indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Falmouth Institute Online Training
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Brownback reintroduces Native apology resolution
Thursday, April 21, 2005

A conservative Republican from Kansas urged the United States on Wednesday to apologize for its treatment of Native people.

In a statement on the Senate floor, Sen. Sam Brownback said the U.S. must start to heal the wounds caused by its failed Indian policies. He said an apology for breaking treaties with Indian nations and for making "poor and painful choices" in its dealings with Native people was the first step in reconciliation.

"It is time -- it is past time -- for us to heal our land of division, all divisions, and bring us together as one people," he said.

The remarks came a day after Brownback submitted S.J.Res.15 to the Senate. The full title of the measure is, "A joint resolution to acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the United States Government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States."

The resolution is identical to the one Brownback introduced last year and which passed the Senate Indian Affairs Committee unanimously. The measure, however, never came up for a vote amid objections from the Bush administration and concern among some tribal leaders.

But Tex Hall, the president of the National Congress of American Indians and chairman of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota, said the reintroduction of the apology bill was a positive step.

"This is a great moment and while the Senate Resolution does not come with compensation, it is a meaningful start for fixing what is wrong. The fact that Congress is even considering an official policy to Indian Country is a testament to our growing political strength," Hall said in a statement.

Last year, Hall spoke out in favor of the resolution. But during NCAI's mid-year session in June, some tribal leaders questioned whether the apology would carry any weight and suggested holding hearings.

"Putting forth an apology while doing nothing to solve these problems is just not adequate," Edward Thomas, the chairman of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Tribes in Alaska said at the time.

The Bush administration, on the other hand, was concerned that the measure could expose the government to additional liability for its treatment of Native people. Brownback, however, said the resolution "will not authorize or serve as a settlement of any claim against the United States, nor will it resolve the many challenges still facing Native peoples."

Near the end of the Clinton administration, former assistant secretary Kevin Gover offered an apology for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. "Never again will we allow policy to proceed from the assumption that Indians possess less human genius than the other races," he said in August 2000. "Never again will we be complicit in the theft of Indian property. Never again will we appoint false leaders who serve purposes other than those of the tribes."

At the time, Gover said his apology was not on behalf of the U.S. "That is the province of the nation's elected leaders, and I would not presume to speak on their behalf," he said.

The new resolution is co-sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the new vice chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, and Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut). A similar resolution was introduced on January 4, 2005, by Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Virginia).

Since the apology is in the form of a resolution, it doesn't need the signature of President Bush. It also isn't legally binding on the government.

Relevant Documents:
Sen. Sam Brownback Statement | Text of S.J.Res.15 [As introduced] | H.J.Res.3

Related Stories:
Editorial: Apology a sign of 'modern tribal power' (06/28)
Bush blamed for delay of apology resolution (6/22)
Letter: People opposing formal apology in denial (06/18)
High-profile bills delayed by Senate committee (6/17)
Indian Affairs Committee activity this week (6/15)
Editorial: Apology to Native peoples not needed (6/15)
Tribal foes question need for U.S. apology resolution (6/11)
Brownback says reservation visit inspired apology (05/25)
Consideration of U.S. apology resolution delayed (05/20)
Apology from U.S. requested by Kansas Senator (5/19)

Copyright © 2000-2005 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Oglala student makes name as young writer (4/23)
Mark Trahant: Budget predictions at the Indian Health Service (4/23)
Zoltán Grossman: Cowboy Indian Alliance rides in Washington (4/23)
Gyasi Ross: Stop Keystone XL Pipeline and protect homelands (4/23)
Videos: Cowboy Indian Alliance protests Keystone XL Pipeline (4/23)
Steve Russell: Indians often seen an obstacle to government (4/23)
Mary Pember: Ojibwe women rise to protect the environment (4/23)
Brent Cahwee: Shoni Schimmel brings her show to the WNBA (4/23)
Malcolm Benally: Some Navajo leaders clueless on mascots (4/23)
Jacoby Ellsbury makes strong debut with New York Yankees (4/23)
Washington team owner says he 'understands' Indian issues (4/23)
Gathering of Nations ready for annual powwow and pageant (4/23)
Paskenta Band suspends family during contentious meeting (4/23)
Navajo family sues restaurant over drunken driving deaths (4/23)
Crushplate: 10 disturbing facts about Indian Country health (4/23)
North Dakota tribe ranks high among energy producers in US (4/23)
WXPR: Forest County Potawatomi Tribe taps green energy (4/23)
Opinion: Tribal members challenge California taxation rules (4/23)
Supreme Court allows ban on affirmative action in Michigan (4/23)
Turtle Talk: No word from Supreme Court on Bay Mills case (4/23)
ICT interview with Ernie Stevens of NIGA on racist mascots (4/23)
Jamul Band rejects claim about burial ground at casino site (4/23)
Stockbridge-Munsee Band sends $1M casino application fee (4/23)
Ho-Chunk Nation seeks road grant for off-reservation casino (4/23)
Teacher resigns after arrest for theft at Poarch Creek casino (4/23)
Native Sun News: Sisseton Wahpeton fighter gets big chance (4/22)
Native Sun News: Pine Ridge man behind Revolution Couture (4/22)
CDC reports show high death rates among Native Americans (4/22)
DOI Secretary Sally Jewell delivers keynote at tribal summit (4/22)
DOI Deputy Secretary Mike Connor hosts Earth Day webchat (4/22)
Winona LaDuke: Tribes won't see benefits from Keystone XL (4/22)
Photos: Cowboy Indian Alliance rides to National Mall in DC (4/22)
Alray Nelson: Bring marriage equality to the Navajo Nation (4/22)
Steven Newcomb: UNDRIP falls into domination framework (4/22)
DaShanne Stokes: 'Indian' mascots carry harmful impacts (4/22)
Wendell George: Little Joe connects with his tribal heritage (4/22)
Peter Twitchell: Stop passing the buck on our Yup'ik culture (4/22)
Murray Sinclair: Effects of residential school era will linger (4/22)
Wyoming tribes share per cap from $157M trust settlement (4/22)
Navajo Nation Council reconsiders higher tax on junk foods (4/22)
Choctaw Nation Chief Greg Pyle set to retire after 17 years (4/22)
Opinion: Maps represent destruction of Native people in US (4/22)
Oneida Nation to host PGA championship at resort in 2016 (4/22)
Blog: Climate change impacts Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations (4/22)
Supreme Court holding onto ruling in Bay Mills casino case (4/22)
Paskenta Band says leadership issues won't affect casino (4/22)
Forest County Potawatomi Tribe on track with casino hotel (4/22)
Deadline approaches for commercial casinos in New York (4/22)
Native Sun News: Keystone XL Pipeline foes headed to DC (4/21)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.