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The U.S. Government Bureau Of Indian Affairs played a big role in destroying American Indians and their way of life.

Below are two letters, the first one is,
"What if things were turned around"


Second letter is an apology to American Indians from the
Bureau Of Indian Affairs Office



-author unknown-

United Native Americans (UNA)

Are proud to announce that it has bought the state of California from The Whites and is throwing it open to Indian settlement.

UNA bought California from three winos, found wandering in San Francisco. UNA determined that these three winos were the spokesman for the white people of California. These winos promptly signed the treaty, which was written in Lakota, and sold California for three cases of wine, one bottle of gin, and four cases of beer.

Lehman L. Brightman, Commissioner of White Affairs, has announced the following new policies; The Indians have generously agreed to give all Whites living in California four large reservations on which they are to make their new homes.

Each reservation will consist of 20 acres and will be located in the following places: Death Valley, The Utah Salt Flats, The Badlands of South Dakota, and the Yukon territory in Alaska. These reservations shall belong to the whites, "...for as long as the sun shines or the grass grows." (or until the Indians want them back.)

All land on the reservations will be held in trust for the Whites by The Bureau of White Affairs, and any White who wants to use his land in any way, must secure permission from Commissioner Brightman.

Forced  marches and evacuations of Whites are to begin immediately so as to open these lands to Indian settlement as quickly as possible.

When Whites arrive at the reservations they will be of course, allowed to sell trades and handicrafts at stands by the roadsides. Each White will be provided annually, with one thin blanket, one pair of tennis shoes, a supply of Spam and a copy of the book, "The Life of Crazy Horse."

Commissioner Brightman invites all, politically well connected Indian people, to apply for the positions of Reservation agents. If you have less than one year of education, do not speak English, have an authoritarian personality, proof of dishonesty, and a certificate of incompetence, consider yourself well qualified for the position. Paternalistic attitudes and delusions of grandeur a plus. No Whites need apply.

Commissioner Brightman also announced the founding of four boarding schools, to which all White youngsters will be sent at the age of six (6). "We want to take those kids far away from the backward culture of their parents," he said. The schools will be located on Alcatraz Island, the Florida Everglades, Point Barrow, Alaska, and Hong Kong.

All students arriving at the schools will be stripped of their clothing and forced to wear Indian garb. They will be forced to grow their hair long and in time wear it in braids. Upon arrival, at the schools all White children, will be given IQ tests to determine their understanding of Indian language, culture and survival skills. All those white children that do not measure up to Indian standards will be considered mentally compromised and shunted into courses appropriate to students destined to live lives engaged in menial hard labor. All courses will be taught in Lakota and any child caught speaking English will have their mouth washed out with soap, be whipped, and/or be locked in solitary confinement and denied food for a period of days.

Hospitals will be established for the reservations as follows: Whites at Death Valley Reservation may go to the Bangor, Maine Hospital; those at the Yukon Reservations may go to the Miami Beach Hospital; those at the Utah Salt Flats Reservations may go to the Juneau, Alaska Hospital; and those at the Badlands Reservation may receive medical care at the Honolulu, Hawaii, hospital.

All hospitals will be staffed by one medical student, a chiropractor, and two crabby army nurses. All hospitals will be supplied with one case of aspirin, a box of Epson salts,  and one box of Band-Aids, a pair of pliers, one set of vice grips, and an Exacto knife and a liberal supply of suppositories. Dental care will consist of extraction's only. All whites in need of vision correction will be given a pamphlet on how to squint.

All former White churches will be converted to amusement parks for the entertainment of Indians. Interesting statuary and religious artifacts will be purloined by Indian people and sold as curios and collectibles for display in Indian museums and in private collections.

To honor the memory of the former White inhabitants, streets, towns, and geographical locations will be given quaint White names. Also at Indian sporting events, mascots depicting white people dressed in period clothing will be trotted out at half-time. These mascots will be made up to resemble cultural icons of the White race as interpreted by Indian experts. A few such examples will be Clem Kadidlehopper, Gomer Pyle, Elmer Fudd, Barney Fife, Yosemite Sam, and the Three Stooges. In this way Indian children will be educated of how White people looked and acted. Any Whites that protest this honor will be regarded as cranks and spoilsports.

Indian academics will immediately begin excavations of  White cemeteries. Bones and artifacts will be removed and studied. Special attention will be paid to the skulls of White people. These skulls will be measured and scrutinized so that Indian people can determine just what is wrong with white people.

After these studies have been completed, the remains will be sent to Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The remains will be stored in cardboard boxes in the basement of The Red Cloud Indian School where they will collect dust and be forgotten. White people whose ancestors wind up in boxes at The Red Cloud School and wish to have the remains sent to them for re-burial will have to fill out 742 different forms, in triplicate, do 28 pushups, and 76 jumping jacks, all the while balancing a bowl of wild rice on their heads. If all these requirements are met successfully, and satisfy the subjective judgments of uninterested Indian bureaucrats, the remains will be promptly returned in 2.4 generations, more-or-less.

