Dear Standing Rock Sioux Tribe,
On behalf of every American, I am sorry. Native Americans have been treated like trash since 1492 when our "beloved" thief and rapist, Christopher Columbus, came to North America. Countless treaties have been made in an effort to compensate for all that has been done, but every time these treaties are broken. The fact that I did not even know but a fraction of the injustices done to Native Americans shows how distorted our telling of history has been, even in the school system. I grew up thinking Christopher Columbus was a noble explorer who gave life to our land, Thanksgiving was a time for preschoolers to stick a feather in a headband and play Indians and Pilgrims, and that the term "Redskin" was appropriate enough to be used for a sports team. Pocahontas was just a Disney movie, a traditional headdress was a fashion statement, and cultural appropriation wasn't in my vocabulary. I am ashamed of my past ignorance. I am ashamed that these are common views among Americans.
I am most ashamed of the fact that after all these years, the government is still treating you like trash. You are the latest victim of racism and negligence by our government. Your land is not ours to take. The Dakota Access Pipeline has no business with Standing Rock, and it should not have business anywhere in this country. I don't have to tell you that this pipeline is dangerous. The fact that it could contaminate 17 million American's water supply still is not enough to scare people. It seems all that is being considered is how many temporary jobs can be made and how cheaply we can transfer fossil fuels. What people are not understanding is that this is not our land to build on and its risks greatly outweigh the benefits.
I do not support the injustice that is being forced upon you. I do not support the lack of information in schools concerning Native American culture and history. I promise to stand with you and fight for what is right. I promise to spread the truth and try to educate those who do not know what you have been through. I promise to march with you in Washington, D.C. on March 10 to show the world that this is will no longer be overlooked. There are many Americans that will stand with you and we will rise united until there is justice.
I am sorry for everything, but it is time to for us all to stand.