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Navajo man wants the nation to hear its official apology
Mark Charles plans to read aloud in Washington on Wednesday an apology that the U.S. issued to Native Americans.
December 19th, 2012
05:00 AM ET

Navajo man wants the nation to hear its official apology

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.

In rare apology, House regrets exclusionary laws targeting Chinese

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.

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Filed under: History • How we live • Native Americans
soundoff (735 Responses)
  1. Turtle

    you assume too much authority, Little Man. not that you would stop to think and take this into context, but here's some food for thought: "Definition of COMMUNISM a : a theory advocating elimination of private property
    b : a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed" –Merriam-Webster

    May 4, 2013 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. AniyunweahCherokee

    It demonstrates you GOVT is not ready to say sorry. I'm with you aniyunweah...but you need to get off the res and get some white and black friends...I guarantee they would LOVE to learn about our history. Try it sometime. Gvgeyu wado

    May 1, 2013 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. nflgal6

    I am not Native American yet I am very sorry for what was done to the one and only true Americans the Native Americans. It really was a disgrace how America was acquired by the white man. It was stolen from the Native Americans because the white man felt superior in what they believed to be the only way one should live in which they called a civilized way of living and also wanted the land which did not belong to them so they brought diseases over from their countries that killed the Native American Indians and the ones that did not die from illness were fought and killed off by the White Man. The majority of all the Native Americans that were here before them and lived peacefully among themselves were killed. The so called Pilgrims White Men Lied, Stole and Killed the Native Americans for their Land.

    March 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • AniyunweahCherokee

      Crazy horse assimilated other tribes and made them become part of plains Indians cultures when my ancestors were pushed west from the northeast woodlands. Yes he erased our culture also. Evil is in the hearts of Mankind...not just white men.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
    • AniyunweahCherokee

      Fed govt * yes Natives hate autocorrect also.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
      • Turtle

        I speak for YOUR ancestors? ha, now who's using the broad paintbrush?

        May 4, 2013 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Turtle

      This is quite obviously an honorable apology which you didn't have to make. But many of us appreciate it. Hate affects all people and no one is immune as you can see by some of the ungrateful comments you might receive.

      May 4, 2013 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. kpatrickryan

    Such apologies are meaningless.

    If the US Govt really wanted to express its regret for policies both past and present, it would establish at least 2 goals and see them to fruition:
    1) Finally follow thru on the hundreds of treaties signed by the American Gov with different bands and tribes and live up to the guarantees made.
    2) Successfully deal with today's reservations. Poverty, unemployment, abuse of people and children. This would be a priority of the Feds, rather than worrying about how and why and where it can murder people with its new Drone technology.

    Fact is, the federal govt is degenerate. Mentally unbalanced men and women are given authority and put in positions of power. Obama is unhinged, same as Bush (and his father) were unhinged. Mental Illness doesn't affect 1 party's politicians over another's.

    Americans have had this 2 party game played on them for so long they actually believe positive results will commence if they just elect the republican or the democrat. It means nothing when you're electing a mad man or woman to office.

    March 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RhonKayMon

    I think when this Communist government takes everyones land, then the idiots saying Native American's lost their land because of ignorance or the way they were living, will somehow, reach home! Most people can't even see what is going on with the government we have now! And most people don't realize that China and others already own some of this Country, done in secret deals again with who? That's right, your current government! Wake the hell up people! The current government is selling everyone of us out right now, and have been, they have built underground in Southern Mo. an entire city for themselves when all goes bad. A mansion attop a mountain in Southern Mo. as well, they are preparing to take care of themselves, and leave us all sitting ducks! Just had to vent, when I see so many blinded by the TRUTH!

    February 27, 2013 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Turtle

      I totally agree with you and thank you for the extra knowledge. But I'd also like to point out that your negative connotation of the word 'Communism' is probably a result of the many years of Communist Scare that the government fed us throughout the previous years. Communism is just a type of government that didn't work in Russia but it works in small places. The root word is 'community.' Actually, many Native Americans are considered to have had communist-type communities but I would be careful of trying to fit everything into a box as Western-terminology tries to do.

      February 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • WillW

      "Communist?" Seriously? How do you equate public ownership of the means of production to a genocide that occurred during capitalism's rise to prominence in this country? The wealth of this country was built on capitalist inspired genocide and slavery, so it's odd you would choose to somehow equate communism with it. An argument could be made if you were talking about indigenous peoples of northern Russia/Siberia, but capitalists, not communists, were the big winners in the destruction of the indigenous population of the United States.

      February 27, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. RhonKayMon

    Keep standing up and speaking up! I have Native American Family and I have seen the wrong done to them! Wrong that should be made right by the government! You need to do your demands in large numbers! Get different tribes together to march in DC and demand that you be given compensation for all the government took from you and your people! I believe that this Nation will never be blessed until the government, and that is whoever is in office, makes it right and compensates the Native America Peoples! Don't listen to people telling you that this all happened in the past and nothing will be done, that isn't true! You have to speak up and keep demanding, take a stand and do it in large numbers, the black people do that and they have come along way with getting help and rights for themselves. Native American's are different in that your land was stolen from you. It happened to an uncle of mine and his family. Their grandmother owned an entire town in Oaklahoma. The government took her land. Its a long story but its true and her family suffered greatly. Don't let people tell you that the wrongs done to the Native Americans are just from Wounded Knee or something from the past, it is still happening today! Gather in large numbers and stand in DC together! There are a lot of people like myself who want to see you compensated for everything that has been done to you and every living Native American! Good luck and God bless you!

    February 27, 2013 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. ApplePienallthatisNice

    Perhaps someday when Americans experience some of the things that we have been spreading around the world, we might begin to understand the plight of the Native Americans.

    January 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Turtle

    Really. so many people blind to their white privilege. or justifying by 'might is right'. are you also proud of the deceit dealt out by your own government? Unless you are one of an elite socio-economic status and ruthless and savvy, you will fall victim too.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • laststonecarver

      It is good that you can see beyond yourself, many cannot.
      Blame does not solve ANY problem.
      A good decision making process is your best bet, in making a better life for you, and for those you love.
      May you look into the eyes of those you love, and see them smile.

      January 4, 2013 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
      • Turtle

        Thank you. It's good that we counsel each other too. Thanks for yours.

        January 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. The One Who Knows

    At what point should the apologies end? Time travel is not possible so we cannot go back and prevent the atrocities that have occured to groups of people. Time apparantly does NOT heal all wounds, but when efforts go to make up for what has happened it is never enough. I have never oppressed anyone, taken land, made someone a slave or killed anyone because of their religious belief, and neither have most of the people I know, yet we are continued to be expected to apologize for the sins of our fathers. There comes a time when being a "victim" becomes pathetic and nothing more than for show. What has been has been and cannot be erased. The strong move forward and leave the past behind. When will others be strong?

    January 2, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diego

      Very well put.

