Native American bands and tribes work for smaller populations because many of their social service activities are at least partially funded by federal grants, and the service population is limited to persons who can verify their affiliation with a particular band or tribe. Similarly, tribal health services are funded by the National Health Service, and eligibility is restricted to persons certified as tribal members. New tribal businesses also commonly receive federal grant funding for start-up costs, and federal law allows for preferential hiring for Native Americans in such enterprises.
The question of state influence over tribal affairs dates back to the nineteenth century. Under current U.S. law, federally-recognized tribes and bands are considered to be sovereign nations. As an example, tribal tobacco shops can sell products without charging a state sales tax.
Social and political equality have existed in all states, in varying degrees. In the 1950's and 1960's, there was considerable resistance to federal efforts to desegregate schools and businesses, as well as to promote minority voter registration. The inherent inequalities have been the catalyst for increased federal intervention to protect the rights of all citizens.
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