By Moni Basu, CNN
(CNN) – Buried on page 45 of the 2010 Defense Appropriations Act, after pages on the maintenance and operation of the U.S. military, is an official apology to Native American people.
Mark Charles, a member of the Navajo Nation, stumbled onto the apology about a year ago after he heard GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney say that he would never apologize for America. That comment didn't sit well with Charles - nobody is perfect, he thought.
He wrote a blog post that cited several situations in which he believed it was prudent for America to say sorry. One of them was to native people.
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A reader responded that such an apology had already been issued. Charles went online and found the 2010 Defense Act.
The United States, acting through Congress ... recognizes that there have been years of official depredations, ill-conceived policies, and the breaking of covenants by the federal government regarding Indian tribes; apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all native peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on native peoples by citizens of the United States ...
It went on to urge the president to acknowledge the wrongs.
Charles wondered why he had never heard President Barack Obama publicly issue this apology. And if he had never heard it, then most certainly native people who lived isolated lives on reservations had not either.
He set himself on a path to rectify that.
On the anniversary of the passing of the defense bill - Wednesday, December 19 - he would go to the Capitol and he would read the apology out loud, hoping that others would join him in his cause and that it would attract enough attention so that people would hear about it.
At 11 a.m. Wednesday, Charles plans to read the entire defense bill out loud.
"As a Native American, I feel offended that the apology was buried in this bill," he said. "It demonstrates our country is not ready to apologize.
"Personally, I don't think it's a very good apology," he said. "It does not mention any specific tribe or any specific incident."
It also contains a disclaimer at the end: nothing in the apology could be used in a court of law against the United States.
Charles's mother is of Dutch heritage. His father's mother is Navajo. Born in Reheboth, New Mexico, Charles went to UCLA and lived in Denver. But he'd never called called the reservation home. He realized if he were to continue a dialogue about Native Americans - the people with whom he identified - he would need to experience the way they lived.
A few years ago, he took his wife and son and spent several years at a Navajo reservation sheep camp. It was off a dirt road and isolated.
There were only two kinds of outsiders who visited there - those who came for charitable reasons and those who came to click their cameras.
There was little there in the way of infrastructure, no running water or electricity. Charles lived by candlelight and hauled his water. But that was not the hardest part of living there.
"The hardest part was how incredibly lonely and disconnected you feel from the rest of the country," he said.
That's when Charles began to comprehend why many native people felt marginalized.
"I don't believe it's an accident that our people are marginalized," he said. "Our country is so undereducated in Native American history that most people don't even know why the country is apologizing."
Charles felt angry. He knew he had to channel his pain in a way that invited conversation and reconciliation. He began to reflect on a blog, Wireless Hogan, named after the traditional dwelling of the Navajos.
This is how he explains things to people:
Being Native American and living in the United States feels like our indigenous peoples are an old grandmother who lives in a very large house. It is a beautiful house with plenty of rooms and comfortable furniture. But, years ago, some people came into our house and locked us upstairs in the bedroom. Today, our house is full of people. They are sitting on our furniture. They are eating our food. They are having a party in our house. They have since unlocked the door to our bedroom but it is much later and we are tired, old, weak and sick; so we can't or don't come out. But the part that is the most hurtful and that causes us the most pain, is that virtually no one from this party ever comes upstairs to find us in the bedroom, sits down next to us on the bed, takes our hand, and simply says, "Thank you. Thank you for letting us be in your house."
Charles hopes all of America will hear his message when he reads the apology in Washington.
Really people, is it that hard to give an apology? Really? It IS the human thing to do. Remember, history is written by the victors! How about sharing some compassion for your fellow man? Tis the season, yes?
Apologize for what, why doesn't this guy worry about getting a job instead of this victimization garbage. Feeling sorry for yourself and trying to get the world too is not going to take you very far in life.
The victors always say it's time to move on :-)
What exactly are we apologizing for? One of 2 things I would think:
If we are apologizing for the 500 years of genocide leading up to today, then we are a bit late. Anyway, why should I apologize for something some British, French, and Spanish immigrants did 200 years ago? We took their country and think an apology will suffice?
Alternatively, maybe we are apologizing for the current mistreatment of native peoples. This would be more appropriate than apologizing for something that a bunch of dead white people did to some dead native people years ago. However, wouldn't it be more sincere to actually DO SOMETHING about our current mistreatment and marginalization of native peoples, rather than just issue a blanket "We're sorry"?
Personally, I take no responsibility for what some European immigrants did to the native Americans centuries ago. Apologizing for this is silly and shallow. But hopefully we can do more than just apologize about our current relationship with the people who lived on this land before us.
Whoa, 1/2 Navajo who has never lived or acknowledged he still has families or present connections to the Navajo Tribe. There may be an apology due to some Native Americans in this country but not those who have claimed sovereignty and have beening running their own tribe at the same time asking for handouts from the government which they don't want controlling them.
Navajo Nation is no longer a desolate country where every family live in hogans and hitching horses to wagons for transportation. The majority of Navajos now have houses, running water, and vehicles along with children going to local schools instead of them being sent off of the reservation to attend schools in faraway places. Thanks to the government subsidized funds from Washington and natural resources on the reservation that the Tribe is able to build decent homes for families. Without fundings from Washington the Navajo Nation would be in dire strait today. Washington has already enough for the Navajo Nation to date which is enough of an apology for astrocities they were put through during the Long Walk.
I agree with your comment, Heinrich75. Women and children are being killed in Syria. Twenty children and their teachers were killed in Sandy Hook, N.J. The media will report the news. We shake our heads in sorrow, do nothing about the violence and turn our heads and look the other way. Saying that, I am well aware that my cabin sits on property that was ceeded in the Treaty of Saginaw from native people. They fished the rivers and buried their dead here. They had no concept of "owning land". Owning land was like owning the sky or the rain. I understand that I own nothing, really. I'm just renting until my bones join my native brothers in the dirt. If you want an apology, I'm sorry about the way my ancestors treated your people.
In related news....Cain issued an apology to his brother Abel for the rock incident. Tell me now, how far do we go back in history for these apologies?
Well Stephen... we go back to the beginning - at least in this sad story. It might do you some good to read up a little bit on the egregious nature of the crimes committed against the Native American people. The comment alone is proof, there is little to no understanding of the situation on your part.
I grew up in the Wisconsin public school system. That unfortunate truth, is that the majority of us do not know the truth. here are the facts. This land we the United States...was home to many tribes and nations that lived peacefully and at times at war. The ground was fertile....the wildlife plenty.... then a new visitor arrived. It is unfortunate they way things turned out.
The reality is, there was someone here.... and then others came and changed they way people lived here. Entire tribes wiped out. It saddens me. I think it is funny when people write about "the Pilgrims" and "blah blah blah". The facts are this.... read it again.
There were people here...new people came and created change. That is the bottom line. I will apologize. I am sorry that this happened to you. It is truly sad to me.
ack... there are words missing! Damn you CNN! I even proofread!
The unfortunate truth is that native americans killed and "relocated" neighboring tribes for hundreds of years prior to the arrival of white men. The same holds true regarding the history of Africa. African people continue to enslave each other to this very day. The truth is mankind has evolved in technology while continuing to struggle with violent acts toward each other. Here's an idea...instead of designing a new gadget to make our lives easier, why not study the inside of our brains to discover the root cause of violence?
Must say chuck... pretty "stupid" comment on your part.
I guess alot of us just do not give a rats behind about this and wish everyone would get a job and find a way to enjoy what life they have. It does not matter who or what you claim to be or what happened how ever many years ago you chose to go back. Get over it!!
I am Mescalero Apache and I do not seek a handout from anyone, I am on my second house valued at over 500K. What I do find interesting are people, and many of them here voicing their opinions, who are so critical of every word their elected officials say or write into law knowing that will be the word of the American people. So where is the outrage knowing the American government kept only one promise with us Native Americans...To Take Our Land....where is your conservative pride knowing your government broke every treaty with us? I remember my great grandmother telling us stories of the family going up into the black hills to get away from yellow hair, and we all know who he was, and then be persecuted and hunted down like animals and have your land stripped from you because some cowboy or settler put up a fence and filed a claim and we weren't even given that right. Yes I want an apology and no I do not want a handout my Mom and Dad taught me better, just get off your high horse and be human for once in your life.
"get off your high horse" ... i totally pictured some elderly, wise indian sitting crosslegged saying that.. and wearing turquois. Native stereotypes are still bad tho.
If my translator is working correctly, then I say to you and yours – Yatasay, You are welcome here.
