For Native peoples, an apology never spoken is no apology at all

  

Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  hallux  •  4 weeks ago  •  26 comments

By:   Negiel Bigpond and Sam Brownback

For Native peoples, an apology never spoken is no apology at all

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Negiel Bigpond is a full-blooded member of the Yuchi Indian Tribe whose family was subjected to the Trail of Tears. He is currently serving as Apostle of Morning Star Church of All Nations in Oklahoma.Sam Brownback, a Republican, served asU.S. ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom (2018-2021), governor of Kansas (2011-2018) and U.S. senator (1996-2011), where he worked with Bigpond on a resolution that was passed into law apologizing to the Native American people.

Harry White Wolf was a Cheyenne tribal member buried in the cemetery at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kan. A baby being held at Haskell when it was a boarding school for Native American children, Harry died in 1884, just six months old. Today, headstones marking graves similar to Harry’s dot the Haskell Cemetery, marking a solemn, silent rebuke to the U.S. government, which removed these children from their homes and trained them to be like the dominant culture.

Perhaps the only silence more deafening is the continued failure of our nation and its leaders to apologize publicly to the community it so damaged. To paraphrase the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., it is not the silence of the enemy that is remembered, but rather that of the friend and advocate who never speaks up.

It’s time — long past time — to officially acknowledge what our country did and to speak an apology. Not only for taking children from Native families, but for the broken treaties and the carnage visited upon First Nations people by U.S. government policy. Without this necessary step, the healing process our community desperately needs cannot truly commence, and we cannot repair the resentment that stems from our troubled past.

In 2009, a dozen long years ago, we led the congressional effort to issue an official apology by the U.S. government to Native peoples. Aversion, apologizing “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” was signed into law by President Barack Obama, buried in the massivedefense appropriations bill.

The legislation “urges the President to acknowledge the wrongs of the United States against Indian tribes in the history of the United States in order to bring healing to this land.” But no words of apology have ever been uttered by a president of the United States to tribal leaders.

To many Native people, an apology not expressed is worse than no apology at all, just another set of meaningless words buried in official treaties and broken promises.

Sadly, there is much for which to apologize. To take just one example, in1838, the Potawatomi Indians were peacefully living in Indiana, south of Lake Michigan. Many had converted to Christianity and had built a church. Without warning, a call went out for all the Potawatomi to come to the church. There, they were told they were being forced to move by foot to Kansas. Indiana state militia soldiers would “escort” them to their new home over 600 miles west.

The journey, known as the Trail of Death, took more than two months and42 lives, 28 of them children. Of the859 Potawatomi forced to moveto Kansas, eking out an existence in a strange land, 600 would die and be buried in the first nine years.

While thePotawatomi received some payment for their land, they and most First Nations people, experienced death, cultural extinction and dislocation unimaginable today. In1879, Ponca Chief Standing Bear, whose tribe was forced to relocate from Nebraska to Indian Territory in Oklahoma, was arrested when he returned to his tribal land to bury his son. When Standing Bear sued for his right to return home, the government’s lawyer argued that an Indian was neither a person nor a citizen and therefore didn’t have the right to bring suit to secure his release.Federal Judge Elmer Dundyruled that “the Indian is a ‘person’ ” under the Constitution — but not without also referring to Native Americans as a“weak, insignificant, unlettered, and generally despised race.”Still, this was a major legal victory, given the times.

Canada, New Zealand and other nations with similar histories to ours have conducted public apology ceremonies by their leaders to start reconciliation with their pasts. While that doesn’t solve all the problems, it can allow a healing process to begin.

When will America do this? The blood of the innocent cries out from our land.


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Hallux
Freshman Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    4 weeks ago

In other news:

Canada has named Mary Simon, a Native Canadian to be the new Governor General of Canada. She is eminently qualified and one hopes this is not Trudeau playing with wallpaper.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Hallux @1    4 weeks ago

It was a six month process with a committee making the determination among a number of candidates.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2  Kavika     4 weeks ago

The chances of a full-throated apology are about the same as the First Nations and American Indians expecting one from the Pope for the ''Boarding Schools''.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1  Kavika   replied to  Kavika @2    4 weeks ago

This is exactly why the so called apology wasn't done the way an apology should be done if you want to actually apologize for wrongs done. 

