your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Dynamic Homes
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Resolution offers apology for 'ill-conceived policies'
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Tex Hall was in North Dakota last fall when he received a call on his cell phone. He was surprised to hear who was on the other end.

It was Sen. Sam Brownback, the Republican from Kansas whose name rarely appears on legislation affecting Indians. In recent years, in fact, the conservative lawmaker has been on the opposing end of tribes, particularly when it comes to gaming.

So Hall was even more surprised to learn why Brownback was calling. "We talked about some of the historical wrongdoings [against Native Americans] and he wanted to know what we could possibly do," Hall said.

The discussion intrigued Hall, the president of the National Congress of American Indians. "I said, 'You know the United States has never really formally apologized'" for its treatment of Native people, Hall noted.

"And he obviously did his homework," Hall said of Brownback. "He said 'Yeah, I know.'"

That gave Hall, who also serves as chairman of his tribe, the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota, an opening. "Why don't you do it?" challenged Hall.

Brownback wholeheartedly accepted the offer. For several months after that call, his staff worked with NCAI and some tribes to develop a formal apology to the first Americans. Introduced last month, it is backed by Sens. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), two respected figures in Indian Country.

"This is a resolution of apology and a resolution of reconciliation," Brownback said in his statement on the Senate floor. "It is a first step toward healing the wounds that have divided us for so long -- a potential foundation for a new era of positive relations between tribal governments and the federal government. It is time -- it is past time -- for us to heal our land of division, all divisions, and bring us together as one people."

The resolution cites a number of "official depredations and ill-conceived policies" towards American Indians and Alaska Natives. Among them:

  • Hundreds of broken treaties with Indian nations.
  • The Indian Removal Act of 1830, which forced Eastern tribes from their homelands.
  • The Sand Creek Massacre of 1864, in which the U.S. military killed 150 Cheyenne men, women and children.
  • The Long Walk of 1868, which caused the deaths of hundreds of Navajos.
  • The General Allotment Act of 1887, which broke up the tribal land base.
  • The Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890, in which the U.S. military killed 300 Sioux men, women and children.
  • The failed 19th- and 20th-century policies of assimilation, termination and relocation.

    "It's an historic, tremendous occasion ," Hall said of the measure. "When you finally apologize, you acknowledge those past sins and those violations and crimes."

    The resolution is quick to note that the apology won't authorize money damages or other payments to tribes of individual Indians. "But it does recognize the negative impact of numerous deleterious Federal acts and policies on Native Americans and their cultures," Brownback said in his statement. "Moreover, it begins the effort of reconciliation by recognizing the past wrongs and repenting for them."

    The Senate Indian Affairs Committee, which is chaired by Campbell, will consider the measure at a business meeting today. Hall said he hoped lawmakers would act this summer so that an apology can be ready when the National Museum of American Indians opens in September.

    "The timing could have a really tremendous impact," he said.

    The apology is written as a joint resolution so it would need approval in the House as well as the Senate before heading to President Bush for his signature. There is currently no accompanying resolution in the House.

    Relevant Documents:
    Text of Apology Resolution [As Introduced] | Sen. Brownback Statement on Resolution | Link to S.J.RES.37

    Relavent Links:
    Sen. Sam Brownback -

    Copyright 2000-2004 Indianz.Com
  • More headlines...
    Stay Connected:
    On Facebook

    On Twitter

    On Google+

    On SoundCloud
    Local Links:
    Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
    Latest News:
    Muscogee Nation activist dangled from bridge to stop oil ship (7/31)
    Native Sun News: Rapid City mayor denies claim of retaliation (7/31)
    Ernestine Chasing Hawk: Rapid City mayor's year of retaliation (7/31)
    Brandon Ecoffey: Rapid City continues with tradition of racism (7/31)
    Clara Caufield: Northern Cheyenne Tribe leaves people in dark (7/31)
    Lakota Country Times: Group seeks to boost Pine Ridge tourism (7/31)
    Federal murder charges laid for shooting on Crow Reservation (7/31)
    Alex White Plume asks court for permission to plant hemp crop (7/31)
    Isleta Pueblo welcomes Secretary Sally Jewell for school event (7/31)
    Tribes caught off-guard with mandate from Affordable Care Act (7/31)
    Commerce Blog: Secretary Pritzker meets with tribes and youth (7/31)
    Tribes in Pacific Northwest 'very worried' about future of salmon (7/31)
    Alaska to recognize tribal domestic violence protection orders (7/31)
    Moapa Band enters $4.3M settlement for power plant pollution (7/31)
    Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Indian Affairs holds first meeting (7/31)
    Donald Trump not shy with invoking race when it comes to tribes (7/31)
    Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe sees big future with Class II casino (7/31)
    Catawba Nation still waiting for answer on casino land-into-trust (7/31)
    Last defendant sentenced in theft case at Yakama Nation casino (7/31)
    Senate committee examines costs of substance abuse on tribes (7/30)
    Senate Indian Affairs Committee delays vote on land-into-trust (7/30)
    BIA allows two more New Mexico gaming deals to go into effect (7/30)
    Former workers at Choctaw Nation casino plead guilty to theft (7/30)
    Inmate charged with murdering Mississippi Choctaw man in jail (7/30)
    Native Sun News: Keystone XL Pipeline protest draws big crowd (7/30)
    James Giago Davies: Don't judge anyone's depth of Lakotaness (7/30)
    Tara Houska: DC rally puts focus on threats to sacred Oak Flat (7/30)
    Sarah Sunshine Manning: Native mother left to die in a jail cell (7/30)
    Julian Brave NoiseCat: Native issues you aren't hearing about (7/30)
    Peter d'Errico: Seeking action after apology from Pope Francis (7/30)
    Suspect in custody over deadly shooting on Crow Reservation (7/30)
    Shooting highlights racial tensions on Wind River Reservation (7/30)
    Pueblo man goes on trial for brutal murder of Navajo woman (7/30)
    Another sentence in Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption scandal (7/30)
    Oglala Sioux Tribe on track to complete $16.5M nursing home (7/30)
    Quapaw Tribe hosts relatives for annual language conference (7/30)
    Former police chief for Swinomish Tribe pleads guilty to theft (7/30)
    Winnebago Tribe seeks more time to remove old bank building (7/30)
    Opinion: Eastern Cherokee leaders kick reporter out of meeting (7/30)
    Indian family in Washington still pursuing casino on trust land (7/30)
    Red Lake Nation leader supports sales of liquor at two casinos (7/30)
    Mohegan Tribe reports increase in profit from casino enterprise (7/30)
    Sen. Barrasso introduces another version of land-into-trust fix (7/29)
    Standing Rock Sioux Tribe adopts banishment for drug dealers (7/29)
    Native Sun News: Rapid City trial ends with no defense witnesses (7/29)
    Lakota Country Times: Youth come to Pine Ridge for 'Exposures' (7/29)
    Charles Trimble: Being mixed-race Indian and being proud of it (7/29)
    Ivan Star: It's up to all of us to keep the Lakota language alive (7/29)
    Congress fails to provide funds to help tribes comply with VAWA (7/29)
    Suit alleges tribal leaders received kickbacks from lobbying firm (7/29)
    Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe claims DOJ support for marijuana (7/29)
    Community on Crow Reservation on lockdown due to shooting (7/29)
    Former Chippewa Cree Tribe chair sentenced in corruption case (7/29)
    Hillary Clinton refuses to answer questions about Keystone XL (7/29)
    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.