National | Politics

Seminole Tribe letter to President Obama about 'Geronimo'

The following is the text of a letter from Mitchell Cypress, the chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, to President Barack Obama.

Dear President Obama:

I am almost without words and I struggle to write how I feel after hearing reports that America’s number one enemy, Usama Bin Laden, was given the codename of fearless Apache leader, Geronimo. Once again, our nation’s native people were categorized as terrorists. The time has never been more appropriate and necessary for you to issue an apology to Native America.

It has been more than a month since my March 24th letter, requesting an apology to our nation’s Tribes because of the brief filed by prosecutors in the Guantanamo military action against convicted Al Qaeda, Al Buhlal. Within that brief the Seminole Tribe’s defense against a genocidal assault was compared to today’s terrorists. Although, the Department of Defense issued a written apology clarifying the use of the Seminole reference, it is yet a small step toward a shift in healing the tragic history that you promised to remedy during your 2008 campaign. My representative, Tina Osceola, is in communication with your Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement, Charlie Galbraith.

As the leader of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, I am requesting a meeting with you at the White House to discuss how we can work together to strengthen our mutual resolve to improve the image of Indian Country beyond negative stereotypes. In 2008, I listened to your promises to our people and was assured that you would be an advocate for Indian Country. As leaders of our nations, you and I have the opportunity to be the faces of change that all Americans can believe in and the example of true government to government relations. You and I are the hope for a better tomorrow.


Mitchell Cypress

Related Stories:
Opinion: US slanders Geronimo's name with Osama mission (5/3)
Rep. Pearce: White House crowd celebrates Osama's death (5/2)
Seminole Tribe comparison to terrorists still in Pentagon brief (4/11)
Seminole Tribe 'offended' by military comparison to terrorists (3/24)

Join the Conversation