Column: Church apology comes late for the Lenape
"Well, it's about time . . .

Eight days ago, members of New York's Lenape tribe joined with representatives of one of America's oldest Protestant Churches, the Collegiate Church, for a reconciliation rite.

The gathering, at the southern end of Manhattan, was held near the symbol of U.S. power, Wall Street, and just across the way from a monument that marks Peter Minuit's 1626 “purchase” of Manhattan for dry goods worth 60 Dutch guilders - about $1,000 today. Talk about seasonal bargains!

The 17th-century Indians certainly didn't understand the exchange as a land purchase, because they rightly believed that no one owned the land. It was meant to be shared by the people who lived on it. The pastor of the church apologized for his (and our) forebears' horrendous abuse of the Indian people: “We consumed your resources, dehumanized your people and disregarded your culture, along with your dreams, hopes and great love for this land.”

In today's vernacular: “Oops, my bad. Sorry.”"

Get the Story:
Marvin Read: Apologies: Does too little, too late count somewhat? (The Pueblo Chieftain 12/5)