American Flag: "Old Glory"

In 1776, the Mi'kmaq signed an Agreement in Principle with the American Colonies, The Watertown Treaty, under which they would have provided military assistance, but they didn't ratify it. The reason they didn’t was because they were gunshy of getting burnt again in the wars of the white man. Whichever side won, they lost. However, probably wanting revenge for the barbarities committed by the English against their relatives and friends, a great many individuals did cross the border to join General George Washington's Army.


United States of America
Congressional Apology to American Indians


Text of S.J.RES.37: Apology to Native peoples

The following is the text of S.J.RES.37, a bill to acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the United States Government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States, as introduced on May 6, 2004.

NOTE: A watered down version of the May 6, 2004 apology was signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 19, 2009. To read the full story about the near silent apology scroll down the page, it begins under the President's picture.


To acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the United States Government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States.

Whereas the ancestors of today's Native Peoples inhabited the land of the present-day United States since time immemorial and for thousands of years before the arrival of peoples of European descent;

Whereas the Native Peoples have for millennia honored, protected, and stewarded this land we cherish;

Whereas the Native Peoples are spiritual peoples with a deep and abiding belief in the Creator, and for millennia their peoples have maintained a powerful spiritual connection to this land, as is evidenced by their customs and legends;

Whereas the arrival of Europeans in North America opened a new chapter in the histories of the Native Peoples;

Whereas, while establishment of permanent European settlements in North America did stir conflict with nearby Indian tribes, peaceful and mutually beneficial interactions also took place;

Whereas the foundational English settlements in Jamestown, Virginia, and Plymouth, Massachusetts, owed their survival in large measure to the compassion and aid of the Native Peoples in their vicinities;

Whereas in the infancy of the United States, the founders of the Republic expressed their desire for a just relationship with the Indian tribes, as evidenced by the Northwest Ordinance enacted by Congress in 1787, which begins with the phrase, `The utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indians';

Whereas Indian tribes provided great assistance to the fledgling Republic as it strengthened and grew, including invaluable help to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their epic journey from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Pacific Coast;

Whereas Native Peoples and non-Native settlers engaged in numerous armed conflicts;

Whereas the United States Government violated many of the treaties ratified by Congress and other diplomatic agreements with Indian tribes;

Whereas this Nation should address the broken treaties and many of the more ill-conceived Federal policies that followed, such as extermination, termination, forced removal and relocation, the outlawing of traditional religions, and the destruction of sacred places;

Whereas the United States forced Indian tribes and their citizens to move away from their traditional homelands and onto federally established and controlled reservations, in accordance with such Acts as the Indian Removal Act of 1830;

Whereas many Native Peoples suffered and perished--

(1) during the execution of the official United States Government policy of forced removal, including the infamous Trail of Tears and Long Walk;

(2) during bloody armed confrontations and massacres, such as the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864 and the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890; and

(3) on numerous Indian reservations;

Whereas the United States Government condemned the traditions, beliefs, and customs of the Native Peoples and endeavored to assimilate them by such policies as the redistribution of land under the General Allotment Act of 1887 and the forcible removal of Native children from their families to faraway boarding schools where their Native practices and languages were degraded and forbidden;

Whereas officials of the United States Government and private United States citizens harmed Native Peoples by the unlawful acquisition of recognized tribal land, the theft of resources from such territories, and the mismanagement of tribal trust funds;

Whereas the policies of the United States Government toward Indian tribes and the breaking of covenants with Indian tribes have contributed to the severe social ills and economic troubles in many Native communities today;

Whereas, despite continuing maltreatment of Native Peoples by the United States, the Native Peoples have remained committed to the protection of this great land, as evidenced by the fact that, on a per capita basis, more Native people have served in the United States Armed Forces and placed themselves in harm's way in defense of the United States in every major military conflict than any other ethnic group;

Whereas Indian tribes have actively influenced the public life of the United States by continued cooperation with Congress and the Department of the Interior, through the involvement of Native individuals in official United States Government positions, and by leadership of their own sovereign Indian tribes; Whereas Indian tribes are resilient and determined to preserve, develop, and transmit to future generations their unique cultural identities;

Whereas the National Museum of the American Indian was established within the Smithsonian Institution as a living memorial to the Native Peoples and their traditions; and

