indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Indian Law Online Master Degree
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...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Tribe threw away late veteran's memorabilia (10/31)
Mark Trahant: The Native vote could decide the 2014 election (10/31)
Richard Peterson: Sen. Begich supports Alaska Native issues (10/31)
NCAI investigates conduct of treasurer at annual convention (10/31)
Red Lake News: Tribe welcomes Sen. Tester and Sen. Franken (10/31)
Former chairman of Chippewa Cree Tribe faces more charges (10/31)
Texas couple accused of selling fake tribal membership cards (10/31)
Moapa Band loses bid for $438M solar facility on reservation (10/31)
Passamaquoddy Tribe won't talk with tidal power developers (10/31)
Oregon tribe anticipates May 2015 opening for Class II casino (10/31)
Trial opens in case connected to Choctaw Nation casino work (10/31)
Editorial: Off-reservation gaming project unfair to other tribes (10/31)
Opinion: Menominee Nation exploits loophole to pursue casino (10/31)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux officer rejoins Rapid City police (10/30)
Mark Trahant: Native voters must be prepared on election day (10/30)
Kevin Gover: Mascot fight exposes myths about Native people (10/30)
Northern Arapaho Tribe: Newspaper got it wrong on joint council (10/30)
Peter d'Errico: Kevin Washburn honored by Indian law students (10/30)
Chris Deschene still urging Navajo Nation voters to choose him (10/30)
Tribes in North Carolina back Democrat Sen. Hagan in tight race (10/30)
NWPR: Tribes take steps to control growing herds of wild horses (10/30)
Opinion: Helping the Tongva people revive their own language (10/30)
Judge grants injunction to keep Chukchansi Tribe casino closed (10/30)
Tribes in South Dakota would benefit from gaming referendum (10/30)
Employee at Puyallup Tribe's casino gets wedding ring returned (10/30)
Editorial: Keep tribal casinos in California on existing Indian land (10/30)
Column: Menominee Nation off-reservation casino goes ignored (10/30)
Quapaw Tribe faces competition for Kansas commercial casino (10/30)
Native Sun News: Montana tribe sees cut in heating assistance (10/29)
Mark Trahant: Alaska Senate race is a real test of Native policy (10/29)
Winona LaDuke: Taking treaty advice from indigenous nations (10/29)
Vena A-Dae Romero: FDA failing to consult tribal governments (10/29)
Zachary Pullin: Native Americans overcame barriers to voting (10/29)
Navajo Nation president vetoes bill to address language issue (10/29)
Prairie Island Indian Community sues over nuclear waste rule (10/29)
County's letter on CSKT water compact talks stirs controversy (10/29)
Vice: Hip-hop artist Drezus on new journey after jail sentence (10/29)
Opinion: Overcoming stereotypes of Native American culture (10/29)
Charges sought in dispute at Chukchansi Tribe's closed casino (10/29)
Pechanga Band chair featured in ads against North Fork casino (10/29)
Grand Ronde Tribes continue fight against Cowlitz Tribe casino (10/29)
Puyallup Tribe offers reward for return of casino worker's ring (10/29)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | 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.