why should government today officially apologize for the past injustices to indigenous people? (or why shouldn't they apologize)I think goernment should apologize because the past still have far...

why should government today officially apologize for the past injustices to indigenous people? (or why shouldn't they apologize)

I think goernment should apologize because the past still have far too great impact on indigenous people and they need the apology from government to help them.


Expert Answers
brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although there are some Native American groups who are asking for that apology.  I tend to believe that a refusal on our part to formally apologize is actually more insulting.  It says we are not willing to even own up to the reality of the crimes that were committed, much less apologize for them.

After almost a century and a half, the US government formally apologized for slavery in 2009, and despite warnings and opposition to doing so, there wasn't a flood of lawsuits, or public outcry from African-Americans.

I don't think anyone expects that the US would give back the land it stole from Native tribes, even the tribes themselves don't believe that.  I think they expect that treaties will be honored, the past will not be forgotten or ignored, and that both the tribes and the US government can begin an exchange and a relationship that is open and honest.  Given what they lost, I don't think those things are too much to ask for.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, you can look at a few posts on a similar topic here:



Let me go beyond what I said there.  I actually think this would do harm because it would be like rubbing salt in the wounds.  Imagine having the government say to a nation of Native Americans "We're sorry we stole your land and tried to destroy your culture.  However, it's not like we're going to give back what we took..."  That would be the essence of the apology, because there is no way to give the land back.

To me, that would just be insulting and painful -- "sorry for what we did, but too bad, just live with it."

larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm not sure what purpose an apology would accomplish; other than a figurative mea culpa. No one is the better for it. In speaking of "injustices," we need to remember that we are judging the past by today's standards. Certainly, an apology is in order for slavery; because so many people today are still disadvantaged because the stigma of slavery is still with us. The SURVIVORS of the Japanese Internment Camps were also entitled to an apology, as they still bear the wounds of their mistreatment. However, for indigenous people, a great deal has been done to right the wrongs done them in the past. What purpose would an apology serve?

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think we would also have a problem determining who or what groups deserve an apology. If you look throughout history you can find numerous groups of people who were wronged in one way or another. I don't think it would be well received by any group if it were just a blanket apology, and I fear that if you went through each group someone would get left out.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The consensus seems to be that any apology would be merely empty words. There is no doubt that the government of our United States acted atrociously, but an apology would mean nothing as it makes nothing better. For those who think it's the principle of the issue, the principle would amount to little more than saying "Nanny, nanny boo boo."

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
An apology would not do much, I agree. If the government wants to make renumerations, it can start on the reservations. Indian casinos alone are not going to pull the modern indigenous people out of the hole we have forced them into. We need to find a way to give them back some of what they have lost.