Apology and Remembrance

The Faith & Politics Institute and the National Congress of American Indians, along with representatives of six Native American nations, held a two-day event at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC May 18-19 to honor ancestors buried there and to apologize on behalf of the federal government for past wrongdoing. Volunteers cleaned and restored some of the 36 graves of Native Americans, many of whom died in the capital while representing their people’s claims before the government. A joint congressional Resolution of Apology to Native Peoples of the United States, signed last year by President Obama, was read and groups toured the cemetery grounds as tribal representatives recounted the lives of their forebears. Produced by Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly production assistant and researcher Fabio Lomelino.


  • Susan de Toledo Hulley

    Great Job! It’s important that the past not be lost and that we learn to never make these mistakes again.

  • Holly Maloy

    Thank you. Cherokee Nation

  • Snadra Carter

    This should have been done last year when the President signed it and done publicly.

  • Bill Hart

    Thank you for this remembrance, which has been long over-do.
    History has been brought to the attention of our young children not only
    the Native American but all children. The Quapaw Nation

  • carol becker

    That is wonderful, however we continue to be confronted with racism on reservations such a the Flathead (created in 1855 by Hellgate treaty) in Montana whereas 80% of the population living on the “Indian reservation are NOT tribal members,this due to the 1904 Allotment act (that alloted “portions” of land to Natives then gave non-natives the rest of the land causing Natives to become the minorty on their OWN land). For example you own your own farm and the goverment deems that since you are not building on your property they will exclusively open it up to African, HIspanic, Muslim, or some other minority group to own and live on. How would that sit with Americans? In addition there are jobs available on the reservation, however Tribal members are not among those being hired (this is referred to as discrimination)-No casino there. I reside in Oregon, I have traveled to Montana and have experienced racial descrimination in Arlee and a few other cities in Montana (and So. Dakota, Washinton, on and on). Racism towards Native folks is alive and doing well in Amreican home of the Indigenous. So I am not quite sure how this Executive act really benifits Indigenous People. Mr. Obama we need less televsion interviews on the Muslim issue and more on repairing (heal) our own backyard in order to move forward. By the way ,there are over 500 native nations, why only have 6 attend this event? Mr. Obama, support restoration of native language, culture and infrastructure to tribes( sovereign nations-not just another minority), and allow America to heal by taking initiative (PUBLICALY). carol becker / white mtn. apache and seminole

  • Douglas Rawlinson

    I agree with Carol Becker it is a good thing that they will acknowledge the past but those words are empty when it comes to the reality of what is happening right now. I am truly sorrowed by the past and present actions of the white man and the Government. I am ashamed of what my white ancestors did to the Native Americans and what is continuing to be done in the name of justice and the so called better way. It is not enough that we say words of sorrow we must do something to right the wrongs that have been done and continues to be done in the present. Cultural Genocide continues to be practice by the white mans system against Native Americans. It is not enough to admit we did something wrong we must open our eyes and see that what we have been trying to destroy in the Native American Cultural is something that would benefit us as a world. Their ties to Mother Earth and their understanding of nature and how to bring harmony in to ones life and then a group can not be overlooked. It is time to recognize them for who and what they are and learn from their wisdom before it is to late.

  • manny Moreno

    When one learns about the histories of the five hundred nations of our relatives, it is hard to conceive that this small attempt to declare an apology on behalf of the citizens of the U.S. and the government will undo the atrocities and genocides that have happened. Until this so-called greatest country and it’s government address the Treaties and honor them I for one will not believe that there is any honor in their deeds as human beings.