Boarding School Apology Initiative
Did you know that President Obama signed into law an Apology to Native Peoples of the United States on December 19, 2009? This Apology was attached to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2010 as Section 8113 of the Act (H.R. 3326) and it has not seen the light of day since December, 2009. It has been buried in this Act and was never properly presented to Native Americans and to the American People.
This Apology was crafted, championed and fought for by Senator Sam Brownback (R., Kansas) and Congressman Dan Boren (D., Oklahoma) starting in the mid 2000’s. Their work finally became the Bill that was signed into Law by the President in December, 2009.
We know that the governments of both Canada and Australia separately made a formal and public Apology to their Native or Aboriginal peoples in 2008. We also know that very recently, on October 1, 2010, the U.S. Government apologized to the country of Guatemala for wrongs done to the Guatemalan people by the U.S. between 1946 and 1948.
What about Native Americans? We feel very strongly that it is now our time to receive a formal, public and visible apology for the many hurts done to Native people in our historic past.
It says in Point # 3 of the official Apology issued in December, 2009 the following:
“The United States, acting through Congress, (3) recognizes that there have been years of official depredations, ill-conceived policies, and the breaking of covenants by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes.”
The boarding schools and the entire Boarding School Era is one of those “ill-conceived policies” that has left us with both the Historic and Intergenerational Trauma that is still with us as Indian people today. Receiving the Apology will help us grieve for what was lost so that we may finally heal and prosper as American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiian people.
Now YOU can help have this Apology presented publicly to Native people by writing to your Senator and Congress persons. We have created a form letter that you may send online by e mail to your Senator or Congress person. We have also produced a sheet of instructions about how you may do this right from your computer, right now. We have also copied the entire text of H.R. 3326, Section 8113, which is the Apology, for you to read.
Please download all three documents and send the form letter to your Senators and Congress person so that we, as Native Americans, may finally receive the Justice of this Apology.
When you send the form letter to your Senator or Congress person would you do the following?
Send an e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address and phone number. In the subject line place these words: Letter Sent.
This will help us keep track of the number of letters urging the Apology to become public. Thank you!