UT Leg. Recognizes "Atrocities" Against Native Americans
PHOTO: The Utah Legislature has approved a resolution acknowledging "atrocities" committed against Native Americans. Photo courtesy of the Utah Office of Tourism.
March 4, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY - Lawmakers in Utah have passed a resolution that recognizes "atrocities" committed against Native Americans and calls on Congress to build a national museum that also would recognize the atrocities. Rep. Jack Draxler is the House sponsor of Senate Joint Resolution 1 (SJR 1). He said the "Joint Resolution on Museum Recognizing Atrocities Against American Indians" is the State of Utah acknowledging the suffering that early Native Americans endured at the hands of non-Natives.
"It is simply an acknowledgement that some terrible things happened in our past that have affected our Native American brothers and sisters for generations. We're simply saying it's time to acknowledge those," Draxler said.
The resolution points out that the Native American population was reduced to just 237,000 people by 1900. It also states that the "Immense population reduction was caused by disease or intentionally, and was intensified by forced migration, deprivation of nutrition and neglect after relocation to unfamiliar, barren lands."
Draxler, who sits on the House Native American Legislative Liaison Committee, hopes the resolution helps to heal centuries-old emotional wounds among Native Americans. He said a new national museum should honor those who lost their lives, and also celebrate the contributions of Native Americans to America.
"We've under-recognized their contribution in terms of their religion, their arts, their culture and their individual members who have achieved great things," he said.
Copies of SJR 1 are being sent to President Obama and Congress.
The resolution is available at http://le.utah.gov.