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P.O. Box 13521
Minneapolis MN 55414
612/ 721-3914 . fax 612/ 721-7826
Web Address:

September 21, 2004

National Museum of the American Indian
(Or National Holocaust Museum of the American Indian)
Washington, D.C.
September 21, 2004

On this day, September 21, 2004 the National Museum of the American Indian will officially open its doors in Washington, D.C., the nationís capitol.

This magnificent institution connected to the Smithsonian Institution will stand forever in displaying the beautiful culture of the Indigenous peoples of what is now called the Americas with special focus on the great cultures of the Indian people of North, Central and South America.

We congratulate A. Richard West of the Cheyenne/Arapahoe, the Museumís founding Director and Dwight Gourneau, Ojibwe, the Museumís Board Chairman, as well Senators, Ben Nighthorse Campbell-R, Colorado, Daniel Inouye D, Hawaii who authored the original legislation, and the many others who made the National Museum of the American Indian a reality.

The American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council, however, feels that the Museum falls short in that it does not characterize or does it display the sordid and tragic history of Americaís holocaust against the Native Nations and peoples of the Americas.

S.J. Resolution 37, Resolution of Apology to Native people, initiated in the U.S. Senate by Senator Sam Brownback-R of Kansas and co-sponsored by Senators Daniel Inouye-D of Hawaii, and Ben Nighthorse Campbell-R of Colorado, and H.J. Res. 98 introduced in the House of Representatives by JoAnn Davis-R, Virginia clearly spells out in detail and admits to historical and continuing depredations, massacres, thefts of lands and resources, and the destruction of sacred shrines and burial sites.

It is estimated that as many as 15 million Native peoples in America alone fell victim to the American holocaust since the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. They were victims of biological warfare by way of smallpox infected blankets from Valley Forge, and distributed to the Native people by Lord Jeffrey Amherst and George Washington, and by military aggression, force, violence, and terrorism across the breath of our sacred lands.

While the Museum displays the beautiful culture of Native Peoples, it must also serve as an institution of education about Americaís holocaust on the American Indian. The fact that the Smithsonian Institution still holds in its vaults thousands of skulls and skeletal remains and funerary objects of our ancestors, most victims of this holocaust could, as a beginning, be made a part of the memorial to this great crime against humanity.

This Museum must forever be named and referred to as the National Holocaust Museum of the American Indian.

Dennis J. Banks, Ojibwa Nation
Chairman of the Board
American Indian Movement
Phone: 218-654-5885

Nee Gon Nway Wee Dung, aka, Clyde H. Bellecourt, Ojibwa Nation
National Executive Director
American Indian Movement
Cell: 612-251-5836
Office: 612-724-3129

Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Dakota Nation
Artist, Activist, Filmmaker
Ambassador at Large
American Indian Movement

WaBun-Inini, aka, Vernon Bellecourt, Ojibwa Nation
Executive Committee Member
Director Council on Foreign Relations
American Indian Movement
Office: 612-721-3914
Cell: 612-889-0796

For full text and tracking of S.J. Res.37, Library of Congress go to:

and type in S.J. Resolution 37