This version of a twist on American history, was taken from the Leonard Peltier newsletter, "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse." I first heard a version of this read by Calvin Jumping Bull in 1993 at International Brotherhood Days. I have taken liberties with various passages and have added additional paragraphs to the above text. I extend apologies to the unknown author of this piece.  
Mike kohr

Remarks of Kevin Gover, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs
Department of the Interior at the Ceremony
Acknowledging the 175th Anniversary
of the Establishment of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
September 8, 2000

In March of 1824, President James Monroe established the Office of Indian Affairs in the Department of War. Its mission was to conduct the nation's business with regard to Indian affairs. We have come together today to mark the first 175 years of the institution now known as the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

It is appropriate that we do so in the first year of a new century and a new millennium, a time when our leaders are reflecting on what lies ahead and preparing for those challenges. Before looking ahead, though, this institution must first look back and reflect on what it has wrought and, by doing so, come to know that this is no occasion for celebration; rather it is time for reflection and contemplation, a time for sorrowful truths to be spoken, a time for contrition.

We must first reconcile ourselves to the fact that the works of this agency have at various times profoundly harmed the communities it was meant to serve. From the very beginning, the Office of Indian Affairs was an instrument by which the United States enforced its ambition against the Indian nations and Indian people who stood in its path.

And so, the first mission of this institution was to execute the removal of the southeastern tribal nations. By threat, deceit, and force, these great tribal nations were made to march 1,000 miles to the west, leaving thousands of their old, their young and their infirm in hasty graves along the Tail of Tears.

As the nation looked to the West for more land, this agency participated in the ethnic cleansing that befell the western tribes. War necessarily begets tragedy; the war for the West was no exception. Yet in these more enlightened times, it must be acknowledged that the deliberate spread of disease, the decimation of the mighty bison herds, the use of the poison alcohol to destroy mind and body, and the cowardly killing of women and children made for tragedy on a scale so ghastly that it cannot be dismissed as merely the inevitable consequence of the clash of competing ways of life. This agency and the good people in it failed in the mission to prevent the devastation.

And so great nations of patriot warriors fell. We will never push aside the memory of unnecessary and violent death at places such as Sand Creek, the banks of the Washita River, and Wounded Knee.

Nor did the consequences of war have to include the futile and destructive efforts to annihilate Indian cultures. After the devastation of tribal economies and the deliberate creation of tribal dependence on the services provided by this agency, this agency set out to destroy all things Indian.

This agency forbade the speaking of Indian languages, prohibited the conduct of traditional religious activities, outlawed traditional government, and made Indian people ashamed of who they were. Worst of all, the Bureau of Indian Affairs committed these acts against the children entrusted to its boarding schools, brutalizing them emotionally, psychologically, physically, and spiritually. Even in this era of self determination, when the Bureau of Indian Affairs is at long last serving as an advocate for Indian people in an atmosphere of mutual respect, the legacy of these misdeeds haunts us.

The trauma of shame, fear and anger has passed from one generation to the next, and manifests itself in the rampant alcoholism, drug abuse, and domestic violence that plague Indian country. Many of our people live lives of unrelenting tragedy as Indian families suffer the ruin of lives by alcoholism, suicides made of shame and despair, and violent death at the hands of one another. So many of the maladies suffered today in Indian country result from the failures of this agency. Poverty, ignorance, and disease have been the product of this agency's work.

And so today I stand before you as the leader of an institution that in the past has committed acts so terrible that they infect, diminish, and destroy the lives of Indian people decades later, generations later. These things occurred despite the efforts of many good people with good hearts who sought to prevent them. These wrongs must be acknowledged if the healing is to begin.

I do not speak today for the United States. That is the province of the nation's elected leaders, and I would not presume to speak on their behalf. I am empowered, however, to speak on behalf of this agency, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and I am quite certain that the words that follow reflect the hearts of its 10,000 employees.

Let us begin by expressing our profound sorrow for what this agency has done in the past. Just like you, when we think of these misdeeds and their tragic consequences, our hearts break and our grief is as pure and complete as yours. We desperately wish that we could change this history, but of course we cannot. On behalf of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, I extend this formal apology to Indian people for the historical conduct of this agency.

And while the BIA employees of today did not commit these wrongs, we acknowledge that the institution we serve did. We accept this inheritance, this legacy of racism and inhumanity. And by accepting this legacy, we accept also the moral responsibility of putting things right.

We therefore begin this important work anew, and make a new commitment to the people and communities that we serve, a commitment born of the dedication we share with you to the cause of renewed hope and prosperity for Indian country. Never again will this agency stand silent when hate and violence are committed against Indians. Never again will we allow policy to proceed from the assumption that Indians possess less human genius than the other races. Never again will we be complicit in the theft of Indian property. Never again will we appoint false leaders who serve purposes other than those of the tribes.

Never again will we allow unflattering and stereotypical images of Indian people to deface the halls of government or lead the American people to shallow and ignorant beliefs about Indians. Never again will we attack your religions, your languages, your rituals, or any of your tribal ways. Never again will we seize your children, nor teach them to be ashamed of who they are. Never again.

We cannot yet ask your forgiveness, not while the burdens of this agency's history weigh so heavily on tribal communities. What we do ask is that, together, we allow the healing to begin: As you return to your homes, and as you talk with your people, please tell them that time of dying is at its end. Tell your children that the time of shame and fear is over. Tell your young men and women to replace their anger with hope and love for their people.

Together, we must wipe the tears of seven generations. Together, we must allow our broken hearts to mend. Together, we will face a challenging world with confidence and trust. Together, let us resolve that when our future leaders gather to discuss the history of this institution, it will be time to celebrate the rebirth of joy, freedom, and progress for the Indian Nations. The Bureau of Indian Affairs was born in 1824 in a time of war on Indian people.

May it live in the year 2000 and beyond as an instrument of their prosperity.



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