You have to understand your enemy in order to fight your enemy. You can tell people what they should do or are supposed to do many times. It doesn't mean they will do it. Get some lawyers, many lawyers. Learn the ways but also keep your ways. Educate and achieve. Knowledge is power. No one can take away what you learn.
Author Charles and commenter Oneida Native: You are right to defend, uiphold, and honor your people. But you are wrong, I think, in perpetuating your own hostility. May you both always walk in beauty.
Hey my fellow american we are passionate to kill and destroy so most of then look like mexican deport all indian to mexico
So is every nation in history going to start apologizing? That would include modern day israel which is occupying Palestinian territory.
Many nations have apologized to their indigenous populations. America likes to display itself as a leader in social justice but sadly we are far behind in many aspects. For instance, consider that we were one of the last countries to abolish slavery.
Leftists are truly a laughable bunch. I mean, can you think of any nation on Earth that wasnt built on conquest?
It only seems that conquest is the norm because those are the nations that wrote the history books you refer to. Many cultures still regard mutual respect and peace as a more honorable venture than conquest
It only seems that conquest is the norm because those are the groups that wrote the history books you refer to. Many cultures still see mutual respect and peace as more honorable a venture than conquest
The USSA is ruled by a hostile elite who hate everyone. Native Americans need not feel alone any longer. As the late great Russell Means said shortly before his death,............we are all on the reservation now. In fact, white men seem to be the latest target of the US government. Hell, they've already locked up most of the blacks. Communism failed in Russia but the same people who promoted it there have made it quite successful here. Once they take your guns, they'll drop that mask of feel good universalism that they promote and you'll be in a cattle car on the way to the gulag.
People? I am a productive citizen, I contribute to society, went to college. an apology is the very least that could be done, compare us to the jews, they not only got an apology, but they were given there own country. Guarantee you that if the Native tribes banded together to do such an act we would be put down just as fast as we were in the past.
The 20th century wasn't hundreds of years ago. You must not live near any reservations because people treat Natives like dirt and they have no infrastructure. Look where he mentions the lack of education on our history with Native Americans. You may learn that it wasn't too long ago our westward expansion displaced and killed many Natives.
You've assumed a lot in your comment all for the desire to avoid an apology. 100% of your comment is wrong for at least 1 Native American in this country and you should apologize to that person.
I apologize for nothing.
I'm rather disgusted when descendants of slaves or native americans or any one else for that matter come out of the woodwork seeking apologies and recompense for situations they neither experienced nor been affected by. I've been to reservations out west and until native americans make a deliberate decision to improve their situation, then the scourge of alcoholism and drugs on the reservations will be the basic headlines.Immigrants come to this country and make something of themselves.... You've already got your apology. If you really care then do something to help. What you intend to do helps no on but yourself.
right because we all know forceful removal of land and generations of living on a lifeless plot of land where no food can grow wont affect future Generations. you sir are brilliant
It's not an excuse anymore. If you want a better life then get off the res, go to school, work hard, and do what the rest of us do.
Well said. I imagine the poster also decries big government while accepting disability payments due to their bad back.
I did go to school and do I have a diploma, and I do work, still dont mean that an apology isnt necessary. funny how the assumption is made that I am living on the rez and that I am unemployed and live off the government. I do however live on the rez, but we dont get government grants or money, we are self sufficient and provide our people with jobs. more then what you can say for the Government
I'm mostly Potawatomi but grew up on an Ojibwa rez because I am also Ojibwa. I'm also Oneida but know very little of my Oneida heritage.
To expect people today to apologize for the past is absurd. Do you want to apologize for the torture to people who wanted to migrate to the west withstood? Living in the past is no way to live.
When I was a child, I wanted to find out that somewhere in my heritage I was part Indian. I had learned of the horrible atrocities to the Indians in school and felt bad for them. This man, who is well-educated and obviously torn by his roots, is not only wrong about Americans being uneducated about native Americans, but wants to create drama over something that will only cause friction and pain to the native Americans and those of us who are not and for what? What does he hope to gain? Why should President Obama apologize for something that happened before he was born and something he cannot change? The apology is reminiscent of the people who gave it, in a time when things were bad to begin with, but we are not those people. We have changed and we need to move on. We do not need to open old wounds, or worse yet, create new ones. I still feel pain in my heart for the mistreatment of the natives to this beautiful country, but in order to heal, we need to come together, not push people further apart. Come with solutions, not more drama!
The legacy of what the dominant culture has done to my family and my people have affected me since the day I was born. It tries to assign an ascribed status to my existence but fails. I grew up on the rez and have learned above all, to be proud of who I am. It is a pride established counter to the self-ascribed superiority of the dominant group. An apology would not open an old wound, it would acknowledge the scars obtained proudly from fighting for survival.
Turtle what tribe are you? If you don't mind me asking
Really, what would it hurt to say "We are sorry for the past aggression and for your ancestors' suffering" Then we all go back to trying to improve our lives. I'm working my butt off and I would expect EVERYONE to do the same. No one gave me anything on a silver platter just because I'm white, that's for sure. You wouldn't want my life.
Thank You Charles. Well said. It is a total disgrace how the government has treated its indigenous people. What kind of apology is that, hidden away and not made official. This country has no respect for the rights of people. Land of the Free Home of the Brave? What Nonsense.
It is some of these people comments and the way they think to why so many native americans don't leave the reservations. Many native american's are not these sterotypical drunk indians like so many of your may think. The younger newer generation have come along way and are trying to change these sterotypes. Secondly you are keeping saying this stuff happen like a 100 years ago does nobody relize that the last native american bording school was closed in the 1980's, so the beatings and killings of young children went on all the way until then, which hasn't been all that long ago. Those that bring up the holocaust do you people not relized that hilter got the idea of elimnating entire race of people by what the U.S government was doing, since that was the original policy was to elimnate the native people.
Thank you shygirl. It seems that some people think it's ok to talk about the Holocaust brought on by Hitler and other transgression made against culture and people, but the minute the native american complains, ...well that is just too much for the "high minded" american to think about. In their minds, it isn't possible that early Americans could have made transgressed. For those that don't understand....open up a history book.
What's the purpose of an apology? To say that you were wronged? What has the US government ever done wrong to you? Native American tribes fought and slaughtered each other long before Europeans ever came here. Are you expecting an apology from every tribe that your tribe lost a battle to? Why do you expect an apology for something that happened over a century ago?
Nick, you have much to learn. And I'm not trying to condescending. I would strongly advise that you read up on U.S./Native American relations if you don't understand why we owe natives an apology.
Thank You Truthbetold! There is still a lot of ignorance out there. One person mentioned why apologize to the native americans when this happened so long ago and you are no longer affected. They obviously don't understand that many members of tribes were lost and this alone has impacted future generations.
You can't enlighten us with any information yourself?
msamorales – Yes, everybody does understand all that, what we're saying is that nobody alive today had anything to do with it so an apology from them would be meaningless, and that lots of people throughout history have lost land due to war. We're also saying it's time to quit obsessing over what was lost and take stock of what you have and decide to make the most of it.
Archimedes – An apology would bring attention to the atrocities which the government has hidden from grade school history books. We are taking stock in what we have and that is the right to request an official apology. In order for change to occur it has to start somewhere and an apology is one way to do that.
Nick, I think you really need to be educated before you comment on such a topic. google please! search for native american history and read, please! do it for yourself, so that you will be more informed the next time you comment.
You've fallen for the illusion that there is a white race and that it is superior. The same people that have labeled Native Americans as primitive and barbaric do not have the same view of their nation which has been attempting genocide for the past couple centuries. Apologies are what 'civilized' people do. There were as many peace treaties as there were wars in 'America' before colonization. From a native perspective, I would say that it is barbaric for a nation to dishonor itself by ignoring their treaties which is what America has done.
Nick, I am white and I can truthfully tell you that the US Government has broken most LEGAL contracts with Native Americans. If the US Government did that to the English, French, Canadian or other governments, there would be many lawsuits as well as issues brought to the U.N. Not to mention a big outcry from them in the news.
Thank You Charles. Well said.
This is almost as bad as having to apologize for what happened to the blacks during slavery. I'm mostly Irish and can trace at least one ancestor back to being an Irish reg leg. These Irish were enslaved in Barbados right along with the Africans and sold to the United States as well. Oh, you didn't read about the white slaves of the U.S. in your "educational" school history books? And no, I'm not talking about indentured servants. I'm talking about real white slaves. Do I get an apology? Do I get school grant money for being "Irish"? Nope.
