Thursday, May 26, 2005

Should U.S. Apologize for Treatment of American Indians?

GOP Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas yesterday (May 25th) urged the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to pass a resolution apologizing on behalf of the United States to American Indians for centuries of massacres, broken treaties and other injustices, saying it would be a first step towards healing deep wounds. The U.S. has never formally apologized for its treatment of Native Americans, although the assistant secretary for Indian affairs apologized in 2000 for the past conduct of his agency.

According to Reuters, Brownback's resolution says that in addition to broken treaties and massacres, the U.S. must acknowledge and apologize for, quote, "ill-conceived federal policies ... such as extermination, termination, forced removal and relocation, the outlawing of traditional religions, and the destruction of sacred places."

However, Indian leaders at the hearing said they would need more than an apology to overcome the poverty, substance abuse, unemployment and health care problems that many of their people face. Edward Thomas, president of the central council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian tribes of Alaska, said, "An apology to us while ignoring the Third World conditions of so many of our people just doesn't seem genuine."

Do you think the U.S. should apologize to American Indians? Is it just me or do you hear a cash register in the background?


At 3:26 PM, Blogger Sick Boy said...

While the atrocities warrant apologies, extortion is not the solution. Reparations? Nah. Apology? Yeah. Still, no matter how "bad" it is, it will not justify drinking Lysol.

At 10:56 AM, Blogger ElexTech said...


An official apology can be used in court to establish guilt, thus paving the way for reparations.

Why should my governent apologize? The people who did those bad things are dead and gone. There's no reason for the living to apologize for something dead people did long ago.


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