      January 2, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • AngryJew

      Try telling that to the Holocaust Industry nuts.

      January 26, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. writrgirl

    As others have said, the Indian nation was composed of rivaling tribes across the land that were often NOT peaceful to one another. The belief that they all lived in some kind of Zen harmony with the land and each other is an illusory construct beloved by 70s movies. Come to that, we ALL lived closer to the land before the Industrial Revolution, but we weren't necessarily peaceful! From what I know (so this is my perspective) modern life on the Res is complex and challenging. People are trying to hold on to their culture, but the subsequent generations are facing the choice of leaving the Res and integrating into the melting pot of America in order to thrive, or staying on the Res and struggling to make that life work in the face of some overwhelming odds. Many Native Americans are weaving their traditions into their modern lives outside the Res, and others are pursuing professions that they can take back to help their people. Some are not making the transition successfully or are using victim mentality as an excuse for alcoholism, drug abuse, and violence. Poverty is a reality, and the help offered by outside agencies is sometimes inappropriate and lacks understanding. The hope for Native Americans is finding a way forward in their own cultures, not blaming the past. Adapting their traditions, not clinging to their original forms. I mean, those original mythologies and rituals are part of where you came from (and ALL cultures have them) but need to be perceived through today's eyes, IMO. Finally, where does the apology stop? As long as there have been humans, there has been oppression and atrocity. It continues today around the world. Be a part of America, help to make it the best it can be, that's what I think. Step up and make a difference or live with the choices you make not to do so. The opportunities are there. Not saying it's easy, but that's true for all of us not born to wealth.

    January 2, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. xyz

    i want a native to run!

    December 31, 2012 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  12. Herb

    This is a nation that was wrought as a result of genocide and slavery. We have a bloody history and we as a nation continue to shed more blood to this day. I love my country, but I am not afraid to call the facts as they are. Lord have mercy on us and forgive us of our sins!

    December 30, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • AngryJew

      Yes, I agree with you 100%.

      January 26, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. lokii

    Yep, the PC crowd with another one of their shining groveling moments. Of course ask any native american how the land used to be theirs and the truth will come out. They kicked out another tribe that was living there. So to any native american crying about it, our warriors beat yours.

    December 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ganotsi A Da

      It's amazing how ignorant some Americans are... Hitler's genocide only killed 6 million Jews and we spend $8 million dollars a day making their life better. The US's genocide killed tens of millions of slaves and 90 – 125 million indigenous people of this land making it the worst violator of human right on the planet. EVER!
      But it's OK because Chief Joseph once said, we can wait, the white man will kill themselves with greed and the land will be ours again.... Looks like your greed has you on a fiscal cliff, the Mayan's we're right just mis-interpreted, the end has started for the greedy takers.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
      • Modest Observer

        While it is difficult to determine exactly how many Natives lived in North America before Columbus,[5] estimates range from a low of 2.1 million (Ubelaker 1976) to 7 million people (Russell Thornton) to a high of 18 million (Dobyns 1983). no where near the 90-125 million you speak of. Also we have aid programs to native americans through healthcare and services equaling millions of dollars a year JUST FOR THEM. While I admit they are poorly funded and funds are miss allocated frequently. Please know what the heck you are talking about before you compare anything to the Nazi Holocaust.

        December 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • they are serious?

        The absolute highest estimate ive seen- for both north and south america is 40 million when columbus landed....in North America the population were relatively low. The whites in the US most certainly did not kill 100 million or even 10 million..... Most Native American populations were devastated to be sure – disease being the prime mover...it would have happened anyway even if the whites had been civil – as BOTH cultures were ignorant of diseases at the time .whites broke just aboiut every treaty and have taken the land ect ...that is not in dispute, But use the hard facts...you dont need to stretch at all.

        December 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • mspatriotbx

        ganatsti a da or whatever. Your estimates are absourd. Yes the white man came to this land and did in fact rape it. That said, why are you bringing this up?All kind of wrongs have been done in the past. Don't blame the white man. Thanks to the white guy and the sacrifice of the brave women and men of this great Country, you have the freedom to complain about all your pettines. Grow up and TRY to make a positive difference!

        December 30, 2012 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
    • ...

      It has nothing to do with whos' "warriors" were better. If that was the case I guess the tribes that came across the first Europeans should have left them to starve and continue to eat their leather boots during the winter after their arrival. And for those bloggers who base their opinions on "factual evidence" and citations you are forgetting one thing, thier culture. Yeah the genocide that the others speak of really sought to destroy which would explain much more about what and who the indeginous people of this continent were. However, culture isn't learned from a book its a way of life. Think about that the next time anyone on this blog or anyother blog about "Native Americans" feel like rambling on about what you know about these people and what they have been through.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • peridot2

      Sure, Lokii, because two wrongs always make a right. [/sarcasm]

      December 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • ChrisMay

      Americans ignorance of their own history is eclipsed by their arrogance when they finally do realize the truth. A nation built on the philosophy that the ends justifying the means can't be held to a standard of sophistication where they can be critical of their own behavior, and these posts bear that out. So while they face financial ruin and rise on the scale of world's laughing stock, we can only hope that their children will, if they complete school, emerge smarter than their parents. That is, if they survive school without being slaughtered under the protection of their 2nd amendment.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hayuya Borikenlibre

      As your hero Bill O'Reilly likes to say, "You're just pointing to other bad behaviour to justify your own bad behaviour."

      December 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • RhonKayMon

      Doesn't matter what the Native American's did on their Land, it does not give anyone else the right to take it!

      February 27, 2013 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. snake

    lets just the indians still had there land today. And we as americans were here too. Because we all just got along. What kind of america do you suppose it would be. A bunch of grass smoking, hunting and fishing and lazy nation. Oh thats what 47 percent of this country is. Ask mitt romeny.

    December 27, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  15. Katherine Andrews

    As a country we should never forget the autrocities that occured in 19th century American Expansionism. Adolf Hitler drew many of his ideas as to how to persecute the Jewish people from us. His idea for Jewish death camps is based upon the trail of tears and native american reservations where many native american people faced starvation and death.

    December 26, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • ChrisMay

      Those days are long gone and Americans today are not at all concerned with such things. The generation that gave themselves did so for those in peril in other lands and if they could see what has become of their beloved country, they would be very sorry and embarrassed indeed. America now is a "whatever" society, unconcerned about everything except their own greed. A pity.

      December 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  16. NC_Right

    When can we get a Dutch Russian German American in America article....HA...probably not...figures...I'm sooo persecuted.

    December 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • NC_Right

      So you get my sarcasm. Amen to everything in your post. OMG....u so hurt my feelings
      ..HA

      December 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Worried about the education of most posters

    (Don't mind the grammer, I don't mind your grammer – just the subject matter) – I believe this was all just for awareness. And lets not forget "Those who forget, or ignore, the past are doomed to repeat it." The "Western expansion" has never stopped, why do you think we have "boots on the ground" in nations where we don't belong? Have any of you watched the video? It is pretty informational :) I suggest watching it before you make any "assumptions" because we know what "assuming" does to you and me :) :P Bazinga!