I'm not apologizing for a damn thing. If you want an apology, go knock on some grave stones.
you apparently havent read much in school eaither, native americans were treated worse then slaves mind you. Native Americans werent allowed to worship (blacks and Irish were allowed to worship), natives were not allowed to hunt( blacks and irish slaves were allowed to hunt) natives were not allowed to own weapons (believe it or not, slaves did own weapons), Natives were not allowed to own land (slaves DID own land even though they were slaves, they did have there own plot of land). please go to school or read a good history book before citing your opinion that is just as foolish as everyone else
Amen Michael, I never collected any scalps!
but your government has...
So what you're saying is that it is okay to enslave or commit genocide or any other atrocity? It's apparent there is pain in the legacy your ancestor has left you, it's my advice that you acknowledge it and direct your anger towards those who benefit from it, unless you're one of those people who benefits from those who enslaved your ancestor...then your comment doesn't make sense..
Native peoples/tribes have been conquered time and time again, all over the world, since the beginning of civilization. Look anywhere in history on every continent; no matter when or where, it has happened. Europeans killed and took each other’s land, so did Asians, and Africans, etc…and in turn Europeans have both conquered and been conquered by outside groups. In some parts of the world (Bosnia – the Serbs) this still goes on. It started happening in the Americas over 500 years ago, and had probably run its course by the end of the 1800’s. My question is, what makes Native Americans so special out of all the peoples in human history that have suffered this fate? Why should “whites” of European ancestry, who’s long dead forbearers wronged the Native American’s long dead forbearers apologize? I went to college with a Native American guy – great guy – and never did it come up how our great, great, great, great, great grandfather’s may have been in conflict at some point and that I should apologize to him for it.
My point: this happened long ago, its not an uncommon thing in history, and no living today NO ONE has had anything done to them – or committed – a genocidal act in America. So let’s try to learn from the, live in the present, and plan for a better future. Rather than whine and cry about how terrible things happened centuries ago. Move on – no apology required.
Native americans were not conquered, they were offered treaties so that the new found country could share the land, yet the treaties were pushed to the side and so were the native american people. they had their rights taken from them. did you know, that american indians did not become an american citizen until 1924? and they didn't get their rights until they fought legally for them in 1976 when they formed AIM..
Not true, I grew up on the rez and my elders recalled many genocidal acts. An apology is a small thing to request in return. It is the civilized thing to do. You and you're Native American friend never brought up these acts because there was no personal incident between you two, but the incidents between your government and his people are a different matter.
Would it be a bad thing if both the White people and the Native Americans apologized to each other for aggression on both sides? Atrocities took place from both sides. War does that to people. In the end, it doesn't matter who did more. I wonder if it would break down barriers for some people.
An apology, wrapped in a few million dollars.
News flash, war is ugly....???
The Jews haven't asked for an apology from the Germans because these germans today are not the same people as those who killed 6 million innocent people during the holocaust.
ACTUALLY, The German government did indeed issue an official apology to the Jews. They also paid reparations AND cooperated with efforts to hunt down and try Nazi war criminals. Your assertion is FALSE.
thanks for exemplifying the point you are trying to make.
Since recorded history one group has battled another for their land and resources all over the world. This includes the Native Americans fighting each other. Today's world boundaries are largely the result of one group conquering another. Why should this situation be considered any different?
No one alive today is owned an apology or deserves to give one on this topic.
So called “natives Americans” are actually from Asia.
For the running of the lips on this forum, I truly see the lack of knowledge from people. So disappointing . . .
That's true-maybe each tribe should apologize to all of the other tribes?
Native Americans have never fought amongst each other and if you can provide proof of this and validate it then I will give you my land
You can’t be that stupid ….
Tom you can't prove me wrong either
Ok, now you're just trolling. There aren't any people on the planet who would believe that. Tribes fought each other throughout their entire histories. They never really stopped. Even today they file court cases against each other.
I am still waiting for proof, you can say no one believes me but yet you have no valid proof confirming that tribes were fighting amongst each other
I applaud your effort but I won't accept an answer that is user submitted to a question
Touché very good find, although rare in occurrences, very few battles have occurred that needed to be recorded. There were clear boundaries for native Americans
Yes. Tribes were almost constantly at war with each other, and small tribes often made alliances with bigger tribes for protection from a common enemy.
Comanche vs Apache; Crow vs Sioux, Shoshone, and Blackfoot; Nez Perce vs Crow and Shoshone......Read newspaper archives from 1700's and 1800's for detailed accounts, available at the archives in the local University of each respective state. For info on Hawaiian inter-tribal warfare, I'd recommend the Bishop Museum archives (and a few good books), where I did a lot of research as well.
Again I will iterate that the wars were far in between and the wars were not even large enough to be considered a war
Sorry Oneida native but yes native tribes have fought each other. I am for an apology to Native Americans but even I know that it is true. I have heard stories from Grandmothers passed down.
Let's be honest here, the Natives don't mean "US GOVERNMENT" they mean "white man". This is just another attempt at contempt against those who have are in charge. "This guilt thing really worked for Obama, maybe we can get some money if we make white people feel guilty." Do you really think the Natives are targeting blacks or hispanics? As the income and success levels of white people vs minorities grow, the more they will search for answers. "It must be because of years of oppression." Look at the gap between minority test scores, income levels, graduation rates vs. whites and asians. The gap is GROWING not decreasing. The more we appologize for past injustices, the more the gap grows. Asians never asked for an apology or blamed anyone. They are outpacing everyone in every level. Think about it. Injustice my butt. Time to grow up. I don't owe you anything.
You are Ill informed and suggest you go research some United States history
I suggest that you do. This myth of the Pilgrims and early settlers "stealing land" is a complete falsehood. The natives were actively giving their land away in exchange for small trinkets like pots and pans. The settlers went out of their way to make sure that none of the settlers took them up on those offers. There was a court created very early on that had each settler and native present the deal in front of the court to ensure that it was a good deal for the natives. If you didn't know that, your education has been extremely poor.
Seriously! Exchange land for small trinkets like pots and pans was not stealing. There was a language difference and the pilgrims knew there was a value to this land and used the language difference to trick the indians, they had no idea that what they were doing.. Please explain how the court was in favor of the native americans when they exchanged thousands of acres of land for a few pots and pans. Would you have accept a deal like that?
Florist I am beginning to think that you like me following me around on the forum trying to prove me wrong, but touché, yes Native Americans did let a small amount of settlers stay on the land, there was no formal agreement to be forcefully removed from the land that the Midwest native American tribes had to go through. And could you please cite the information that you stated about a court being created for pilgrims and the selling of land? I don’t believe my education is extremely poor, in fact my education probably surpasses yours. I wasn’t fed biased information in the public school system that you more than likely did.
Did you ever hear of the "Buffalo Soldiers"? I don't think the Natives are over looking their contributions. They're asking for an apology from the US Government. Not you or your ancestors. The Government failed them, lied to them and screwed them. They are due a Large apology. At least one bigger than a sub-note in an obscure publication. I don't see where any of the Natives responding here are talking about money. If they were interested in money they'd leave their ancestrial lands and get jobs. They just want the lives their ancestors had. Just like the immigrants who eat their native foods; celebrate their native traditions; and make money annually on their native special immigrant day.
Here's a guy that has had nothing done to him personally wanting an apology from people that had nothing to do with events he wan't an apology for. Hey Chief, you want to impress me, don't use "white mans machines" in your trek. Ditch the italian jacket for a loin cloth and ride a horse to DC.
Pretty much. It's inane to ask for an apology in the first place, but then the apology isn't good enough for him? Here's a little secret for this guy- most Americans have Native American blood. That's true for Caucasians, Hispanics and even a decent number of African Americans. This guy is half Caucasian, so maybe he could apologize to us?
Did you even read the entire article?
Instead of deflecting some guilt you think is being pushed on to you, understand another human's point of view, at least try.
perhaps god should apologize, after all he's endorsed and committed more genocide than the u.s. ever did. just read your bibles.
Native Americans are not forcefully confined to their reservations–if they stay there it's by choice, knowing full well the opportunities that are available elsewhere. In most cases I don't even think they're on ancestral land, so I don't understand what's holding them there.
Confused what is your deal with reservation? People do leave the reservation especially the younger generation that have been going off to college to get education. Plus, the resaon that many don't live is because they know the mistreatment they will get, and it was taught into many native american children that family is everything and many stay and help there elders.