Whereas Native Peoples are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among those are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


The United States, acting through Congress--

(1) recognizes the special legal and political relationship the Indian tribes have with the United States and the solemn covenant with the land we share;

(2) commends and honors the Native Peoples for the thousands of years that they have stewarded and protected this land;

(3) acknowledges years of official depredations, ill-conceived policies, and the breaking of covenants by the United States Government regarding Indian tribes;

(4) 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;

(5) expresses its regret for the ramifications of former offenses and its commitment to build on the positive relationships of the past and present to move toward a brighter future where all the people of this land live reconciled as brothers and sisters, and harmoniously steward and protect this land together;

(6) urges the President to acknowledge the offenses of the United States against Indian tribes in the history of the United States in order to bring healing to this land by providing a proper foundation for reconciliation between the United States and Indian tribes; and

(7) commends the State governments that have begun reconciliation efforts with recognized Indian tribes located in their boundaries and encourages all State governments similarly to work toward reconciling relationships with Indian tribes within their boundaries.


Nothing in this Joint Resolution authorizes any claim against the United States or serves as a settlement of any claim against the United States.


President Barack Obama signed off on the Native
American Apology Resolution December 19, 2009
as part of a defense appropriations spending bill,
but little has been publicized about it.

Indian Country Today

A sorry saga

Obama signs Native American apology resolution; fails to draw attention to it

By Rob Capriccioso

Story Published: Jan 13, 2010

WASHINGTON – Is an apology that’s not said out loud really an apology? What if the person expressing the apology doesn’t draw attention to it?

Those are questions that some tribal citizens are asking upon learning that President Barack Obama signed off on the Native American Apology Resolution Dec. 19, 2009 as part of a defense appropriations spending bill.

The resolution originated in Congress and had passed the Senate as stand-alone legislation in the fall. The House ended up adding the resolution to their version of the defense bill in conference.

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., originally introduced the measure intending “to officially apologize for the past ill-conceived policies by the U.S. government toward the Native peoples of this land and re-affirm our commitment toward healing our nation’s wounds and working toward establishing better relationships rooted in reconciliation.” His bill passed the Senate in 2008 and 2009.

The version signed by Obama became watered down, not making a direct apology from the government, but rather 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.”

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.

Even with the more general language, the apology is historic, but the White House has made no announcements to date about it. Nor has Obama expressed an apology to any tribes or Indian citizens, despite saying on the presidential campaign trail that he thought an apology was warranted.

At the White House Tribal Nations Conference on Nov. 5, Obama noted, among other observations, that treaties were violated with tribes and injustices had been done against them, but he did not offer an explicit apology.

The resolution Obama signed specifically “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.”

So, by signing the document as part of the defense spending bill, did Obama fulfill the resolution? Or, does he have an obligation to say the apology out loud and to let tribes know he signed the resolution?

According to White House spokesman Shin Inouye, there are “no updates at this time” on how Obama might proceed.

Inouye also confirmed that a press release was issued by the White House regarding the president’s signature of the defense appropriations bill, but not one on the apology resolution – nor did the defense release mention that the apology was part of that legislation.

When other countries have apologized for travesties against their own indigenous populations, their leaders have been more up front than the Obama White House to date.

In June 2008, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave a widely noted speech to parliament and tribal leaders, apologizing to survivors of the country’s residential boarding school system. It was well-received by many First Nations individuals, and some said it helped them feel a sense of healing.

Before that, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized in parliament to all aboriginals for laws and policies that “inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss.”

Past presidents of the United States have also been willing to offer apologies to harmed groups.

In 1997, President Bill Clinton said during a press conference that the government was sorry for its role in the Tuskegee syphilis experiment on African Americans. And President Ronald Reagan made a formal statement when he signed the Japanese Internment Apology law in 1988, which carried with it financial restitution.

The up-in-the-air quality of the current Native American resolution and the federal government’s handling of it is concerning to some Native Americans.

Robert T. Coulter, executive director of the , said there has been an “overwhelming silence” regarding the resolution.

“There were no public announcements, there were no press conferences, there was no national attention, much less international,” said the Citizen Potawatomi Nation member.