    December 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Roxanne

    I think that these hate messages I am reading are either pure ignorance, or completely missing the point. And some other posts as well....I too am African American , and yes my people were done horribly, .....but that is not what this article is about. African Americans have received much recognition for the hardships that we have overcome,,,,but we HAVE overcome and still are to this day..Lets not take away the recognition of the TOPIC here , which are the Indian tribes.

    The Indian nation was a PEACEFUL nation that showed much respect to the earth and many of their practices are admirable...Because the Europeans were greedy and evil they took advantage of the Indian's PEACEFUL nation and over a period of time WIPED OUT many tribes....and pushed them to reservations. Whole ways of life were lost, family's and generations were destroyed and they never recovered. To this day, we are STILL as he said "Living in their house" and DESTROYING IT at that...........Give recognition where recognition is due and drop the hate....that is the #1 Problem of our country today....hate.....There is much we could learn fromt their nation and it saddens me that much of the peace and love they held is lost in today's society

    December 26, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • white-guy-from-the-ghetto

      I agree with most of what you say Roxanne. Hate is a driving force in this country, but not all Native American tribes were peaceful. Did they deserve what happened to them, not at all. The fighting amongst ourselves will do nothing but drive this country apart. We need to unite as a nation and take our country back from the rich and powerful. Power to the people, not just the rich ones.

      December 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  19. laststonecarver

    Genocide is abhorrent – Slavery is abhorrent
    Albinos, the closest to white skin tone, are from every race, and most likely did not cause the Native American genocide, or Slavery.
    Evil thinking humans commit genocide and promulgate slavery.
    Charles my thanks to you is that I will always respect the land.

    December 26, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  20. not the chosen race

    White people saying sorry to other races for slavery, murder,rape,theft, and every horrible action done in this country I doubt it. Remeber your in america be grateful for freedom and forget your ancestors, family history your races history and speak english only! Haha welcome to the usa our past doesnt matter!

    December 26, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  21. Well

    I don't care what race someone is or where they came from. We are all in this together. We have to find a way to get through life and improve the prospects for future generations. We should just wipe the slate clean, level the field and start all over – what difference would an appology really make? Can dwelling on the failures of the past produce a brighter future?

    December 26, 2012 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  22. Marc L from NY

    Would he rather the words " we are sorry" or the millions of dollars that Native Americans receive? It's time to stop crying. Yes they were wronged several times over, but they have also been given opportunity as well. How the reservation chiefs spend the money is their problem.

    December 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yahola

      Typical white guy response...

      December 25, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
      • Mike

        I'm sorry that the government screwed over folks. I'm even more sorry that can't just give an apology in plain English. It's just a bad historical fact, so if it means anything, I'm certainly sorry.

        December 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • I apologize to natives

      I'm white, and I freely apologize to natives. However, the conditions on reservations are entirely up to them. As they are self governed. I am sure if they wanted the city life they could have it, but if they want to preserve their ways they can have that too. Unfortunately the old ways also means no running water/electricity etc.

      December 25, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • peridot2

      Yet, foolishly, Native Americans refuse to accept the multi-millions of dollars we have tried to force upon them as reparations for the land and other resources we've raped from them. Mark would take the money and run and cannot comprehend that these people would want to have their land and property rights restored.

      Mark doesn't get it. Mark will never get it. Some people will never understand the love we have for our land. It goes back tens of thousands of years. It's in our blood and our bones. Money is meaningless compared to how we feel about the land. Once it belonged to all of us, from sea to shining sea, but the white man came and stole it from us.

      The lawsuits go on in Federal Court. They've been going on for decades. One day we may win. Wait for it.

      December 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  23. casino

    Thank you, I've just been looking for info approximately this subject for ages and yours is the best I've found out till now. However, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you certain in regards to the source?|What i don't realize is if truth be told how you are no longer actually much more neatly-preferred than you might be right now. You are very intelligent.

    December 24, 2012 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Yahola

      Maybe evey rich white person in Beverly Hills should share their wealth with all the white people...Not every tribe is wealthy off of casinos bonehead!! Maybe 1/2 of 1/2 percent. Maybe...

      December 25, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  24. Hmm..

    First step in healing is forgiveness. Blaming every single white person for something they did not do is wrong.

    December 24, 2012 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Yahola

      How easy it is for you to sum it all up. Of course you are probably white. Racism to Indian's continues today. Stopp pretending like your ancestors finished it all up a long time ago. Hmmm

      December 25, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
      • Fallicious

        What do the indigenous people of south east Asia have to do with anything...if you going to call someone racist it helps to not use a racist slur yourself..actually you used two by assuming someone is white based off of something posted...are you THAT ignorant..

        December 25, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Diamond in the rough

        Yahola,
        I am a white woman and I have always hated what the white people did to the Native Americans. Especially what Andrew Jackson did. I am sorry for what the white men did in taking your living areas, resources and dignity. I still see what arrogant, greedy, white men do to all people today, including white women. I also know some very decent white people but you know people like me don't really know what to do to help? I can honestly say they Native people need to use all social media to get their opinions out. We just don't hear enough from them. Also, don't start out from hate and fear. The Children can't carry the guilt of the Fathers but they can do better than the Fathers. to tell you the truth, the current generation doesn't even know enough about what happened in the past. So how can they make things better now. Get the information out there without making it seem like you are blaming people now.

        December 26, 2012 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
      • AC

        Fallicious, you are a special little man aren't you? The term Indian is NOT a racial slur. In addition, having very close friends who spent their entire childhoods on the Res, most of them do NOT take offense to being called Indian, and will even refer to themselves as such from time to time.

        December 26, 2012 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
      • iloveamerica2

        Why do you make assumptions that every white person's family had something to do with the brutality inflicted on Natives? Some people's families did not arrive until well after the 1800's. My spouse is Am. Indian & my mother-in-law told me that people should never be ashamed of who they are (including white people). She often thought, after years on the rez, the only way to move forward is to forgive. The past is the past. I've heard this come from some of the youth too. They say we ask the govt to help us but what about us helping us? Waiting on an apology only holds people hostage. Mr. Charles would help more people if he came up with solutions. Talk is cheap!

        December 30, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  25. Lila

    Indigenous people around the world have been treated so cruelly by the Europeans who spread all over the planet...there are no words to describe the disgrace to humanity. Native people in the US deserve much of their land back....livable land at that..!. Would it be so impossible for the govt to honor even One Single Promise? Continuing to ignore what is still being done is soooo wrong. I am happy that Charles speaks out to make his point. It's all so embarrassing that even the half baked apology is hidden.
    I hope to see the wrongs righted in my lifetime.