Mistreatment? LOL.. oh please they get preferential treatment above all else. As you point out in the lower portion of your comments. Their confinement is self-imposed. I have a friend here in Cali that is “native” and lives on the reservation. I’m not speaking for all reservations here but I’d feel LUCKY to live there. It’s one of the nicest communities any of my friends live in.
Mr Charles talks about how lonely and isolated it can be on the reservation. My point was nobody in America has to stay where they are. Asking for apologies just sounds like whining–it doesn't really accomplish anything. Sure, Native Americans got a raw deal, but it's time to quit harping on that and decide what to do with what they have, to include the possibility of selling it.
I to was not speaking for all tribal reservations some are lucky like yourself, but you should go out and see some of these other reservations that don't have the good fotune that your friends reservation has and then tell me how you feel when you see them.
I am disgusted by even the existence of "indian" lands, Indian laws, Indian everything. The "white man" came to North Amreica over 400 years ago with guns, beat your armies and took over your alleged country and homeland. Move on. America has been a soverign nation since 1776. America shoudl abolish the Bureau of Indian Affairs and rip up every contract ever signed with Indians. They are running their own country-within-a-country and taking untold $$Billions of dollars each year without contibuting anything. They have managed to get millions of people hooked on gambling and tobacco. Most of today's "indians" are no more than mixed-race or mostly black Americans. "Indian" is a scam and a farce. No apligoes. America must tell "indians" to GET OFF OUR LAND.
Either you are a descendant of the original people who inhabited the north american continent, or you are the offspring of some other nationality, which means you do not belong here. So why do you not pack up and leave and go back from where your ancestors came?
I can trace my lineage to the point where writing was allowed for my tribe, I know my own language too. You sound pretty racist
I think your ancestors were in-breeders for you to say something so stupid. You are on here just to spout hate and get a rise out of people. I am glad that most white people aren't as bad as you. Maybe I should say most "Humans" aren't like you.
My comment was intended for Iamthefredman
We surely did wrong to treat the original inhabitants the way it happened.We tore down, and destroyed, an original Democracy to build back one that favored us.I think the words should be heard, not shoved back in the mess that comes from this Congress or any other Congress,
"We" did not do anything. I did not do one single thing wrong that involves the indians and the situation they live in. There is no need to apoligize for it. It is the past and over with. I am not saying trying and ignore history, it is important to learn, but at the same time, it is wrong to keep the thought process from the past alive, when we should be moving forward.
Wow, none of that happened at all. Most of the Indians died from the plague in the mid-1600s. About 90 percent of the North American population died then. It was the worst plague ever to sweep through humanity. I am appalled that you people don't know this.
I'm curious "Florist" as to where you get your inaccurate facts? Please enlighten us with your wisdom and profound intellect? – What's that? You heard it on the internet? Oh, so it must be true! – Amazing what tools are allowed to walk this planet.
The plague was in Europe and Asia mainly.
You have to look no further than the oil and coal leases which were misrepresented, modified and purposefully presented to many of the tribes members least qualified to understand them. That occurred in my lifetime....
You are so very right Chris. the abuse just keeps on happening.
Anyone in government today had nothing to do with the poor past treatment of Native Americans. Why would an apology from someone who was not involved have any meaning?
Why would the current Navajo need an apology when they were not the ones being treated poorly?
You have a habit of remembering the bad experiences longer if you are the recipient.
But there is nobody alive who is a direct recipient.
Joshua – But THIS current government did not take control, so I don't understand what THEY have to apologize for.
Most of the Post are ludicrous. I find it hard to see any HUMANITY in them. My God! what have we turned into?
The Navajos claim we took land from them. Were they really the first to reside in this country or was there a people who were here before them?
Sure the government has not treated them well but in reality who was here first? Indians? Someone before them?
So if someone kicked you out of your home, but they argued that someone once lived in your house before you, that would make sense to you? What an empty and illogical argument you make.
I think the last several days has done more to rip us apart than any one thing lately.The deaths of those children should have brought together people,instead it was made a bully pulpit for political posturing.
The Navajos do realize we're not really sorry, right?
I mean if we were, we'd do more than just use cheap words to remedy the situation.
Silly Native Americans.
Sorry for what exactly?
if they get a "sorry, bro", are they gonna automatically stop drinking a gallon of whiskey a day & start going to school...and the doctor...and the dentist...and work? i'm guessing they probably won't.
Again, that's not from me. The practical jokers in this office are not quite as funny as they think they are.
getoutofthebedroom: Obviously, you don't read anything about what the history of Native people are about or have suffered. Take some time and look up information, such as biographies, non-fiction accounts, and also information about Native Americans. We have suffered much at the hands of people who "supposedly" came to "help us" because we lived off the land and gave back to the land. Before voicing you opinions of how " I don’t know anyone who repressed, killed, or did any other harm to Native Americans," I would check my ignorance about the facts that surrounds ALL NATIVE PEOPLE!!!!
Koren, you are right, but "getoutofthe bedroom" makes more sense! Enough with the apologies already! I lived around Indians in Colorado. A lot of them are drunks and still want to live on the reservation and do just more of the same–for decades. Get off your duff and stop expecting apologies so that you can start to live–just live and move on and do good for yourself and stop feeling sorry for yourself!!!
Thank you Charles for letting me live in your house.
I was just thinking.... the land of the Free, and the home of the Brave....yeah thank you so much. I will try to respect this land.
What if Charles ancestors took the land from someone else? It is possible.
I will still respect this land, because it provides life for myself, and my people.
Charles requested a thank you, and it was easy enough to give.
As for who lived on land before Charles people, how would that information possibly serve you?
Sorry you are trapped within yourself. Hope you can get Free.
To the entire Indian Nations of North America many of us are very sorry for the actions of our US Govt! Today and past history is distant cousins but often our Govt. is too greedy and too proud to honor your many wonderful contributions to this Country. Thank you from the Heart for the comfort of this Land!
I am 70 years old. I grew up in western North Carolina amongst the Cherokee. Throughout my public career I made the statement that America carried a great sin–the sin is the sin of omission–not publically announcing an apology to all Native Americans for what our Nation has done and is doing to them. I hope that President Obama will stand brave upon the high steps and with genuine, heart-felt words apologize for America's sin against our Native People.
Most of the people responding just don't get it or are in denial. Sad that MOST Americans don't even know the blood history they come from.
holding later generations responsible for the wrongdoings of their fore-bearers is a rather stupid idea however there is precedent in the bible. come to think of it, maybe this was god's plan, he is rather wrathful and genocidal. just read your bibles.
I agree with a doomed manifest destiny philosophy of Anglo Europeans who believed that Christianity was a credit card for abusiveness and exploitation. Remember the long walk. I am white with a 125 year family in the Southwest, and my grandfather was a Maricopa. I apologize. As for the rest of the whites, let them walk back across the great muddy.
America has already made its Karma. It's coming back ten fold.
who are you refer to as "spinless cowards?"
I find it interesting that Native Americans did not have jails or prisons, and they had very little crime before Europeans came over here.
That is just naive..... do you think for one minute that "native" American society was ideal?
The didn't have jails because they just killed or enslaved their enemies or criminals.....
They didn't need them. Any who committed egregious acts against the tribe were banished and/or ignored. A lone individual *might* last all right in the wilderness with only his own resources and surrounded by possibly hostile tribes. He might not. At that point it was in the hands of the gods.
Get over it.
The apology is long overdue and a whole lot of American history as it regards native Americans is disgraceful. Many of the things done to native Americans would, if they occurred today in a country that for whatever reason was in the international spotlight, elicit strong condemnation from the international community, and the present day leaders of the U.S. would be among some of the loudest in the bunch. So issue a meaningful apology.
It also is not "all about money". Those who suffered the worst abuse are long dead, and in the end, the sovereign is immune from liability unless it voluntarily agrees to be liable. "It's good to be king" as Mel Brooks has said, and being able to make up the rules, and change them as you go along as the U.S. often did when it came to native Americans, doesn't rule out acknowledgement of having behaved horribly, whether it is part of a process of healing, or simply being mature enough to admit when you were wrong.
I want an apology from Germany for over-running the country of my ancestors during World War 2 and World War 1 (I'm from an Austrian/Hungarian/Romanian background). Not to mention a formal apology from the Turks (for the Ottoman Empire fiasco) and Italians as Rome conquered most of my ancestors lands way back when.
Yeah, this is just as relevant as this article is...
I just remembered, According to family lore I am about 1/32 or less native american. By all means apologize. That way I can join the inevitable class action lawsuit against the government and cash in! YEAHHHH!!!