The resolution also includes a disclaimer: Nothing in it authorizes or supports any legal claims against the United States, and the resolution does not settle any claims.
 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2.1.1  JBB  replied to  Kavika @2.1    4 weeks ago

original

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
2.1.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  JBB @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

Wow JBB,,,,, The truth of that cartoon is extremely horrifying.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2.1.3  JBB  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @2.1.2    2 weeks ago

Yes, it is...

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
2.1.4  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  JBB @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

Absolutely damning!

I encourage readers to download this image and re-post it on all your social media accounts. This simple drawing ought to be to this issue what the cartoon, 'Here Lies all France' was to that nation.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.1.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JBB @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

Was my comment removed where I pointed out that the cartoon had to be about an American, not a Canadian, school because of he spelling of the word "neighbour"?

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
2.1.6  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1.5    2 weeks ago

Damn good question!

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
2.1.7  shona1  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1.5    2 weeks ago

Anoon Buzz...my neighbour and fellow Commonwealth English speller....I certainly hope not...

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
2.2  Sean Treacy  replied to  Kavika @2    2 weeks ago
t Nations and American Indians expecting one from the Pope for the ''Boarding Schools''

How many do you need? 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.2.1  Kavika   replied to  Sean Treacy @2.2    2 weeks ago

First off I expect uniformed responses from you. The apology is from Pope Benedict in 2009 for the Residential Schools in Canada, oh and by the way the RCC welched on the money they were to pay to the tribes in 2015. 

Additionally, Pope Francis has not apologized for the over 1,000 new unmarked graves they have found in the last month. 

Most people know that there is a difference between ''Residential Schools'' which were in Canada and "Indian Boarding Schools'' which were in the US. Obviously, you don't. 

The only thing that gets's the RCC attention is money and lawsuits. Which of course they lose and then try to declare bankruptcy to get out of the debt.  

I'm sure that the Pope is deeply ashamed of how they abused Indian children in many ways especially sexually abused them, probably more ashamed of being caught and losing lawsuits than the actual deed.

The investigations into the US Indian Boarding Schools is just now being readied. The RCC will look like what they have been for centuries and it won't be pretty.

Personally, I don't care if the RCC or the Pope ever apologize, just keep suing them.

 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
2.2.2  Sean Treacy  replied to  Kavika @2.2.1    2 weeks ago
The apology is from Pope Benedict in 2009 for the Residential Schools in Canad

No shit sherlock. You claimed the first nations were waiting for one from the Pope. They received it in 2009.  Don't blame me because you don't know what you are talking about. 

as not apologized for the over 1,000 new unmarked graves they have found in the last month .

Right.  Graves in known graveyards "discovered"  again that  may or may not contain children and may or may not have been marked originally .

I hate to break it you pal, but there are millions of "unmarked" graves in this country and no one is using them to justify terrorism. 

e be tween ''Residential Schools'' which were in Canada and "Indian Boarding Schools'' which were in the US. Obviously, you don

Obviously, you don't know the difference between first nations and American Indians. 

he only thing that gets's the RCC attention is money and lawsuits.

Yes, that's a typical talking point of the Klan.  Funny how you don't obsess about the actual government that came with the plan, didn't fund it and refused to pay for the children's bodies to be transported home after they died, like they were supposed and refused to keep up the graves after shutting the schools.  It all the Pope's fault.  

Personally, I don't care if the RCC or the Pope ever apologize, just keep suing them.

I'm sure you don't, since you will just claim they didn't anyway like you did here.  Everyone keeps apoligzing for things and you keep whining. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.2.3  Kavika   replied to  Sean Treacy @2.2.2    2 weeks ago
No shit sherlock. You claimed the first nations were waiting for one from the Pope. They received it in 2009.  Don't blame me because you don't know what you are talking about. 

