WASHINGTON -- An official apology for the way the United States and its citizens have mistreated American Indians and the country's other indigenous people is starting to move through Congress.
"I know there's potential for this being controversial," said the apology's author, Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. He recalled the barrage of vitriolic phone calls a few years ago that blocked a similar attempt by former Rep. Tony Hall, D-Ohio, to obtain an official apology to the descendants of former slaves.
"But the circumstances are different," he said. "With the maturity of the sovereign tribes being acknowledged, the opening this fall (on Washington's Mall) of the museum recognizing the contribution of Native Americans, this is a moment that could be used, not to heal all old wounds, but to start building a new relationship."