It is relevant in that this happened more recently in the history of our country, which is still quite young. It is relevant in that we consider ourselves today to be civilized and humane. We condemn China, Russia and Middle East countries for human rights violations and they have been doing it for thousands of years. We can still get this right you know.
Id like my parents to apologize for giving birth to me and doing their best at raising me yet failing, its definintley THEIR fault I am the way I am.
Your comment J seems to have more truth to it than you thought when you posted what I'm sure you considered to be witty and clever.
I think I will tear up like an Indian looking at litter on the road side. I'm not going to offer or seek an aplogy for what my great grand father did to your great grandfather. Wait since I'm a half breed I guess its what my great grandfathers did to each other.
I'm a 35 yr. retired high school teacher. Wounded Knee- Part 2 happened in my 1st year teaching when I was oriented towards Vietnam and Watergate. I went to the archives of Wounded Knee- Part 1 and onto Dee Brown's, "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee' in my classes for 35 yrs. If anyone does not know why The United States should apologize,
read this book about GENOCIDE. Did you know- in winter on reservations the US Army use to passed out blankets intentionally infected with SMALL POX! The 1st recorded case of a WMD- GERM WARFARE- was by America!!!!
Not true. The British (not the Americans) suggested using infected blankets during the Frech & Indian War. But it never happened. You do realize that you'd infect yourself handing out small pox blankets, right?
I believe it was Christopher Columbus and company that used blankets with small pox brought over from Europe.
Why the apology?
This man is 3/4s Caucasian. He was educated at UCLA and there is no indication that his small amount of Native American ancestry has ever caused him to be discriminated against in any way. He has no leadership role in any tribe and there is no indication that any tribal people are supporting him. I would like to hear from some actual Native Americans about their needs rather than hearing from a white man with a small amount of Native American heritage.
The Native Americans were victims of genocide practiced against them by the United States government and an apology issued at the behest of a white man will not even begin to address the wrongs they have suffered. I too am one-quarter Native American, a fact that has only been noticed by two people during my entire life, and I would never presume to speak for a Native American.
This is so funny. So now he isn't native enough? You have to be full-blooded American Indian to be allowed to speak? An individual can't call out an injustice; they need an organization behind them? His education at UCLA automatically guarantees no discrimination? I'm not sure which part of your comment is more absurd than the others.
Chill out, Maureen! Geesh! Stop walking on eggshells and move on. . . .
Apologize for what? For being stronger than them? For expansion that has happened in every corner of the world for thousands of years? Do we now need to find descendents of Genghis Khan to apologize to the Mesopotamians for taking their land? And what about the Indian tribes that warred other Indian tribes and took their land? Navajo history even labels them as a people who took from other tribes.
Apologizing for expansionism is about the most worthless idea I've ever heard of.
Sounds to me you'd also think an apology for the holocaust would be unwarranted.
Geesh! Chill out already!! The digger you deep the more foolish and ignorant you look!!
Apologize for the breaking of official and legal treaties, apologize for biological warfare (smallpox blankets), apologize for the forced removal and subsequent genocide of the Cherokee, apologize for the removal of Native children from their families and having them be forced into orphanages to make them "white," etc. etc. My gosh...an apology is just that: an apology. It doesn't solve the problems, but it acknowledges them and that is a very important step. If one makes a mistake, the respectable thing to do is admit it. Judging by the comments here, not many folks agree in living a right life nowadays.
I am sorry. I am sorry this happened. I am sorry there are bad humans in the world. I am sorry there are ignorant and uneducated people in this country. I am sorry women and children suffered. I am sorry your peoples lost their place in the world. I am sorry that nothing I said will make a difference to your peoples or other people . That is what I am most sorry for.
How about for the double dealing, outright theft of their land? To fight and win in battle may be one thing, but these people were Lied to, cheated. The government signed legal treaties and ignored every one. Then they made laws outlawing their religion, and took their children away, they put them in schools, or adopted them to white families. The government agents who were supposed to take care of them stole them blind, sold them bad liquor. Money that was supposed to be in trust has disappeared, millions if not billions of dollars. I don't know but an apology is a little bit of nothing compared to the sins.
you are so right Margaret and it doesnt stop there this government is even now trying to take land from Indians that has oil beneath the land. It never stops
The city I live in was gotten by white men getting the Native Chief drunk and having him sign the tribal rights to the land away.
i'm still waiting for an apology from all the viruses which have invaded my body over the years. my healthy cells want an apology. the virus invaded, spread and tried to survive. how wretched, how biological!
People, remeber that this is about getting an apology from a government which had elected officials make very bad decisions and not getting an apology from the "white" race. Decisions like the heritage commission, genocide of many people. Native americans are made of different cultures. Navajos won't call themselves Cherokee because they are not the same an Englishman won't call himself French. The atrocities committed were committed toward hundreds of different nations. The government should apologize because it "can". The ability to know you did wrong and acknowledge it is what Natives want. If it weren't for the language of the Cherokee and Navajos WWII could have been a lot different and not in favor of US. If you think other wise go to a reservation and experience a "new" country and voice your opinion and see what the local have to think. Only then can you know what this means to Native Americans.
i do believe that an apology has already been proffered. this guy just wants a little more. he wants it on facebook, twitter, instagram, half time at the superbowl, blah blah blah.
Finally, Charles, you are not ever going to get that apology. Our world has changed for the worse and it is not getting any better. The truly "GOOD" people in this world are all dying off and one day they will be extinct. From me, a native GERMAN, I am truly sorry for your hardships and pain that so-called Americans have inflicted upon you in the past. Live for a better tomorrow, remain a good person. Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.
We Americans don't need a GERMAN to apologize for US. How disgusting and hypocritical. How quickly GERMANS forget! There is a good reason GERMANS should be quiet. Native Americans fought against you and won.
I like how he is going about his grievance. Nonviolent. I will listen simply because of that.
Why in the world do the (Current) people of the United States have to appologise for something that the people hundreds of years ago did. We the current people of the United States did not do the Navajo people any harm or injustice. This just seems like the Navajo way of extorting money from the United States.
Beginning in the spring of 1864, around 9,000 Navajo men, women and children were forced to embark on a trek of over 300 miles (480 km) to Fort Sumner, New Mexico for internment at Bosque Redondo. The internment at Bosque Redondo was a failure for many reasons as the government failed to provide an adequate supply of water, wood, provisions, and livestock for 4,000–5,000 people.
I think the US government did some bad things to the Navajo.
did you even read what he wrote ? he wants ppl to understand that all we have from this great country was because of these tribes,,i offer my thanks ..and for the ppl who forget this want out land...im sorry
Yes Lee, you didn't do it. But you are the beneficiary of what was done. Therefore, you owe them a thank you and yes, perhaps an apology. It's not the big a deal. Love how you losers get all wrapped around the bars about it.
Maybe because it would just be a decent thing to do. Is that so hard?
Mark you did a great job..Native people hope you took the time to listen and watch the live stream.
Who cares. This is all sooooo in the past. Let's stop issuing apologies for what our great-great-great-great-great ancestors did. Enough guilt. Focus on the future.
In order to truly focus on the future, the past must not be forgotten.
There are Lakota still alive who remember stories of the Indian Wars during the 1800s. They are old now, and it was their grandparents' stories, but that isn't hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years ago. The United States is barely 200 years old. This is not only still recent history, but current history (there are still on-going legal cases regarding illegal taking of lands by the federal and state governments).
Acknowledge the past.
This begins an idea that needs to be considered carefully and taken much more seriously than we can imagine at this point. the funny thing is that at present the general consensus seems to be that this subject is is going away.
And that could'nt be farther from the truth...
The issue is money. Always comes down to that. If the U.S. gives the apology the Native Americans want then they can go to court and get paid. Same thing with reparations for slavery. In both cases I think America is providing opportunity to both groups and the ones who take advantage of that are doing quite well. So money is the only reason there isn’t a more formal apology and this guy is only 1/4 Native American anyway. I am 1/8 Cherokee and you would never know it by looking at me. If you really think about it most Latin Americans have more native American blood than I do – so where do you draw the line on who is a Native American and who isn’t? So that is the issue when it comes to the money. I do think we should do more for those on the reservations – but there is already a lot being done that most people don’t know about.
"No flag, no country!" ~ Iggy Izzard
Case in point! Just because you make-up the rules your in charge. No flag no country, how right of you, this land and many others were already countries (before flags were flown), just not by your standards.
by the way no, who, who, the same could be said of you and yours, no culture no country! What culture did the Europeans bring?
what culture did the europeans bring? hmm let's first ignore the fact that culture is rather arbitrary and causes more division than anything else, but since you asked what they brought? the best form of government, technology, innovation, freedom, separation of church and state, tolerance. welcome to an advanced civilization, now stop freeloading.