“You might think that something would be announced, that something would be said about it. After all, they’re apologizing to Native Americans, and yet, I don’t know that people have really heard about it.

“What kind of an apology is it when they don’t tell the people they are apologizing to? For an apology to have any meaning at all, you do have to tell the people youin ’re apologizing to.

“I have had my doubts on whether this is a true or meaningful apology, and this silence seems to speak very loudly on that point.”

Still, Coulter said the resolution doesn’t have any legal meaning, no matter if Obama and Congress members say it out loud or not.

“The real test is if Congress actually takes action to back up the apology – will it approve the settlement, will the Indian health bill become law?”

Washington state Rep. John McCoy, a citizen of the Tulalip Tribes, said he was happy that Obama signed the apology, but he would like a verbal statement.

“The president has been pretty busy with high priority stuff, but I’d hope that he’ll select a time and place to make an announcement. I’m sure many tribes will bring this issue to the forefront with him."

McCoy believes tribal citizens should take the development as a win, and move on in a meaningful way.

Chris Stearns, a Navajo lawyer and former Clinton administration official, believes Obama will call attention to his signing of the resolution at some point, but there are political realities: First, this is a congressional resolution shepherded by Brownback, so Obama might want to let him take the lead; and second, this is an election year, if Obama were to make a big deal out of an apology, it could be painted by opponents as a weakness or political correctness.

No matter the politics of the situation, some tribes aren’t waiting for a statement from the president. Some have already inserted their histories into the congressional record, and plan to bring that record, coupled with the resolution, to state and local leaders, using the documents to remind and educate them on tribes’ historical presence and sovereign status.



October 29, 2010





For millennia before Europeans settled in North America, the indigenous peoples of this continent flourished with vibrant cultures and were the original stewards of the land. From generation to generation, they handed down invaluable cultural knowledge and rich traditions, which continue to thrive in Native American communities across our country today. During National Native American Heritage Month, we honor and celebrate their importance to our great Nation and our world.

America's journey has been marked both by bright times of progress and dark moments of injustice for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Since the birth of America, they have contributed immeasurably to our country and our heritage, distinguishing themselves as scholars, artists, entrepreneurs, and leaders in all aspects of our society. Native Americans have also served in the United States Armed Forces with honor and distinction, defending the security of our Nation with their lives. Yet, our tribal communities face stark realities, including disproportionately high rates of poverty, unemployment, crime, and disease. These disparities are unacceptable, and we must acknowledge both our history and our current challenges if we are to ensure that all of our children have an equal opportunity to pursue the American dream. From upholding the tribal sovereignty recognized and reaffirmed in our Constitution and laws to strengthening our unique nation-to nation relationship, my Administration stands firm in fulfilling our Nation's commitments.

Over the past 2 years, we have made important steps towards working as partners with Native Americans to build sustainable and healthy native communities. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act continues to impact the lives of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including through important projects to improve, rebuild, and renovate schools so our children can get the education and skills they will need to compete in the global economy. At last year's White House Tribal Nations Conference, I also announced a new consultation process to improve communication and coordination between the Federal Government and tribal governments.

This year, I was proud to sign the landmark Affordable Care Act, which permanently reauthorized the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, a cornerstone of health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives. This vital legislation will help modernize the Indian health care system and improve health care for 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. To combat the high rates of crime and sexual violence in Native communities, I signed the Tribal Law and Order Act in July to bolster tribal law enforcement and enhance their abilities to prosecute and fight crime more effectively. And, recently, my Administration reached a settlement in a lawsuit brought by Native American farmers against the United States Department of Agriculture that underscores our commitment to treat all our citizens fairly.

As we celebrate the contributions and heritage of Native Americans during this month, we also recommit to supporting tribal self-determination, security, and prosperity for all Native Americans. While we cannot erase the scourges or broken promises of our past, we will move ahead together in writing a new, brighter chapter in our joint history.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2010 as National Native American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to commemorate this month with appropriate programs and activities, and to celebrate November 26, 2010, as Native American Heritage Day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.



The silent apology: An American Indian might state: Words are empty without action to make amends - systemic racism is not being dealth with, it still flourishes.

Please Click American Apology to read the appropriations Bill where the "Silent" apology was included.

Please click to read the Canadian Apology

Click to read about American Indian Genocide