Kevin Abourezk: Apology does little good
"Each year, we watch the health, safety and education of our children erode like the sandy banks of a raging river.

But rather than improved health care or justice programs, Native people get this: an apology from the Senate attached as an amendment to a defense appropriations bill.

"The Senate's action today is a big step for the relationship between the federal government and Native Americans," said Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), one of two senators who sponsored the resolution. "The resolution seeks reconciliation and offers an official apology to Native Americans for the hurtful choices the federal government made in the past."

Brownback and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, sponsored the resolution, which the senators were clear to say Wednesday does not "authorize or serve as a settlement of any claim against the United States and does not resolve many challenges still facing Native Americans."

You can say that last part five times.

While the senators who sponsored the resolution see it as a major step for Indian and government relations, I can't help but see it as merely an effort by remorseful politicians to assuage their red guilt."

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: Natives Need Change, Not Apology (RezNet News 10/7)

Apology Resolution:
H.J.Res.46 | S.J.Res.14

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