Sliver Black.... Well for starters the Europeans brought over comedy so laugh a little.
Well overdue. A few years ago the Australia PM gave an apology to the mistreatment of the indigenous Australians. Definitely a move in the right direction.
The Brits made the trail of tears look like a parade. They have one of the few cases of complete genocide on their hands. The native people's of Tasmania were reduced to a handful (maybe two handfuls) of old men, women and children. Only then with no means of sustain centuries of their culture the last few were brought to the mainland and assimilated. A people completely gone from our planet inside of the modern era. I find it interesting that people still evoke manifest destiny and expansion as progress. If done at gunpoint you can never justify that on moral grounds.
houbie and Catori your comments are down right rude and uncalled for. Both of you should apologize for your uneducated, empty-headed remarks. "OUR" native Americans deserve more and equal respect as ALL human beings deserve. People that make statements and hatefull remarks like the ones you have made DO NOT deserve ANY respect.
OUR native Americans were here first. This is THEIR country first and yours last or not at all.
You are exactly right some people do not know history and are pretty stupid.
What would Hawaii do?
I don't understand what the big deal is? Most native american people understand we will never get our land back, we know we might never get the money that was promised to us, and the man in the article is not asking for that. Most native american simply want the U.S. government to make an official apology about all the wrong doing their ancestors did to many of our ancestors. Simple. I would have to disagree with the man about getting specific things to apologies because there are too many things to mention. No one is talking about casion's which yes some native american tribes, not all of them benefit from, but those are deals that are made between the state and the tribe not the government. Yes, there is corruption in many tribal leaders which is the tribal people responsiblity to fix that, but those that live on reservations are still suppose to be getting help from the government, since those were part of the terms of the agreements made when they moved on to the reservation. Yes, many native american's wish to retain many of our traditional culture and ways and i see nothing wrong with that because it does not interfer with how we live today many have learn to adapt.
It seems to me that the American Indian peoples of all tribes are getting paid back more than enough money by taking the American peoples money at all the thousands of Indian Casinoes through out the United States.
first off, they don't rake in that much money. Secondly, there are not thousands of Indian casinos. Thirdly, there will never be enough money to pay back the Native Americans for what the US government has done to them.
Some of you people are comparing apples to oranges, how pathetic!
houble, there is no comparison from what you went through and what the American indians did, so you are not owed an apology from anyone!
Sorry, Charles, but no man alive was a party to the oppression of your people. I don't expect Germans to apologize for Hitler. I don't expect Russians to apologize for Stalin, and I don't expect Norwegians to apologize for vikings.
I recommend that you count your blessings that you no longer live in such a world and that the transgressions of our ancestors didn't extend to your people's finality.
"...count your blessings that...transgressions of our ancestors didn't extend to your people's finality."
Said like a true thug.
The Germans apologized for WW2 atrocities.
Kevin, are you a complete idiot. The Germans apologize all of the time for the actions of their government half a century ago. Similarly, there are still plenty of individuals who are still alive and have only recently been tried for the war crimes they committed while in the German military. Further, the Russians will not apologize for the acts of Stalin because many in the Government do not acknowledged what he did as wrong. Finally, the U.S. Government still mistreats the American Indians. The same people you voted for have recently taken lands and broken promises they have made with American Indians. Wake up.
My mother could not find a job during WWII because she was born in Germany and emigrated when she was four. I want an apology too.
You already got your apology. The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany until 1990) offered official apologies for Germany's role in the Holocaust. Additionally, German leaders have continuously expressed repentance, most notably when former Chancellor Willy Brandt fell on his knees in front of a Holocaust memorial in the Warsaw Ghetto, also known as the Warschauer Kniefall in 1970. Germany has also paid extensive reparations, including nearly $70 billion to the state of Israel. It has given $15 billion to Holocaust survivors and will continue to compensate them until 2015. Additionally, the government of Germany coordinated an effort to reach a settlement with German companies that had used slave labor during the war; the companies will pay $1.7 billion to victims. Germany also established a National Holocaust Memorial Museum in Berlin for looted property
I don't agree with people saying that victims blame others to get over it. Obviously, if your father is a cold blooded killer or a thief does not make you a cold blooded killer and thief. So, do you have to apologize for your father who was a crook? Well, absolutely no. But, if you've become aware of what anyone done has done that's criminal and has been given the forum to speak, then you have a unique opportunity to speak of what's right and to possibly make a difference. So, should the surviving Lanza family members apologize to these kids? Well, it's their choice to make, but they've been given a unique forum to turn a tragedy into something positive and hopefully they do speak. Yes, I do agree that life goes on and we can't fix of what others have broken. Yes, we can't worry about the past. But whenever given the opportunity, turning a blind eye to what is wrong with society is the same as condoning it. I think it is important to acknowledge history and whenever appropriate to speak of what is right and what is wrong. The US government has a unique platform to impact our daily life, and their issuing an apology is not a sign of weakness as some may think it is, but it's a sign of strength and unity. The Navajos are as much American as anyone living on this land. The US government's apology is its way of saying we care about you, do not approve of the injustice of the past and will guarantee your rights as Americans for years to come.
So well said. And to the posters focusing on an apology to Navajos, that is not what the author said. The apology was issued to all Native Americans, and regardless of whether we, today, are not directly responsible, does not mean that we cannot apologize for the wrongs of our ancestors.
Then go ahead and apologize. I have nothing to apologize for. My family didn't get America until the 1920s. They didn't kill indians. Time for them to stop crying over the past and asking for things from people who weren't even here then.
No one wants your apology Mike.
I was a wimpy kid and treated unfairly by cool kids.
Where is my apology?
Tell me your address. I'll go get armed, kill your family, toss you out of your home, burn it to the ground and build a parking lot on top.
Then offer you an insincere fatuous apology.
Catori Ease up... Considering current events you might want to watch what you say or write!
Then that would give you the death penalty which we would try and get expedited.
So when was the last one thrown out and killed? More like someone's greatgrand father.
I'm sorry for your confusion, houbie, I really am.
My apology for you having to grow up in a mental ward.
Is the article saying that he is only 25% Navajo? Then shouldn't he be apologizing to himself?
Should have fought harder?
It is exciting in hell today after Robert Bork's death.
Dear Navajo, so sorry about the genocide. I think I also should take the time to apologize for some other atrocities as well, I am also very sorry for Waffle House, Honey Boo Boo, Noodling, Shamwows, every movie with Jack Black in it, the Tea Party, most of New Jersey, all of Alabama, and more than anything, Carrot Top.
That's good, but you missed the Kardashians. We should apologize to Europe as well for that.
You all messed us up good with everything you mentioned! come and take care of my sheep.
Waffle House=delicious hash browns. Your apology for them is rejected.
The USA was born out of blood and was not born out of the teaching of Jesus Christ as many think. There have been 12 major wars since this country was caledl the USA and more than 20 conflicts. None of which include the decimation of the indigenous people of this country. More that 6 million natives have been killed and/or infected with diseases of which they had no immunity. Just like the British who at one time believed it was their right and duty to colonize every country one of their boats landed on, the white American felt it was their right to take this land and ruin it by pollution, over population and by wrecking everything that gets in the way of our fat, greedy society. Until we as a nation come to understand the horrors that were committed against these peoples we can never state we are Christian nation. And BTW , by the way we have cared for what God created and we took, we can in no way call ourselves followers of the Bible. We are Fat, Greedy, Selfish, Rude and Racist. We need to look in the mirror and see the face that looks back with out the lipstick and face the truth about who and what we are before we can heal this land.
'We' are not a solely Christian nation. We represent many beliefs. I think what you mean at heart is since we are a nation with integrity that we need to own up to our past mistakes and acknowledge them.
Yes, we are a nation of many beliefs and peoples. I am a follower of Jesue Christ and I must admit to being somewhat sarcastic about the contant harping from the religious right about this Christian nation.
Rather than be self deprecating, we should simply do better. Calling ourselves names and belittling our past does nothing but makes the future changes an ode to pity. Every nation in the world has experienced conquest. It is a very violent act. Some may call it an inevitability of 'progress', while others call it murder and genocide. Either way, we can't change the past, and it looks like the way things are going on in this world now, we haven't a chance to change the future.
As a Navajo citizen, I think an apology would be appropriate for the following historical and COMTEMPORARY events that have affected the tribe. These issues are just a handful of failed US policies/influences that should be rectified.
