By Rhonda LeValdo
Mark Charles, a Navajo from Fort Defiance, Arizona is traveling to communities to make both Natives and non-Natives aware of the little known apology put in a Department of Defense appropriations bill (HR 3326). The entire bill is sixty seven pages long and the apology is buried on page forty five. The bill was signed by President Obama December 19, 2009 with little publicity.
Charles made a stop at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas to speak to the students and faculty about his project. He spoke about the way politicians communicate with tribal nations, many times leaving them out, especially on the campaign trail.
“We are so marginalized that those seeking offices don't speak to us and just like this apology, they wrote it, signed it, but never communicated it to the tribes. I want this to be an opportunity for that conversation to be had between Natives and non-Natives.”