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Commentary - We need a sincere apology to Native Americans

By Pat Grant, co-chair of One Heart Ministry for First Nation People, Alexandria, Minnesota

This is written after the great editorial entitled "Remembering a dark day in December." [Echo Press, January 6, 2012] It was expertly written. The mistreatment of Native Americans was an all-out effort to eradicate a race from the face of the earth because of ignorance, not knowing what to do with them, and not being able to control them. So why not rid yourself of the problem once and for all and re-write history books to say they did not exist?

You cannot see the wind or the Holy Spirit; you do not know where they come from or where they are going. You feel them but you can deny them. Are we to assume they do not exist? You cannot see or touch God, but we experience His miracles in our lives every day and people say He does not exist.

Today, Little Big Horn is still called a massacre. It was not! It was a battle where two equally armed armies met on a battlefield to fight. Unfortunately, one wins and one loses. This battle only further infuriated the white race's hatred toward natives, which hastened the natives' demise.

The government calls Sand Wand Creek and Wounded Knee and Washita River battles. I strongly disagree. Two equally-armed armies did not meet on a battlefield to fight. The government soldiers were very well armed, while their counterparts were completely unarmed. The soldiers waited until early morning when all natives were asleep - unsuspecting, unarmed old ladies, very young girls, old men and infants.

The warriors were either fighting elsewhere or dead. No warrior put forth any resistance. This, in my opinion, was a cowardly act on our government's part. How fair was that? A well-equipped, alert army against a much weaker foe. Every native was brutally murdered. No mercy was shown, regardless of age. But our government calls this a battle. I call it what it is - a massacre. I will let the readers of this article call it how they see it after reading this.

America called Hussein, Stalin and Mussolini monsters for their part in genocides. What do you call our government that killed more natives than all the other monsters just mentioned? Those monsters copied our government's actions against a weaker foe to rid the world of pests.

At the massacre of the Washita River, every native was butchered except pregnant native women. They were spared instant death because the government soldiers cut open their stomachs and the babies were instantly killed. The women later died an agonizing, slow death. This was done to stop the babies from growing up to fight our government at a later date and extend the race they hated so badly. This action started the modern-day abortion in America as we know it.

The children were hidden from the cavalry at the start of the massacre. A cry went out to them to come out of hiding and they would be safe. Another government lie. All the children who came out of hiding were surrounded and butchered.

All this hatred, lying, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, abortion and murder have caused evil curses on native people, our land and our waters.

President Obama passed two bills, HJ-46 and SJ-14, that stated, and I quote from the SJ-14 bill: "To acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by our federal government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native people on behalf of the United States."

President Obama promised to write, pass and verbalize this policy to our Native Americans, but like the 300-plus broken treaties, he has not verbalized it nationally as of yet. If this nation, this city and this state is going to heal, we need an official verbal apology, along with restitution (not trinkets; that's what cost our natives their lands). Restitution is something of value. Until this is done, no healing can occur on either side.

If a thief breaks into someone's home and steals belongings and is caught, he/she is tried and convicted. They will also have to pay restitution to the person whose home was broken into.

The curses will continue, the prejudice, hatred will continue. We need a sincere, from-the-heart apology with fair and reasonable restitution. Then we can begin to cleanse the lands and the waters so a lasting and complete healing can occur before God comes home. We will need each other in the end times to survive, so why not start now?