Long Walk of the Navajo
Uranium Mining on the Navajo Reservation
Indian Relocation Act of 1956
To the opponents, your comments reflect the failure of our education system. Next time you make an idiotic comment, please look into the underlying facts.
“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don't know anything about.” – Wayne Dyer
"Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn." – Benjamin Franklin
Well as to the Long Walk, you have to look at the actual history... it was brutal yes but there was no way to make a treaty with the Navajo because they weren't centrally organized and could not keep the peace. Concerning Uranium mining, there is a lot of money being paid out to people who were harmed by the dust, and a lot of old mines being cleaned up. However, that was part of the learning process about radioactivity. Many back then didn't believe it was harmful. You have to look at actual historical context and facts without bias if you are to form an opinion which approximates correctness.
If the Navajo Nation was a National Park, that Uranium mining problem would've been fixed.
Can't mine a nation park, can mine next to schools & hospitals.
Yeah, Especially you Texans who are taught a totally different lesson plan than the rest of us. Thanks Rick Perry.
So educate us not condemn us. We can't just pack up and leave.
As a Navajo citizen, I think an apology would be appropriate for the following historical and COMTEMPORARY events that have affected my tribe. These issues are just a handful of failed US policies/influences that should be rectified.
Long Walk of the Navajo
Uranium Mining on the Navajo Reservation
Indian Relocation Act of 1956
To the opponents, your comments reflect the failure of our education system. Next time you make an idiotic comment, please look into the underlying facts.
“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don't know anything about.” – Wayne Dyer
"Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn." – Benjamin Franklin
I don't owe you anything in fact the Navajo owe me an apology. My wife was abandonde by a Navajo father because he was a drunkard.
America has a long track record of shady deals and screwing people our of land and labor. We shouldn't apologize? That's ridiculous! An apology is the least we can offer. What's wrong with apologizing? We have this idea that becuase we are American we are above taking responsibility and righting our wrongs. As long as this is our mentality we can never be the great Union we claim to be. We will eventually fall, just as Rome did!!
Build a bridge and get over it. You are now part of America and you were never part of the wrongs that were committed against our native population. If you want an apology, look in the mirror and say "I'm sorry." All races and ethnicities need to reconsile with themselves and realize they are part of what makes this country great and stop looking for apologies, pats on the back, special deals, money and other "reparations". Just get on with living and being great because you, as I am, an American.
The native american people need to start admitting how corrupt their tribal leaders are as to the primary reason so many are in poverty. They get the money from the government, casino's, etc, and then don't divy it up fairly. Start pointing the finger at the real problem and start to improve your lives.
Yes, the tribal leaders are very corrupt, but the main reason for poverty etc. is the transition from stone age culture to modern culture. The traditional cultures don't work in industrial society. That is the beginning and end of it actually.
You all think you're right and haven't done anything wrong. Everyone sins and does wrong everyday, even when you don't think you do.
You think Native Americans weren't here before Columbus sailed here but you're wrong. We didn't come from China, India, or any other place that was mention. We were here but just hidden, learning how to survive. Why do you think we can live in extreme temperatures/climates, like Alaska or any other place in the United States.
On the news even they say people in Alaska are one of the toughest people because they can live through -50 degrees. That can mean native or non native people, I am not just saying one race. We can live without electricity and running water because we have the instinct on how to survive.
I don't think people of any race or culture should talk about anyone else unless they have experience what they have went through. If you don't think that people should apologize for how they mistreat people, then I dare you to change yourself to look like someone of a different background than you and go somewhere you don't know anyone and see if they still treat you the same or they treat you like you aren't worthy.
I may live somewhere where most people treat me like everyone else but I have experienced prejudice and been mistreated because of my skin color. Been looked down upon because I may be more tanned than regular people and have an accent that isn't widely known.
I am not going to say that Native Americans are the only ones that have been mistreated because we all know or have witnessed someone that is of another race be mistreated and probably didn't even think about doing anything to stop it. Or even care to stop and try to help.
Don't be so simple minded or copy what other people are saying just because that is how you grew up. If you can post to something like this and say that other races aren't important enough or that we should look at what other people are doing, than look at yourself and say that you haven't done anything that doesn't require you to apologize to someone or for anything you have done. I know no one can say they have because its just part of being human and how you were raised.
Wow that was a lot of rambling, I don't think one person on this site made any comments that native Americans weren't here before Columbus, so I don't know why your making that point. This incoherent nonsense is a perfect example of native people should be more concerned about education than apologies.
If you looked at older moments then you would see that someone said that natives supposedly migrated from Asia. I checked to make sure I was right about the comment before talking about it.
....and Native Americans are in FACT the result of Asians migrating here many years ago.
And "Asians" were a result of the migrations from the Middle East, and they were the result of migrations from Africa...Your point Chewy?
The term "American Indian" is a misnomer coined by Columbus who thought he had found the route to the West Indiies when he arrived here. It has been proven by DNA studies these so-called Indians originated in Asia which makes them immigrants just like the Europeans who followed and made the US the great country it is today. There is no reason to apologize to these tribes. They would be better served by getting off their seats to work at bettering themselves.
CP: After realizing that you have spent your whole life, surviving the forces of nature, I believe you must be gifted with the wisdom of the Owl, to be able to type a web-based comment as well as you did on CNN.com. Surely you have the keen eyes of the eagle to local a computer in the wild, the speed of the coyote to catch it, and the patience of the trap-door spider to decipher our english language/text and figure out how to use internet explorer. You are wise beyond your years – please give those traights to your offspring, with the passing skills of a Denver Bronco.
... and apologies for the whole stealing your land thing...
lol smh ...using native humor on a native...and not knowing it
So which is it? A few? Or Several? You cant go back 3 and forward Several...unless you have futuristic time machine abilities...In which you could just move ahead and see if your going to get your apolgy or not, and let this thing go.
"A few years ago, he took his wife and son and spent several years at a Navajo reservation sheep camp. It was off a dirt road and isolated."
Now I see the confusion. You think the earth is human like you. Do all Native Americans think the land is human? No wonder so many Native Americans cannot function outside the reservations. No wonder Native Americans have no manufacturing or mining on their lands. I am curious how the Native American religion handles the animals who excrete the plants they consume or the bufallo that scrapes the earth before battle? Is that not also a desecration of Mother Earth? How is that any different than organic farming?
Why are Native Americans among the poorest people in US society today except for those in the gaming/casino industry? Give me a real answer, do not blame the oppressed victims?
There is no blame in having a hard time transitioning from a tribal stone age culture in only a couple of hundred years. And the loss of that culture is the reason they have a hard time adapting. But stone age culture just doesn't work in an industrial society.
That may be true, but at some point life on this planet is going to disintegrate. We simply don't have the resources to feed BILLIONS of people. Not to mention we are poisoning ourselves, our water, our air and our food at a rapid rate. When we hit critical mass, (and we WILL) we won't be equipped to handle the life that will be left. But this culture will or would have. We could have learned a lot from them... and they weren't quite "stone age"..... They were more spiritual than any religion on earth. Again, we could have learned from them... Their respect for nature and being good stewards of the earth are what enabled them to live for hundreds of years
Oh nonsense sunflower2. They were/are scared to death of evil spirits and skinwalkers. And look into the technology of feeding billions, we have it. You're just wrong.
That's a mighty broad brush you're painting with. You might be justified in your characterization of the hunter-gatherers of the Great Plains and the Great Basin, but that's certainly not an accurate portrayal of the civilizations of the southwest, Mississippi basin, southeast or the northeast. Especially in light of the fact that our own government is modeled on that of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) confederation.
If you're going to make disparaging statements, get your facts straight first.
I've been speaking mainly about Navajo. But I do think that tribal type culture isn't compatible with the modern world. You see this everywhere, from the Arabs to the Africans to the Australian Aborigines to the American Indians: tribal and non-imperial cultures tend to have a hard time adapting, while imperial and less-tribal cultures have an easier time, like the Chinese and Indians.
For starters, our education system rests on funding through property taxes. People who grow up in impoverished areas attend under-funded schools that can't attract good teachers or educational resources. This means that, while people in affluent areas are running with a tailwind through age 18, these individual are running into a headwind for the same number of years.
Ok, great.. point made clearly.. These folks need to come out of the deserts & woods and adapt to modern society. Its very clear to me that they cannot continue to live in teepees, trapping animals, living off feed corn then expect people to feel sorry for them when they have chosen to remain in the stone age ? It about.. no sorry, its is well beyond time they do just that.. Smoking peace pipes and performing rain dances is just ridiculous in 2012...
