your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
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:
    Indian Country shares spotlight at Democratic National Convention (7/27)
    Recap: Native American Council at Democratic National Convention (7/27)
    Lakota Country Times: SuAnne Big Crow Center focuses on fitness (7/27)
    Native Sun News: Tribal college showcases works of Lakota artists (7/27)
    Vi Waln: Too many of our own people continue to smoke cigarettes (7/27)
    Andre Cramblit: Growing wiser in my return to Dartmouth College (7/27)
    Indian Country makes presence known at Democratic convention (7/26)
    Tim Giago: Questioning the motto of GOP candidate Donald Trump (7/26)
    Lakota Country Times: Oglala team lands Indian relay title again (7/26)
    Native Sun News: Tribes honor author of Indian Child Welfare Act (7/26)
    Delphine Red Shirt: Let's eat food that's always been good for us (7/26)
    Peter d'Errico: Luci Tapahonso tackles legacy of boarding schools (7/26)
    Donald Trump tried to partner with Agua Caliente Band on casino (7/26)
    Native American Council meets at Democratic National Convention (7/25)
    Police officer cleared over fatal shooting of Navajo Nation woman (7/25)
    Doug George-Kanentiio: Donald Trump and his campaign of hatred (7/25)
    Native Sun News: Tribal advocate focuses on Great Plains efforts (7/25)
    Lakota Country Times: Descendants of Pine Ridge legend gather (7/25)
    Johnny Rustywire: Navajo mother works hard at motel for family (7/25)
    Alex Jacobs: Nation finally admits problem with policing and race (7/25)
    Dwaine Perry: Ramapough Lunaape Nation marching for justice (7/25)
    Charges filed for assault on disabled member of Nisqually Tribe (7/25)
    Man arrested for American Indian Movement flag settles lawsuit (7/25)
    Interior Department consults tribes about new trust reform law (7/22)
    Training sessions planned for final Indian Child Welfare Act rule (7/22)
    Yurok Tribe shares sad news about salmon festival -- no salmon (7/22)
    Mark Charles: An entire nation's big problem with Donald Trump (7/22)
    Mark Trahant: Donald Trump promises a world with no treaties (7/22)
    Native Sun News: Appeal delays release of Keepseagle checks (7/22)
    Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe hosts walk for cancer (7/22)
    James Giago Davies: Police officers get away with 'kill option' (7/22)
    Andre Cramblit: Police officer shootings seem far too common (7/22)
    Donald Trump closes convention that left out Indian Country (7/22)
    New law in Oklahoma goes against Indian Arts and Crafts Act (7/22)
    NMAI seeks input from tribes about veterans memorial in DC (7/22)
    Blackfeet Nation swears in leaders and looks to a new future (7/22)
    Coeur d'Alene Tribe kicks off popular powwow after absence (7/22)
    Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe declares emergency over opioids (7/22)
    Review: Hard look at drugs in Indian Country in 'Seventh Fire' (7/22)
    State takes blame for sharing Tohono O'odham Nation minutes (7/22)
    Pokagon Band debuts expansion of gaming facility in Michigan (7/22)
    Karuk Tribe ready for groundbreaking on long-awaited casino (7/22)
    California remains a battleground for Indian Child Welfare Act (7/21)
    Yurok Tribe launches operation to rid reservation of marijuana (7/21)
    Laguna Pueblo loses case linked to military contract kickbacks (7/21)
    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.