Tex Hall: President Obama should apologize to Native people

"In December 2009, Senators Brownback, Inouye, Dorgan, Akaka, Harkin, Baucus, and Tester wrote to President Obama requesting that he host a White House Ceremony announcing the Apology to Native Peoples on behalf of the United States. Unfortunately, he has not done so, and that’s why many of you have not heard of this Apology.

It is time to officially announce the United States’ apology and give it real meaning.

Mr. President, Indian County asks, if not now, when? If not you, who? JFK stopped the Termination Policy. LBJ signed the Indian Civil Rights Law. President Nixon gave us the Indian Self-Determination Act and President Carter signed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act into law. President Reagan announced the Federal-tribal government-to-government policy and President Clinton met with tribal leaders on the White House lawn and went to visit the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation himself.

Mr. President, please join the ranks of these great Presidents—our Indian nations urge you to publicly proclaim the Apology to Native Peoples that Congress called upon you to proclaim. Please make the proclamation at a White House Ceremony so that our Native Peoples will hear it and the American Public will finally acknowledge it.

While some may say, “Let’s forget the past,” the truth is that only through remembrance can our nation’s conscience heal, and only though amends can we truly move forward in strength, hope and justice."

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Tex Hall: Time for the United States to Apologize (Indian Country Today 12/1)

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