Friday, March 7, 2008

An apology to Native Americans on the way?

South Dakota's Congressional delegation, including Representative Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin and Senator Tim Johnson (Democrats) and Senator John Thune (Republican) are supportive of a proposed national apology to Native Americans for their mistreatment at the hands of the United States.

It is worth reading the Argus Leader article in detail, as well as the blog comments.

The history of South Dakota, including the Wounded Knee Massacre, is intimately linked to the displacement of the D/Lakota people and the destruction of their culture by U.S. Government design.

The Episcopal Church has a noble history in attempting to build a respectful Christian presence among the Indians here. There are episodes of loving and heroic service and advocacy; there are also actions that contributed to the pain and chaos on the reservations. (Examples of both can be found in the writings of South Dakota author and Episcopalian Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve.)

The breaking of treaties is a big part of the history here. There are open legal questions about Tribal claims and how they might be addressed justly.

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