    December 22, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fallicious

      Why do they deserve the land? Because they were here first isn't much of a reason...they got an apology..maybe they should have been a better civilization instead of doing w/e they did before Europeans showed up.....

      December 23, 2012 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
      • Samantha a American Indian of the Sioux Nation

        You are a complete idiot!!! Look at what the "white man" has done to the earth, white people could have and should have studied the ways of my people and our planet would not be bleeding today...

        December 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Fallicious

        Look at what they have done FOR the earth...innovations extra..what have native Americans done FOR the earth? Your people never even invented a wheel. Your ways got you put in reservations in the first place. Those that adapt in this world do the best, your people did not adapt and look at what happens. You posted your statement on an evil white man invention! If your ways are best we'd be communicating with smoke signals and dragging out stuff around on horseback Bc the concept of a wheel was too much for our primitive brains..

        December 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • C-los

        Just because things are innovative doesn't mean it is for the greater good...just give it time and and we all will see that.

        December 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Fallicious

        P.S. Samantha...the Sioux can hardly be considered a nation...more like a failed state

        December 25, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • gimmle

      I am not saying what has been done to the Native Americans is OK but...
      Back in the French English war, most native American tribes supported the French, when that was over (and the English won that war as you all know) there was no love between the English and the Native tribes.
      and then America wanted freedom and another war broke out between the settlers and England.
      This time the Natives took England's side, as they remembered the won the last war and were more powerful.
      but the Settlers won this time which made things even worse for the Native Americans.
      just saying it is not all the "white mans" falt.
      but you can say that every African American can go to Africa and ask for his land back, it's the same thing.

      December 24, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
      • dreagene

        Good point , only problem is that not all tribes are the same...we have our own groups, with our own languages, customs, etc... Most of those wars involved the Notheastern tribes that are close to extinct now...

        December 24, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Eusebia Luna Aquino

    President Lincoln took our Red and Brown citizenship and give to whites and Africans in 1876.America today is just White and Black only they will never give us our ancestors citizenship back.Obama has deported 2.9 Million Latinos plus. They will never deport the white male privileged mass murderers like Adam Lanza and others. America has become a Nation of "HATERS AND KILLERS"2012

    December 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Thomas Diemer

    As far as listing specific tribes and incidents – they are too numerous to mention them all. It would not be fair to list some and not others.

    I do not think that Blacks were ever promised 40 acres and a mule. Wasn't that a rumor made up by carpetbagers?

    December 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  28. WorldsSmallestViolin

    America has done a lot of things wrong!!! They completely uprooted Africans to come and work on their plantations. While Africans were working they were often beaten, rapped, sold off, mistreated, sickly, etc. And I have not seen our apology yet!!! Nobody apologizes to me for stealing my native language, seperating my family, lynching my relatives, or being the source of why I will never know where I came from. I understand how Mark feels and I will never take that away. However, lets not forget other lost what you have and more!! The US Government will never acknowledge the wrong they have done to the other cultures here and Blacks/African Americans are at the bottom of the list of anything. Were still waiting on the 40 acres and a mule promised decades ago.

    December 22, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      I am truly sorry for what we have done to you and yours and may God Bless you and all members of your family. Merry Christmas

      December 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Firial

      I can understand, being of Palestinian descent we are still living under Israeli occupation, Where we have no human rights, we can't travel, we can't work, and we are locked down in our cities by the Israelis. Our plight is still not reconginzed by many people today. We have a wall that has been built around our towns, our lives and made everything difficult then it already was. It is a sad plight the Palestinian people live in misery and iron fist policies that Israel hammers onto the Palestinian people everyday .

      December 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • SAWOLF

        Perhaps the arabs shouldn't have invaded in the 7th century and repressed and murdered the indigenous Jewish population. Then again launching missiles into their homes is really stupid. But teaching your 3 year olds to blow themselves up o murder Jews, well you got what you deserve.

        December 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • lsmail

        My goal in life is to meet an Arab from you part of the world that isnt racist and nationalistic. That would marry their son or daughter to another race. Only then will I begin to care for a group of people that is getting what they deserve for ignoring a simple rule in Islam.

        December 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Alex

        I have talked to some people in Palestine (over the internet), none of them really described it to me in that much detail though. I was reading an article yesterday in National Geographic which described this in some depth, it talked about economic sanctions and the effects of this. I can't recall everything at the moment though.

        December 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Diamond in the rough

        Stop buying guns and rockets and use the money to create a better state for yourself. The world will never let things change unless you change within. Stop letting fanatics rule you. You are killing off your young and future hope and perpetuating hatred instead of progress. Use your resources to build hospitals, schools, roads, businesses and schools instead of buying weapons. To prosper is the best revenge!

        December 26, 2012 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Turtle

      I agree.. I change my mind, I'd rather first hear an apology to Africans before Natives. You may have a small voice but someone heard you today.

      December 23, 2012 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
    • EKM

      ummm....Africans sold their own people to be slaves you know that right?

      December 23, 2012 at 2:47 am | Report abuse |
      • Ismail

        I am sure you read that in a History book written to whitewash history. Even, if you were correct, does that make it okay to treat humans like cattle? slavery in Africa was never taken to the extend where familes, language, culture and human life was...well, you know the story.

        December 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • white-guy-from-the-ghetto

        If we are going to talk about slavery and all of that, people forget that the Chinese and Irish were also used as slaves to build the railroads. It's not white people in general that are the problem. It's rich white people that are the problem. They have the money and they buy the power. If we all unite we can take them down together. Strength in numbers.

        December 26, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kylie

      Then you should fight for an apology, my question to you is if it's given, would you let it go in your heart? If not don't waste your time and remember its the end of a matter that counts and trust me they are paying for what the did

      December 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diamond in the rough

      WorldsSmallestViolin,

      Yes horrible things were done to the Africans and I don't condone it one iota. Let's not forget though, that it was Africans who captured other Africans and sold them for slaves. African tribes fought other African tribes for hundreds of years and made slaves of the Africans they captures. Slavery is not solely a White sin. The Egyptians had slaves, The Greeks had slaves, the Romans had slaves, The Nazi Germans had slaves and yes even Native Americans fought other Native Americans tribes and made slaves of the people they captured. .

      December 26, 2012 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
      • Diamond in the rough

        I must be tired because I am not typing very well.

        December 26, 2012 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  29. weeknow

    America is still doing the same""OLD"" thing

    December 22, 2012 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  30. Karen

    My Native American heritage is very important to me in which our culture along with my other ancestry that this apology needs to be read so that America understands the suffering, racism within this nation. In which we need to move on that we all God's children. One thing I do have to say that I was brought up to love all cultures and respect their beliefs, forgive, but not forget.

    December 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Karen

    I applaud you for your efforts that this needs to be address., my ancestors in which my Great Grandmother is Native American along with my other family members African – Scottish Americans that this was long over due. I wish I can learned my Native/African/Scottish language that was forbidden during the early 1800's.that I think needs to be address also that we have the right to know our Native Language which is part of my family's history.

