‘It’s Called Genocide’: Newsom Apologizes to the State’s Native Americans – The New York Times

Debra Haaland, a New Mexico congresswoman who is Native American, said: “Anything we can do to right past wrongs I think is meaningful. This country was founded on genocide. For California it was a lot worse because it happened so much later than it did for the rest of the country.”

Tribal leaders welcomed Mr. Newsom’s gesture, even as they said they hoped it led to more concrete actions, like improved education.

“It’s important because it’s a first step in a process that has been a long time coming,” said Abby Abinanti, chief judge of the Yurok Tribal Court. “We need to take a serious look as a state, as a country, about how we address these issues.”

A big question is what comes next, and whether a stab at reconciliation will lead to progress on other issues.

“So many of these Indian communities are obviously devastated by all sorts of problems: poverty, alcoholism, abuse,” said Jonathan Hansen, a professor at Harvard who teaches about justice after mass violence. “To apologize, does it mean we commit some money here? Are we going to put our money where our mouth is?”

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