For Columbus Day: Indians Say You Can Shove Your Apology:
That's an editorial cartoon from Indian Country Today by Marty Two Bulls, typifying a "yeah, hey, really, no" response from much of the Indian community to the Senate's passage of an apology to Native Americans for, you know, all that shit like genocide, treaty-breaking, etcetera, etcetera. The wording of it is, more or less, "Our bad." To demonstrate how seriously they took the effort to say America's sorry, the measure, sponsored by Democrat Byron Dorgan and Republican Sam Brownback, was passed as an amendment to a defense appropriations bill. The resolution passed the Senate last year, but failed to be signed into law. Now it looks like it's finally gonna make it through. Hey, look: bipartisanship when there's no consequences.
You should totally read the Native American Apology Resolution just for the line: "Whereas despite the wrongs committed against Native Peoples by the United States, 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 Peoples 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." It may as well say, "And thanks for the mascots, too."
While some Indian groups and others find it to be a step in the right direction, it's not inappropriate to say that in many quarters of Indian America, the resolution, which explicitly denies reparations or claims against the United States for, you know, genocide, treaty-breaking, etcetera, etcetera, has been met with, "Hey, fuck you. Howzabout some fuckin' help instead?" Like Kevin Abourezk, a Lakota journalist, who writes, "Each year, we watch the health, safety and education of our children erode like the sandy banks of a raging river. But rather than improved health care or justice programs, Native people get this: an apology from the Senate." To their credit, South Dakota Senators Tim Johnson, a Democrat, and John Thune, a Republican, said that this was a nice, if empty, start, and that more needs to be done for Indian communities.
Like maybe doing something about, for instance, this from Amnesty International regarding crime on America's reservations: "One in three women will be raped in her lifetime. Half the reported murders and 72% of child sex crimes are never prosecuted. Ninety percent of sexual assaults on native women are committed by men from the dominant ethnic groups." You may as well toss in a jump in the youth suicide rate, a rise in gang activities on the reservation, and unending domestic abuse of native women.