    December 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Sister in Spirit

    All I can say is you americans, and not my Native American Indian Family, will reep what you sow. It's showing. Much Love to you Charles and all my Native American Indian Family!!! We Shall Live Again.

    December 21, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • dreagene

      Don't be mean, Mr.Charles mom & wife are white Americans...so u know..,

      December 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • white-guy-from-the-ghetto

      I am glad that you support your heritage, but wishing ill on others is not going to solve the problems we have in this country. Just so you know...

      December 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Turtle

    well said...many will read and not understand. they will just see native mumbo jumbo. But how ridiculous to think that you are above what you are a part of and cannot live without

    December 21, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  34. Words mean

    exactly nothing...... never have..... those in power will do their absolute worst to those that they view as vulnerable...that is the only truth. The Railroads still own more land than the Native Americans. Look at a map (that has the sections and townships) of the western states sometime- they were GIVEN this land. Today that mindset is alive and well... If i were a Native American id watch the Dakotas like a hawk....Heaven help the Sioux if black sands are found on their reservations....the Rich and Shameless will stop at nothing to lie,cheat and steal that land.

    Humanity blows bigtime.

    December 20, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  35. lbdukeep

    Well, I read that part of Charles anology – and have to say: "Thank you. Thank you for letting us be in your house."

    I cannot apologize for what my ancestors are guilty of...mistreating the native people. But I can say thank you for all your sacrifices, thank you for trying to survive, and thank you for letting me stay here. I am on a spiritual journey, learning how to be a proper citizen on Mother Earth. Show us your way. I grew up in New Mexico, I remember the young Indian students...fearful of a school of white kids, and yet angry that we didn't understand them. Its time we all found a way to make their lives better. Their way!

    December 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • mrzombiehabanero

      This really is some of the dumpest comments I have read in a while. Another Al Sharpten! "Show us your way" are you kidding me?

      December 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • mrzombiehabanero

      "Show us your way" really, are you kidding me.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Turtle

      It's nice to be aware of others and others' perspectives. Mitakuye Oyasin – We're all related.

      December 21, 2012 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
    • EKM

      didn't the Africans sell their own people to be slaves though?

      December 23, 2012 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
  36. Americans with no eyes or ears

    Correct, I personally don't have blood on my hands. But I still have deep feelings for the native American Indians plight. I have a hard time understanding the people who don't care to have an open mind & heart. True I was born into this world long after the atrocities that have taken place but they are still being propagated...

    December 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Stupid Americans...

    Do you people even hear yourselves? So many implanted Americans going thru life without eyes. Take your blinders off and open up your heart & mind to people. I too am implanted but feel the stain of blood on me for what others have done to the Native Americans. people say "get over the atrocities already" let me ask the blinded Americans if your family member of the whole family gets killed would you get over it or better yet forget about the pain you & your family has felt / feel! and if you just dismiss the native americans by saying they got there pay bay with poker chips is another stupid american statement. I bet this is the person who said during the last election "put the white back int he white house"

    December 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheRationale

      You can't inherit guilt, you have no blood on your hands. Should more be done for Native Americans? Of course – but that doesn't make you guilty for the situation you were born into.

      December 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Vince

        Well is he blaming a specific person? One person can't inherit guilt, but as a nation, you sure can apologize for past astrocities.

        December 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • white-guy-from-the-ghetto

        I agree with Vince. As a nation EVERY person, weather you are black, white, Latino, Asian, Egyptian, Native American, Jewish, Russian etc. If you call America your home, you have an obligation to understand the history of this country and as a whole this country has a lot of apologizing to do. I don't think that pointing fingers will solve anything. Obama should make a statement apologizing on behalf of America for all past and present wrong doings. The people of this country need to unite. We can only take back our country from the rich greedy people when we figure that out. I just hope we are not too late by the time that happens.

        December 26, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  38. american

    Is it a coincidence that all the mass shootings concerning assault weapons in the usa including the conn., shooting are "white" people.

    December 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • american

      AGREE!

      December 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kylie

      True and that's how they are paying for it

      December 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diamond in the rough

      You mean "White Men" I wondered that myself being a White Woman. I truly believe it is part genetics (survival of the strongest, part hormones (testosterone) and conditioning (Violence in TV, Games, News Media, Movies and/or Abuse or Neglect in the family). Throw in Extreme Anxiety and "SNAP".

      December 26, 2012 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
  39. Tem Kuechle

    Owning land is a human construct. It is something that only us humans make a big deal of. When we humans are all gone, the land will still be there as it was before, without an owner and free to be itself again. ;-)
    I actually pay property taxes and a bank for the loan to use the land I live on, but that is how complex we humans have made it to live in a society. In the long run, none of this will matter.

    December 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Turtle

      It's relieving to find others with this perspective. People take their cultural beliefs for granted and don't think about where they came from because we try to eliminate any opposing perspective. This dominant culture is actually a minority in the way it thinks it owns everything and is master of everything..

      December 21, 2012 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  40. jnelson00

    Why is it that while one group of people can say "we will never forget," while other group should just "get over it?"
    This discussion is about respect and acknowledgement of history. As an American Indian, I find it disconcerting that my history was hidden from me growing up. The familiar action continues with this light-hearted "apology" buried in the 2010 Defense Act.
    This is only the beginning of one of many discussions that need to happy. To explain fully any perspective, there's needs to be a larger platform that spans several days that happens every year for the next 1,000 years.
    It's complicated, so dialogue is vital. I just hope you're willing to listen. Then we can discuss how we can move forward.

    December 20, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Turtle

      Truly

      December 21, 2012 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  41. M. Eaglecloud

    As an independent strong college educated self employed Yakama / Umatilla Cayuse Native American woman I say we are owed more than an apology. My grandfather fought in WW2,my father fought in Vietnam, my brother in the Persian Gulf and yet still treated like third class citizens. I could list many examples but I won't waste my time,our people aren't looking for 40 acres and a mule,because

    December 20, 2012 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Diamond in the rough

      Thank you for your family's service. The truth is actually that we have to blend all our cultures together in the USA and also keep a part of each culture alive. There is really no other way. There is no going back in history and the future generations won't even learn what was done to the Native Americans. Use all the media available to educate people about your culture and your pain but blaming and being angry will not work because people will just go deaf. There is only just so many problems that people can deal with. Right now most Americans just want to keep their house and feed their family. We can't take on everyone's problems when we are worried about having a paycheck.

      December 26, 2012 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  42. Sari

    The atrocities against the Native Americans have occurred in much more recent memory than most of you would like to believe. Just one atrocity that was still occurring in my lifetime were the boarding schools. And that's just ONE. Educate yourselves before you speak.

