Column: It's time to apologize to Native Americans
"Florida has just joined Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey and Virginia in passing resolutions expressing regret for its role in the “shameful chapter” of Southern slavery. Several other slave states are reluctant to follow suit because some militants are asking for reparations in addition to apologies for the descendents of slaves.

Because the Great Plains states — North Dakota among them — share a similar shameful chapter when it comes to the treatment of American Indians, perhaps it is time that we owned up to our heritage of abuse, issued a formal apology, and took steps to heal a schism in our society.

It is true that the Southern state governments had more control over the oppressive policies relating the African-Americans than the Great Plains states had over Indian policy. State laws governed the “property rights” of slave owners. After the Civil War, it was the state governments that passed Jim Crow laws to deprive the newly freed slaves of their rights as citizens. So, the governments of the slave states have every reason to apologize.

In the case of Great Plains Indians, an oppressive white society spread enough shame for all levels of government, though the national government must bear the most blame because it played the lead role in dealing with tribes.

National government treaties and military forces were used ruthlessly. The treaties were broken, broken and broken again, while the army was used to suppress dissent."

Get the Story:
LLOYD OMDAHL COLUMN: Time to apologize to American Indians (The Grand Forks Herald 4/28)
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Indian Health Care Improvement Act Amendments:
S.1200 | H.R.1328

Apology Resolution:
S.J.Res.4 | H.J.Res.3

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