 The First Nations and the PM of Canada have requested that the Pope apologize for the latest 1,000 graves. HE HAS NOT, sherlock.

Right.  Graves in known graveyards "discovered"  again that  may or may not contain children and may or may not have been marked originally .

That info was in the release of the announcement of that one Nation and school. Nothing new there and the second link the information was in their announcement. Nothing new there either. 

hate to break it you pal, but there are millions of "unmarked" graves in this country and no one is using them to justify terrorism. 

I didn't use the term terrorism and since the T&R Commission issued their report and the Canadian government agreed as did the Churches involved including the RCC you are way off base as usual.

Obviously, you don't know the difference between first nations and American Indians. 

Obviously, you can't read.

es, that's a typical talking point of the Klan.  Funny how you don't obsess about the actual government that came with the plan, didn't fund it and refused to pay for the children's bodies to be transported home after they died, like they were supposed and refused to keep up the graves after shutting the schools.  It all the Pope's fault.

You seem to be well acquainted with the Klan. I don't obsess over the RCC, I just point out the facts and their obsessions which have led to numerous lawsuits and they're admitting their ''SINS"'...Actually, I've hammered the US government on many occasions on exactly this topic and will continue to do so while you try your best to protect or make excuses for the RCC.

I'm sure you don't, since you will just claim they didn't anyway like you did here.  Everyone keeps apoligzing for things and you keep whining.

Pope Francis didn't apologize, I guess that is above your understanding or is it willful ignorance. What I've pointed out are facts that you don't seem to comprehend. 

The Roman Catholic Church is the only institution that has not yet made a formal apology for its part in running residential schools in Canada, although Catholic entities in Canada have apologized. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2017 to ask for an apology. Again the Pope was asked for an apology with the latest graves discovered and he has not apologized.

Hopefully, there will be more settlements like the $166 million by the Jesuits in the PNW and Alaska, and that is just part of it. To date, one Jesuit order has paid out over $250 million for sexual abuse claims. 

 

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
2.2.4  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.2.2    2 weeks ago

Lifesite cherry picked quotes from Sophie Pierre. You should be ashamed of linking to a site that pushes conspiracy theories and pseudoscience all in the name of evangelicalism. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
2.2.5  Bob Nelson  replied to  Kavika @2.2.3    2 weeks ago

Are you actually arguing with Sean? Have you learned nothing in all these years? 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Expert
3  1stwarrior    4 weeks ago

Well, whadya know - another worthless broken law that Congress refuses to obey - 

The legislation “urges the President to acknowledge the wrongs of the United States against Indian tribes in the history of the United States in order to bring healing to this land.” But no words of apology have ever been uttered by a president of the United States to tribal leaders.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Expert
4  1stwarrior    4 weeks ago

Interesting case heard and adjudicated by a District Judge - not SCOTUS.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
5  Perrie Halpern R.A.    4 weeks ago

To admit to what happened to our people, would be to admit that it happened, and you see how well that went over with Turkey, regarding the Armenians. Governments like to brush these atrocities under the rug. 

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
5.1  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @5    2 weeks ago

Governments like to brush these atrocities under the rug

I think it's politely called "political expedience" among those that make the rules....

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
7  Dismayed Patriot    2 weeks ago
"To many Native people, an apology not expressed is worse than no apology at all"

I would definitely agree that President Obama should have held a press conference in 2009 and stated the words he signed in public. I also think that having a President sign the words of an apology into law stating he was sorry “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” was demonstrably better than nothing which is what the native Americans have received from the white Christian mob that raided their shores over the last 400 years.

I think Obama didn't go far enough because of a bunch of advisors telling him he would look weak and make himself an even bigger target of right wing Republicans if he had made the statement publicly and he would have been accused of going on a supposed anti-American "apology tour" from then on. Apparently in about half of Americans minds, might makes right, so many right wing Americans think there is simply nothing to apologize for.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
8  Buzz of the Orient    2 weeks ago

Actually, I thought that an apology never spoken is no aplolgy at all for ANYONE, not just Native Americans or First Nations people.

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
Professor Guide
9  Freedom Warrior    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
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