Veterans At Standing Rock Offer Long Overdue Apology To Native Elders

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown December 6th, 2016 Last Updated on: January 24th, 2017


Wes Clark Jr., the son of retired U.S. Army general and former supreme commander at NATO Wesley Clark Sr., was part of a group of veterans that traveled to Standing Rock to stand in solidarity with the water protectors. During their visit, the Army Corps of Engineers denied a key permit for the pipeline and these veterans joined with elders in a ceremony celebrating the announcement.

During the ceremony Clark and fellow veterans knelt before the elders, asking for their forgiveness for the mistreatment of their ancestors.

“Many of us, me particularly, are from the units that have hurt you over the many years. We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faces of our presidents onto your sacred mountain. When we took still more land and then we took your children and then we tried to make your language and we tried to eliminate your language that God gave you, and the Creator gave you. We didn’t respect you, we polluted your Earth, we’ve hurt you in so many ways but we’ve come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness.”

As reported by Salon, Chief Leonard Crow Dog offered forgiveness and urged for world peace: “We do not own the land, the land owns us.”

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About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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Craig Thomas

As I am a Vet this also brought tears to my eyes.Hopefully “The Don”, Trump won’t reverse this small success we have had, with stopping the black snake. Lakota Oyate,Ohawa

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