Cherokee here... love our tax shelters... I mean reservations... this guy needs to get a grip and move on... geeezzz.. What an embarrassment... The only thing keeping the tribes "down on the reservation" now are the ones with this type of a thought process...
Well actually some of the tribes such as the Navajo are still in the middle of the transition from native to modern culture. And that's hard. Wanting totally vacant apologies is silly, but you probably never really were part of the stone age, and never had to try to be of that mindset and live in the modern world.
The Cherokee have always been ahead of other tribes in integration. And sadly, they still got hosed.
So many Indians are on welfare and meth. Many tribes still hate each other. I have Indian on both sides of me. It's time to bury the tomahawk...
Yes, it's time to start remembering that we can't help what our ancestors did, and can't solve anything by vacant apologies when we don't even mean "if we could do it over we wouldn't take the land from you."
Everyone came from one sort of tribe historically speaking. No matter what tribe you or I came from tribes have conquered each other for thousands of years.
We gave them alcohol. They gave us tobacco.
Sounds like a fair trade of poisons.
The people who did all that are dead. The people living today benefited yes and we should remember this land was not is not really ours. But we dont need to apologize for others actions.
The land is not really ours because land ownership is historically transitory. It's only yours till you die, like everything else, or till it's taken away. But it's just as much ours as for example the Navajo's land, which they may have taken from the Anasazi, which is a Navajo word meaning either "ancient ones" or... "ancient enemies." And surely other tribes also didn't like it much when the Navajo came from the North and started raiding and taking slaves.
And, who did the Navajo run out of North America after crossing the Bering Straight? The Navajo were a primitive people, that had made no progress in the their living conditions, when the Europeans traveled to North America bringing modernization. We should not apologize to the Navajo ...until they apologize to the ones before them, and the ones that they killed in Indian wars before the Europeans landed here....and, so on, and so on......
That's a nice myth...wait, no, that is a misguided cartoon. The native Americans had developed sophisticated farming practices and complex religious systems after being here since the Ice age. The Iroquois nation on the East coast were masters of farming and taught the colonists. Much of what was adopted as the seeds of democracy in early history of this country were informed, not by Greece, which was a slave state, but the Iroquois Long House traditions. The Europeans did not even bathe at the time. Get informed.
You are incorrect.. it is well accepted that man crossed the Bering Strait bridge to populate the Americas.. has nothing to do with teaching farming or bathing.. And we do not know how any of the Indian tribes evolved and who they killed off to get "their" land. Your comment was weak at best..
So fairy tales and fantasies are justification for refusing to take responsibility for your own life? Good plan, there.
After reading some of the comments on here, I come to the conclusion that quite a few white people are not philosophically far removed from their ancestors morally bankrupt philosophies and ways. It is bred from those days right down to now. Thankfully, there are many, many who reject the genocidal, superiority-complex ridden ideas of a huge amount of their people. As to the superiority of their culture – weapons of mass destruction,pollution of natural resources, war as an answer, and many other things negative come to mind. They have killed many indigenous people around the world en masse and now they are on the verge of killing themselves and all of us with their "superior" culture. That's why people like Malcolm X have said they are the most "devil" you will ever see on this earth. It is a legacy that can never be erased.
Which Malcom X are you talking about. The younger version or the man just before he died. Many of his views changed. You are only spewing HATE yourself and you are NO different than the very people you depise! This world has NO place for people like YOU!
Those that owe native americans and other races any apologies, are long since dead. I'm tired of being harassed by cultures demanding apologies (and seeking handouts) for something I had nothing to do with. I come from a family of immigrants that came here long after slavery was abolished and native lands had been taken. I served my country for 22 years in the military, So do me a favor, GET OFF MY BACK.
Another white guy trying to pass himself off as not, are you that ashamed of yourself, now thats sick. Reminds of that Al Queda American kid that used to go around pretending to be black in chat rooms. I am warning the state department about you.
""Thank you. Thank you for letting us be in your house."" First of all, the mis-named Native Americans usually don't consider the land owned, so the story is a bit off. But let us remember that the NA tribes were often at war; that the Navajo among others often raided each other and took women and slaves. That, in short, the Native Americans are and were HUMAN. And that it is the nature, historically, of human beings to take things, including land, away from each other. The NAs may or may not be less historically guilty than those of European decent, but if so not by much. And let's remember what we're REALLY saying in any apology: "We apologize for taking the land away from you, but really we wouldn't give up the United States of America. So, we think you guys got a crappy deal historically, but we really think it was worth your suffering to take your land away so we could build this nation." We're basically "apologizing" for the suffering of history without saying that we actually believe it should have been different. Because if it had been all kind and nice, the USA would never have existed, nor all the good it has done in the world. So sorry for your suffering, it was necessary. And we know, it is very hard to transition from a stone age culture to the current age in only a couple of hundred years. It took our own civilization about 10,000, yet our religion and culture is strained to the breaking point by the transition. How much more difficult it is for you whose shamanic culture and mindset is even less in harmony with the current age. So when you hear the apology, remember that we don't mean that we shouldn't have done it. And remember that a little empathy for your transition from the stone age would be much better than an apology.
After reading your numerous posts it comes to my attention that you have this thing about the Stone Age. Not sure i would say the Indians were that far back in Neolithic time frame, but then again i guess it would depend on what continental influences you were comparing it too.
I'm under the impression it refers to tools, and during the Long Walk the Navajo still knew how to make arrow heads out of stone I believe. Anyway, I mean it as a means of saying they were not possessed of much technology, that they were a tribal hunter gatherers or had only minimal farming. They weren't cultures with centralized governments, writing, imperial structures etc. I don't know how to say that briefly except "stone age." Or perhaps primitive communism or tribal.
@Gear M. Sorry, but you're wrong on all counts – technology, central government, means of subsistance, etc. While your characterization may be correct for some tribes, it is far off base for many.
No it's not. Point to the agriculturally based empires or centrally controlled governments with iron tools in North America... you can't. Small tribes yes, like the Hopi.
What you are saying is what the NA tribes have been saying all along. We "White" people don't mean what we say . We lie to get what we want. To all people. To tell you the truth, I am pretty disgusted with white men right now. Our government can't accomplish much lately. Hope they had a nice vacation. Rich white men don't give a damn about the average person worrying about a job or unemployment benefits to just survive. Angry white men do what they usually do, take out their anger on innocent people. Not many White Women mass murderers or Black or Red or Yellow.......
Amen to part of it... but White, Red, Yellow are all human and all are historically guilty of the worst atrocities.
Yes, you're right they are Human. Please also add Black to the list. Remember Idi Amin Dada the Butcher of Uganda? How about the Tutsis and the Hutus and the Genocide in Rwanda? EVERY color has done horrific things because, as you said, they are Humans.
What we whites did to Native Americans in this country is unbelievable, hard to believe, and whitewashed (literally) in our history books..
But from another standpoint that was the way of the world then..North American tribes fought other tribes for land, horses..women. and every country in the world in the 17 and 1800s was engaged in hegemony or the control of others..in fact, we still see that today with Israel's land grabs, the tensions of the two Korea's, the border wars in Africa ETC.. Hopefully, a united world will someday do more to control the rogues...
Jimmy, are you posting in the first person again?
"What we whites did to Native Americans in this country is unbelievable, hard to believe, and whitewashed (literally) in our history books.."
I do not know about you, but I was not a live back then. In fact, my ancestors were NOT even in America around then. So what watch it with the "we whites" comments. If you want to feel white guilt, go ahead! It sucks what happened, but me feeling guilty about something which I nor my ancestors had anything to do with is not going to change anything. The only thing I am going to do is learn from this, treat others as they want to be treated and teach my children to respect everyone, but I will NOT teach them to have white guilt!
I personally love the jabs at Israel in his little incorrect diatribe. Sorry, to the winner of war goes the spoils. If Arabs attack on all front and get their armies demolished, tough patootie ( hope the moderator doesn't take it off for that ).
To quote Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer halloween episode:
"You won. All right? You came in and you killed them and you took their land. That's what conquering nations do. It's what Caesar did, and he's not goin' around saying, "I came, I conquered, I felt really bad about it." The history of the world is not people making friends. You had better weapons, and you massacred them. End of story."
How much apologizing must I be made to do as represented by the country I love? My "ancestors" came from Romania and smaller villages in what is now Lithuania ( hence my handle ) in the early 1900s. But please, let me hear more about how me as a "White man" muist apologize
I guess when the aggressor wins there is no need for an apology? War is h3ll but the bringer of it does bear the brunt of responsibility for the consequences.
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