    December 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Cobell v Salazar is all I have to say... found a great essay on the case, as well I'm pretty sure this apology was in reference to the final approval of the settlement in which the US governments negligence & mistrusts were proven in the highest of courts. Being half native american(mother is full-blooded) & born/lived on a reservation in Montana, I can tell you that living there is about the same as living in a 3rd world country. Given that most memorable Native Americans were Disney characters, I highly doubt any person could understand why the US government would apologize. But when you mismanage property & income for 100+ years, the least you could do is say sorry publicly.

      December 20, 2012 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  43. Joe

    What a joke, his analogy is way off in that the Indians didn't have furniture. The house was barren when we arrived and in fact most of the inhabitants had died to the plague years before the white man arrived. To be more accurate, it was like we built the house, furnished it, and then put them upstairs in the bedroom, you're welcome for the electricity and indoor plumbing!

    And to go even further, if these horrors had not been 'imposed' on the American continent in the 1500s it would have happened eventually. Even given a few hundred years more of isolation I don't think the Americas would have ever invented metalworking and still would have been wearing skins and living outdoors.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big Shiz

      There is no excuse for the worst genocide in human history.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • robkoz

        And how would you know it was the worst? Were you there? Wow! I didn't know you could time travel! You must be freakin Dr. Who!

        December 19, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Turtle

      Europeans spent centuries building up immunities to the horrible diseases carried by farm animals, the plague happened in Europe, not in America. Small pox were new to us. Modern Americans are weak compared to the super-viruses and diseases developing now though.
      Also, without the help of Native Americans, Europeans would have starved to death, lost to the British, and would not have the resources for their environmentally destructive inventions. And the first Europeans were surprised at how big and healthy everyone here was. I'd easily give up plumbing and electricity for good food and a healthy lifestyle in a world not overpopulated with arrogant fools who don't recognize reality

      December 21, 2012 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  44. steve

    Wow...I agree what happened to the native Americans was terrible but get over it already, I think you got your apology in the form of casino chips.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  45. civilwarvet

    Let us not for get the Sand Creek Massacre.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  46. robkoz

    Yet there are more liiberals on some form of public assistance because they were too lazy in their lifetime to take advantage of a socialized funded education. Something the liberals created.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  47. robkoz

    Maybe we should apologize for wiping out the dinosaurs too while we're at it. In 50 years the US will cease to exist because we are breeding a nation of whiners. This country will fall because there are more people looking backwards instead of looking forward to the future.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Jasper Willciker

    There's no need to apologize. The people that would even be deserving of an apology are long gone. Modern day Native Americans have every opportunity that the rest of us have, if not more, to make a respectable life for themselves. It's difficult to cry about your heritage being destroyed when you have an iphone and are getting government checks on the first. I do not feel sorry for you. I have nothing to aplogize for. If it were up to me I would give you less. Now get with the program and assimilate like the rest of us.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big Shiz

      That's not true at all,most natives live well below the poverty line,some reservations don't even have running water. And most don't have access too a average education.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  49. russ

    Will they apologize for the thousands of innocent women and children that they slaughtered? Screw them!!

    December 19, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Chris Sommers

    I'm a bit taken aback by all the racist hate mongering I've been reading in the comments section. I guess that's the heart and soul of America, eh...Have any of the hate mongers ever been to a Native Reservation out west? Try Pine Ridge, anywhere in NM/Ariz or most of eastern and northern California. I've seen these places and they're not very pretty. Most of you wouldn't live there and if you were forced to, would be picking up weapons and doing the King George III thing all over again. Open your eyes and minds. You wonder why so much of the world is contemptuous and mistrustful of your nation and its people – too many of the comments on this article are visual proof of the wisdom of that contempt and mistrust.

    December 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angrywhiteman

      Mr Chris, those who stay on the reservation do so by choice. There are many bright and successful Indians who have left the reservation. Segregating them to reservations, then subsidizing them just enough to keep them drunk and filled with a lack of ambition is what I pity.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • oscar Moreno

        Thank you. Thank you. And thank you once again.

        It is a true honor to walk on the lands of the Native People of North America. No words can describe the shame that I feel for the atrocities committed to the Native Americans. I personally have not committed any crimes against your people but I have without a doubt benefited from my ancestors inheritance – from the land and from all the riches this land provided them. All those riches – from coal to Oil, to Farm land, to Iron ore, steel, Majestic wood forests, rivers of unending water . . . .

        I have benefited from all these resources that were on the lands of the Natives people of North America. Benefits that were stolen from them.

        I APOLOGIZE.

        December 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricia

      I agree with Chris Sommers. If you drive by the reservations you will find out that they are located in the most desolated inhabitable and inhospitable locations (i.e. South of Temecula, CA). That is land that cannot be cultivate and lacks running water. I'm glad that Mark Charles is taking up the cause of his people. I can see the injustice. Everybody deserves a fair chance. I'm glad that in CA we voted to allow gaming in tribes as a way to bring in revenue and jobs. Hopefully that will lead to more integration and education, and we have seen wonderful results from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. I found out not too long ago that some reservations have to suffer through water rationing while the LA area has an abundant supply. I conserve water as much as I can. We all should try to make this a better society for all.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Diamond in the rough

        So what's stopping the Native Americans from buying up good land? Take some of the Casino money and buy up good land. Buy houses in good neighborhoods. Why stay on barren, infertile land? Most of the reservation land they are on now weren't their land to begin with. They were moved there from somewhere else.

        December 26, 2012 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
    • CW

      As my kids grow up I realize that giving them money for all their needs only makes them more dependant. As I teach them to live within their means, set goals, work hard and be proud for whom they are. I teach them not to be victims as if something happened in their past the can dwell on this or learn from it and be a better person. No one is forcing anyone to live on anywhere. Forever victims or proud to be free to choose your path.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  51. The white race

    lmao Good Luck with that, try to make the white folks apologize for something hahaha, The white race is by nature barbarian bloody murderers, it's not an opinion just read European history for the last 5 thousand years, nothing but a blood bath.

    December 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  52. abba keddus

    Obama even refuses to pardon a long dead national hero of Jamaica of crimes he was falsely accused of, imprisoned for and deported because of when he was targeted by the white supremacisst government of the United Snakes during times of segration preceeding Civil Rights. If Obama can't rectify the wrongs of this goverrnment in a case such as this don't expect an apology to the people who rightfully belong here; after all, the United Snakes is nowhere near done vicitimizing Native Americans!

    December 19, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Why?

    Why should the US apologize? I didnt do anything wrong. My parents didnt do anything wrong. My grandparents didnt do anything wrong. My great grandparents didnt do anything wrong. How many generations back should we apologize for? I feel no need to apologize for something that happened several hundred years ago. You dont win allies or friends by asking someone to apologize for something they didnt do.

    December 19, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ivan

      Exactly. But we are paying for sins of our ancestors... unfortunately.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angrywhiteman

      I was not around when the Indians were forced into submission by a more superior moral and intellectual society. Their failure to adapt to a more progressive society over the last 125 years is on their shoulders. As one of the previous responders stated, you will not win any allies by asking them to apologize for something they didn't do or have any control over. Get over it, move on!

