An Open Letter of Apology to Native Americans From One of the Covington Catholic School Students

As one of the students from Covington Catholic School that incited a colossal shit-show at the Lincoln Memorial on our nation’s sacred ground, the National Mall, I would like to apologize to the Omaha veteran and elder, Nathan Phillips, and to the participants in the Indigenous Peoples March for my reprehensible behavior.

But more importantly, I would like to extend my deepest, heartfelt apologies to the Indigenous people of this continent for the genocide, for the boarding schools, for the dispossession, for The Trail of Tears, for Wounded Knee, for Sand Creek, and for many other horrific massacres. I am profoundly sorry on the behalf of my kin, and “on behalf of the United States government, for the past ill-conceived policies against the Native peoples of this land.”

I am sorry for the “many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on Native peoples by citizens of the United States.” I regret my actions, and the actions of my peers for any damage and undo stress I brought upon Indigenous people, and for reminding Indigenous people that their dignity and the respect due to them is not important despite their being the First People to this land, despite their military service and honor to our country, despite the sovereignty of their 573 federally recognized Indian Nations. But this isn’t just lip-service. I truly am sorry. And I hope that “we can re-affirm our commitment toward healing our nation’s wounds and working toward establishing better relationships rooted in reconciliation.”

In 2009, President Barack Obama signed the first official apology to Native Americans in a bill that contained other, unrelated legislation. Excerpts from the event appear in this fictitious “apology.”