In 1993, the U.S. government apologized to native Hawaiians for overthrowing the Kingdom of Hawaii, but a similar apology to American Indians, though proposed, has never come to pass. Now Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), has re-introduced the Native American Apology Resolution, offering an "official apology to Native peoples for the poor choices the federal government made in the past."
"I firmly believe that in order to move forward and have a true reconciliation, the federal government needs to formally apologize," said Sen. Brownback in a press release.
In part, Brownback's resolution reads: "The United States, acting through Congress -- apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all Native Peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States; and expresses its regret for the ramifications of former wrongs and its commitment to build on the positive relationships of the past and present to move toward a brighter future where all the people of this land live reconciled as brothers and sisters, and harmoniously steward and protect this land together."
The resolution, which failed to pass in the previous Congress, does not authorize the settlement of any outstanding claims made against the United States and as Brownback points out, "does not resolve many challenges still facing Native peoples."
The Hawaiian Apology: The Hawaii Apology Resolution of 1993 (Public Law 103-150), "acknowledges that the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii occurred with the active participation of agents and citizens of the United States and further acknowledges that the Native Hawaiian people never directly relinquished to the United States their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people over their national lands, either through the Kingdom of Hawaii or through a plebiscite or referendum."