      December 19, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chang

      Scientific data shows that Native Americans were actually Asians ( Came here during Ice Age when Northern Pacific Ocean was frozen ).
      Whether or not you Apologize now, Some day Asians will certainly take over this country and kick out the Illegal White Immigrants.
      This is already happening in the US. China already owns this country economically. All they have to do now is send more Chinese people here like they did in Tibet 60 years ago.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lauria

      What he is asking is for the government to acknowledge what they have done for generations. The apology is a public acknowledgment of thier wrong doings. I support him in his endeavors. I am 46 years old and just recently found out I have native american blood running through my veins. I am very proud of that fact. Native American people have always had a strong sense of family. Thier way of life and families were mistreated and still are. Wouldn't you want to protect your family and way of life if you were in thier shoes?

      December 19, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Aaxh

      No one is asking YOU to say a word. It is the GOVERNMENT we are talking about. The Federal Government needs to issue a statement saying it was wrong, and the government should make amends and reparations.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lee

        The Federal Government of "Today" had nothing to do with the wrongs that the Government of the past did. That was a different Government with a different President,Congress,Senate, Military ect. ect. Stop Dredging up wrong doings of our past and get a life. You can't repair your future if you still live in the past. Move on, stop crying poor me and Man up.

        December 19, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  54. bob aussie

    Ya'at eeh, Mark Charles!
    I can appreciate your desire for a more in-depth apology from the US. You know, some of my ancestors were murdered by Native Americans in the New York area in the 1700's, when they tried to be friends with the indigenous people. Their crime? Trying to do the right thing. I and my relatives have never asked for, nor would we expect, an apology from any of the progeny of the Iroquois confederacy. The evolution of mankind includes as many offenses as there are, and have been, people. I hope you find peace on your journey, Mark Charles..... Ne-tsa-cas....

    December 19, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Aaxh

      What a fool you are, Sir. "Trying to make friends?" You, Sir are an ass! Trying and succeeding in invading and stealing an entire continent is far more correct.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  55. chris wise

    There are a lot of negative comments regarding Native peoples here that should not be, and there are a lot of negative thoughts sent out to people who deserve much, much better. Can't anyone just admit that the Native people in this country are a treasure and a gift to the American people as a whole? Is this so difficult? The true heartbeat of America comes from our Natives, their blood is America in its purist form, and they are true blue to this land, always have been. When this age ends, they will be here. The Native people are the 1st Americans, period.

    December 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Aaxh

      Thank you for your wise and loving words. Rare in this country these days.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Turtle

    I disagree with the weak grandmother analogy. What remains of our heritage has been tempered in the fire. Our grandmothers are powerful ;)

    December 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • tnourie

      Well said. We are all victims, at one time or another, of some other groups injustices. We need to learn from it and move on.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lauria

      Very well put!!

      December 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chang

      Scientific data shows that Native Americans were actually Asians ( Came here during Ice Age when Northern Pacific Ocean was frozen ).
      Whether or not you Apologize now, Some day Asians will certainly take over this country and kick out the Illegal White Immigrants.
      This is already happening in the US. China already owns this country economically. All they have to do now is send more Chinese people here like they did in Tibet 60 years ago. (2nd)

      December 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Bill

    Thank you CNN for posting this story and letting this man explain in today's terms what European colonialists, our ancestors, did to his people. Thank you also for allowing the comments above that remind me I'm living in a country with far too many racists and people who otherwise can't understand that despite the fact that WE didn't personally steal Native Americans' land, it was and is still stolen and we are living on it. Frankly, I think what this man is asking for pales in comparison to what we white people would be asking for if it had been our land.

    December 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  58. ajac09

    hell the US government hasnt apologized or done anything for slaves

    December 19, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why?

      Why should the government apologize? It didnt own any slaves.

      Unless you were a slave, no one owes you an apology.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diamond in the rough

      Seriously, would you rather live in Africa right now? You have reaped the benefits that your ancestors suffered and worked for. Every generation wants the next generation to do better. Every generation endures pain so that the next doesn't. You have so much opportunity in the USA that most people would die for in third world countries.

      December 26, 2012 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
  59. Lonewolf

    Charles is right and the Original People of this Nation are long overdue an apology for all of the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on native peoples by citizens of the United States .... Remember the land you now occupy was once the land to the Native People of this land. The US tried it's best to wipe them off the face of America. Still today, we still see local and federal government agencies abusing the Native Americans. Don't forget, the majority of you who have zero compassion are children of immigrants to this land.

    December 19, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Paul

    Just wondering if England apologized, as well as France, and Spain. Remember, they settled much of the land that we later purchased or fought for.

    December 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  61. One man among others

    Too much information.

    December 19, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  62. kasey

    so many people in this country sadden me...This man just want an apology...some of you act like that is almost impossible to do...who cares if it was a day, 20 years, or 400 years...this is what is wrong with this country now...the people in it lack VALUES and MORALS...

    December 19, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • southernsugar

      This had to do with civility, not morals or values.

      December 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Great empathy you are displaying there for the suffering of others.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Realist

    Actually, Americans are responsible for many of the transgressions against Native Americans. One significant example was a man named Andrew Jackson. Before he was president he was a military commander and personally led multiple campaigns to murder peaceful tribes. He is one of many examples that could be used to place blame on Americans. We are very fortunate in these modern times. In other nations we see terrorism, riots, and other forms of violence in response to similar political/military campaigns of the past. Racial tension can bring about the end of nations no matter how prosperous. Ignorance is no defense.

    December 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diamond in the rough

      Andrew Jackson was absolutely a bad man. An individual man. Don't blame us all for a bad leader. Most Americans at that time didn't have a good education. Many couldn't even read. Many were farmers that left their own country to get away from oppression and to make a better life. Yes, there were greedy rich men. They also took advantage of their own people. Many greedy white men and companies still screw over their own people today.

      December 26, 2012 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
  64. tnourie

    I want an apology from the Romans for thier treatment of my people. And from the Vikings for their slaughters of my people as well. (French ancestry) What?? That was in the past and has little to no bearing on today?? I still feel 'oppressed'. Pay me.

    December 19, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oneida native

      I'm pretty sure your people were not displaced and forcibly removed from there land and relocated to a barren wasteland

      December 19, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daedalus

        Don't be so sure, but in any case how many Americans now can trace any descent in this country to the groups that horribly screwed over your people? In a country largely composed of immigrants, it's no wonder that people with only a few generations here feel no responsibility for a policy that was enacted when we were still the subject of pogroms, famines, or other nastiness in other countries.

        It's a terrible history, and the effects in the present are all too real, but apologies need to come from a body that has some direct connection to a given atrocity.

        December 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jimmy two times

        Oneida, upstate New York is not a barren wasteland. quit crying in you beer and get a job.

