Reconciliation in South Dakota ended with the death of Gov. George Mickelson in a plane crash and it also died because the governor’s replacement refused to allow the Lakota newspaper publisher who originated the idea to continue the efforts on behalf of Mickelson and of South Dakota. After all, reconciliation was a “white idea.” Oh yes, I was that Lakota newspaper publisher who came up with the idea of “Reconciliation.”
The previous government in Australia under Prime Minister John Howard refused to apologize because it did not feel responsible for the misdeeds of past administrations and also because it feared that an apology would lead to enormous compensation claims.
So that brings us back full circle: “What good is an apology going to do for the Native American people?” If our experience with “reconciliation” is any reminder, the answer to that question is “Not much.”