Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback re-introduced the proposed legislation April 30. A companion proposal was introduced in the House by Oklahoma Rep. Dan Boren.
“The resolution seeks reconciliation and offers an official apology to Native peoples for the poor choices the federal government made in the past,” Brownback said. “I firmly believe that in order to move forward and have a true reconciliation, the federal government needs to formally apologize.”
Brownback first introduced the Apology Resolution in 2005.
Indians still await formal apology
The trust issue's omission from the House resolution (none of the Senate resolutions ever contained it) is indicative of a general watering down of an already-anemic apology, said Tim Coulter, director of the Indian Law Resource Center in Helena and Washington, D.C.
“The problem with the apology is that it does nothing wrong to actually acknowledge or do something about the present-day wrongs,” he said. Most of the resolution, he said, is worded so it appears that wrongs against Indian people were a thing of the past.
The apology, he said, “probably seems to the sponsors to be a harmless and possibly benign gesture, but the failures in it are too great for that. The fact is that much more needs to be done, and Congress needs to face up to that.”