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Opinion | It’s long past time for our country to apologize publicly for what it did to Native people

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Whereas the Potawatomi received some payment for their land, they and most First Nations individuals, skilled demise, cultural extinction and dislocation unimaginable right this moment. In 1879, Ponca Chief Standing Bear, whose tribe was compelled to relocate from Nebraska to Indian Territory in Oklahoma, was arrested when he returned to his tribal land to bury his son. When Standing Bear sued for his proper to return residence, the federal government’s lawyer argued that an Indian was neither an individual nor a citizen and subsequently didn’t have the precise to deliver swimsuit to safe his launch. Federal Judge Elmer Dundy dominated that “the Indian is a ‘particular person’ ” underneath the Structure — however not with out additionally referring to Native People as a “weak, insignificant, unlettered, and generally despised race.” Nonetheless, this was a significant authorized victory, given the instances.

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