, such as in San Diego county they are simply invisible. Yet despite this inability to see any political meaning behind these sites, they nonetheless do constitute different nations, different sovereign groups. Their existence in a very fundamental way challenges the existence of the United States, challenges its own claims to sovereignty.
Take for instance this exchange from an episode of NYPD Blue.
A Russian Woman: Marina. Strangled and raped. What is wrong with this country?
Detective Andy Sipowicz: What's wrong with this country? I'll tell you what's wrong; it's all these foreigners coming over here.
Detective Bobby Simone: Detective Sipowicz here is one of the few Native American Poles.