When American activists try to bring up with the Chinese government the human rights issue of Tibet's oppression, their general reply is, "When you address the unresolved issues with Native Americans, then we'll talk."
Obama was the first US president to ever visit a Native American reservation while on campaign. And still, at the inauguration, there was no ceremonial presence or mention of the people who originally were free in this land until "America" came along.
We are hypocrites if we continue to talk of freedom and liberation and yet do nothing to apologize and make ammends for our 500-year abuse and systematic oppression of Native Peoples.
Specific measures to be taken? There should be research done into this once the general principle is perceived and its importance agreed upon: that America was and is still founded upon clearly documented mistreatment of, broken official treaties with, and religious persecution of the original peoples of this land. There is much to be done.
A few years ago, Canada's government officially enacted a Truth and Reconciliation process that is now going on, including widespread interviews with victims of government Residential Schools. Our government should do the same, and more, serving as a role model for China, Israel, Iran, or any country we wish to sit down and seriously talk with about "human rights" and "freedom".
We need to change our public education to reflect a truer story of America's founding and development, and we need to change our current policies and land-use to reflect at least some of the original agreements that our government made at one time and then broke.
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