        December 19, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • James

        Google this Highland Clearances

        December 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • tnourie

        @Onida – A good portion of my ancestors are\were Jewish, and we were dispersed all over the place.

        But on a heartfelt note: Am I sorry for what happened to the native peoples here on this continent? Of course. It sickens me to read the histories and see what my ancestors did to your ancestors. Would any of us alive today have done that? Probably, if the culture was the same. The culture of the times reflect directly on what we as a people do and feel in our personal lives. But with todays knoweledge, I would not do what was done.

        I believe most Americans today feel this way as well.

        December 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Diamond in the rough

        Oneida native,

        Why not buy up some good land? I don't understand. Can't the wealthier native people buy up good land to move their peoples there?

        December 26, 2012 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
  65. Danny Prouty

    Thank you for letting us be in your house. It's a beautiful home. I hope you come out and join us.

    December 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Good

    This is good, but what that fellow needs to understand is that the people that did the apology are not the same that did the deed. They are all dead. Recognize and move on.

    December 19, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  67. MT

    I feel for Indians, I grew up around reservations and still live near one in Montana. Unemployment is high on reservations but we give them free money so I can see how people can be callused to this issue. In the end talk is cheap, we should give them jobs and a sense of accomplishment instead of free money

    December 19, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy two times

      Jobs doing what? They would get fired eventually anyways, no call no shows

      December 19, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • wisconsin101

      Give them more. There are so many programs for them to get an education and a job. Instead many choose to sit and complain about the past to get more aid so they do not have to work. If they did not like the conditions on the reservation, then improve them. The rest of the people of America did. As we migrated, I really don't think there where electric poles and houses prebuilt before our arrival.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  68. massms

    Why aren't the "Indians" apologizing to each other for the internecine wars they conducted and to the descendents of all the Europeans they scalped and killed? How about an apology for stealing the Europeans' children?

    December 19, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • cindysriley

      I would correct one item of your comment. If you check history, it was the Europeans who scalped Native Americans first. Native Americans only did it in retaliation. That item is generally left out of history books.

      December 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • wisconsin101

      They killed some in my family, where is my apology. I am real sad about the whole ordeal and it has caused my life terrible suffering. You apologize in writing for a specific act and then you are taking in the responsibility of that act, meaning I now can sue you.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oscar Moreno

      The first question is why were they in their lands to begin with? . . . . If China invades us, we will defend ourselves right?

      December 19, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Usojourn

    How do you know?

    December 19, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  70. blake

    When are Obama and all his lieutenants going to apologize to all the American people for the way he has divided, deceived, and screwed them over the past four years? Then resign in disgrace to demonostrate the sincerity of his apology.

    December 19, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • BuHu my guy lost...TWICE.

      nuff said.

      December 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny Prouty

      Wah, wah...sniffle, sniffle. I never expected the big tough Obama haters to cry so easy. I let every one of your sobs drizzle deep into the corners of my happy soul. It helps to take away the sting of taking my lumps during the Bush years and living with them like a grown man. None of this whining about being duped and lied to, and in *that* case we the people truly were lied to. Thanks for cheering me up with another delightful sob.

      December 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • vangie

      That was not Obama, that was Fox news, the Tea Party the Koch Brothers ......
      What the GOP'ers need to do now is get over it and accept that America has voted and Romney lost ( thank God for that) all we need is a president with no moral conscience. Anyone who can help Monsanto shove agent orange evil under the rug for money is not worth spitting on.

      December 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  71. T5309

    Why is he asking Americans to do this? It's the English/Brits he should be after. "Americans" didn't conquer North America, did British did. They colonized it. Get it right. I wouldn't apologize for this. That's like every german person for the rest of eternity having to apologize for what happened in Germany under Hitlers rule. Yes, it's horribly tragic, but you can't hold an entire race or an entire countries current population accountable for it's past or for what previous people(s) have done. I'm not going to apologize for something I had no hand in and had/have absolute no control over and I think it's absurd to think otherwise.

    December 19, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph AKA Tall Bear

      Maybe So But They Stoled Evertyhing We Had

      December 19, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tanner

      You're partially right, but if we're just including the abuses against the American Indians after 1776, then that includes most of it, and the responsibility of the abuse to the Navajos lands squarely on America's lap. I agree with Mr. Mark Charles, who is most likely a patriotic American like most Indians are– it is appropriate for the U.S. Government to apologize. I don't think it makes us any less of a country or people to do so. On the contrary, I think it is honorable to do so.

      December 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Diamond in the rough

        Maybe it just comes down to how you say it.

        The US Government should apologize for consistently breaking legal contracts with sovereign nations. Breach of trade agreements and undermining elected officials of sovereign nations. To also include an apology for assassination of heads of state of sovereign nations. For kidnapping and false imprisonment of citizens of sovereign nations.

        December 26, 2012 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
    • TomNPitt

      I don't think you need to apologize for any of this. Even if you were there I doubt you would have been involved. You can't spell and you know little to nothing of history! Just stay out there on the farm and grow us some more weed!!

      December 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oscar Moreno

      I think it's absurd that you have ripped the benefits of "STOLEN LAND" and have ripped all the benefits that came with to this day.

      It's like saying if you still a song from an artist, sell it as your own, become wealthy beyond belief then pass on all those riches to your children who are now wealthy for no other reason than the fact that you made them rich form the property you stole.

      If a car is stolen then it's found, it is returned to it's rightful owner. If we condemn Germans for what they did to jews, than we should come clem on the genocide we committed to the native people. If we don't do that, then our standing as the "beacon of hope" will turn to the "beacon of hate". The rest of the world already realizes that.

      Keep in mind that he's not asking for anything to be returned, he just wants an apology. The arrogance of some people in this country is beyond belief !

      December 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  72. dahdit

    Sadly, Europeans didn't do anything to the Native Americans they hadn't been doing to each other for a several thousand years or so. Just the bloody business of business.

    December 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Why obsess over things that cannot be changed?

    The idea of an apology for the current government is ridiculous. Wounded Knee was noted by someone. James William Forsyth was a commander during the Indian wars and he died in 1906. Why not dig up his grave and take your anger out on what is left of him. Oh yah, because Wounded Knee happened 122 years ago. Would you ask his descendants to apologize or hold them responsible for his actions? Of course not, and the current government is not responsible either.

    December 19, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • cosmicc

      The problem is that the abuse continues. The US government still refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of any treaties signed with Native American nations. We are one of just four countries that has not ratified the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. US courts still view the Doctrine of Discovery as a valid legal construct and rules against Native American legal claims on the basis of what some Pope wrote in 1493.

      December 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • RhonKayMon

        Cosmicc that is so true! You are right!

        February 27, 2013 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Oneida native

      Just because wounded knee is not brought up does not mean people are not sensitive to that issue, and unlike the government, Native American tribes will not ever dig up graves and displace them which is STILL done

      December 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sabrina aka Walks Alone

        This is true.

        December 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
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