(House of Representatives - September 21, 2004)

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[Pages H7294-H7300]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
Senate joint resolution (S.J. Res. 41) commemorating the opening of the 
National Museum of the American Indian.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                              S.J. Res. 41

       Whereas the National Museum of the American Indian Act (20 
     U.S.C. 808 et seq.) established within the Smithsonian 
     Institution the National Museum of the American Indian and 
     authorized the construction of a facility to house the 
     National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall 
     in the District of Columbia;
       Whereas the National Museum of the American Indian 
     officially opens on September 21, 2004; and
       Whereas the National Museum of the American Indian will be 
     the only national museum devoted exclusively to the history 
     and art of cultures indigenous to the Americas, and will give 
     all Americans the opportunity to learn of the cultural 
     legacy, historic grandeur, and contemporary culture of Native 
     Americans: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
     United States of America in Congress assembled,


       (1) recognizes the important and unique contribution of 
     Native Americans to the cultural legacy of the United States, 
     both in the past and currently;
       (2) honors the cultural achievements of all Native 
       (3) celebrates the official opening of the National Museum 
     of the American Indian; and
       (4) requests the President to issue a proclamation 
     encouraging all Americans to take advantage of the resources 
     of the National Museum of the American Indian to learn about 
     the history and culture of Native Americans.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) and the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Larson) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers).
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Senate Joint Resolution 41 commemorates the opening of the National 
Museum of the American Indian.
  Today brings to a conclusion a concept that started over 20 years 
ago, to create a national museum in our Nation's capital which is 
dedicated exclusively to Native American art, history, and culture.
  Today will also mark the beginning of a lasting tribute to those 
individuals who were our country's earliest inhabitants.
  The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian 
sits adjacent to the National Air and Space Museum on over 4 acres of 
land, just southwest of the U.S. Capitol.
  The building's appearance is unlike any other in Washington, D.C., 
and it has symbolic references to Native American culture. The 
building's limestone exterior gives it the appearance of natural rock 
formations that have been carved by wind and water.
  Three-quarters of the site is reconstructed natural habitats that are 
indigenous to this southeastern region, and the building itself will 
display about 8,000 objects from its permanent collection. The displays 
will include not only historical artifacts, but will also portray 
ongoing vital contributions Native Americans bring to this Nation's art 
and culture.
  The building has some special features which include an entrance 
facing east toward the rising sun, a prism window and a 120-foot high 
atrium called the Potomac, which was designed in consultation with many 
Native Americans.
  Native Americans indeed have had profound influences on our Nation's 
culture from the very birth of our country through today and will 
continue into the future.
  At a time when our military receives so much focus, it is important 
to remember that some of our military's great heroes, such as the code 
talkers, were Native Americans who helped preserve our country's ideals 
and beliefs.
  It is also important to note that Native Americans make up less than 
1 percent of the total U.S. population, but represent half the 
languages and cultures in the Nation.
  The term ``Native American'' includes over 500 different groups and 
reflects great diversity of geographic location, language, 
socioeconomic conditions, and retention of traditional spiritual and 
cultural practices. However, many teaching materials present a 
generalized image of Native American people with little or no regard 
for differences that exist from tribe to tribe. I believe this museum 
provides a strong presentation of these differences and will be very 
educational to the viewer and to the Nation.
  It is remarkable that Native Americans have retained many of their 
longstanding traditions, even though numerous outside influences create 
pressures for change.
  Thanks to the efforts of Senator Inouye and our former House 
colleague, Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, legislation was signed by 
former President George Herbert Walker Bush on November 28, 1989; and 
today this museum has become a reality.
  I hope all my colleagues and all who visit our Nation's capital will 
take the opportunity to visit this wonderful museum, and I urge my 
colleagues to support S.J. Res. 41.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  (Mr. Larson of Connecticut asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend his remarks, and include extraneous material.)
  Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I would like to associate 
myself with the remarks of the gentleman from Michigan. Indeed, I am 
pleased to support Senate Joint Resolution 41, commemorating the 
successful 15-year effort to create the National Museum of the American 
Indian and requesting the President to issue a proclamation for this 
  What a day it has been already, having the celebration kicked off 
this morning. So many Native Americans from my great State of 
Connecticut are down here for this very special commemoration.
  I would also echo the remarks and sentiments of the gentleman from 
Michigan. What a great tribute. This is the 18th such museum that the 
Smithsonian has put up; and under their tutelage, we know that it is 
going to continue to be as spectacular as the 17 others that come under 
their control and auspices.
  I am equally proud as well that so many tribes in the great State of 
Connecticut have contributed not only to our great economy and 
employment there but they themselves have been leaders. The 
Mashantucket Pequots of Mashantucket have put together their own museum 
and are going to collaborate here with the national museum.

[[Page H7295]]

They are both extraordinary sites and worth everyone visiting, as well 
as have the Mohegans in Connecticut who are also great economic 
contributors and employers in the State of Connecticut, who have also 
put together an educational program and archaeological field trips that 
teach both the culture and the storytelling and the lore of all that 
are so important.
  So, Mr. Speaker, I am proud and encourage everyone to support this 
resolution today.
  I am pleased to support S.J. Res. 41, commemorating the successful 
15-year effort to create the National Museum of the American Indian 
(NMAI) on the Mall, and requesting the President to issue a 
proclamation for the occasion.
  The legislation was originally introduced by Senators Campbell and 
Inouye, the chairman and ranking member of the Committee on Indian 
Affairs, and passed the Senate on July 22. Many of Connecticut's tribal 
nations are here this week for the commemoration.
  The Museum encompasses the culture and history of indigenous peoples 
throughout the Western Hemisphere, who total more than 35 million.
  The Museum, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution, opens today 
at 4.25 acre site southwest of the U.S. Capitol grounds. It is the only 
national museum devoted exclusively to the life, languages, literature, 
history and arts of cultures indigenous to the Americas.
  Earlier today there are a ceremonial procession of Native Americans 
from the Smithsonian to the Capitol, followed by the Museum dedication 
ceremony on the Mall and the opening of the Museum to the public. A 
six-day festival and celebration on the Mall also begins today.
  Besides the site on the Mall, the Museum also includes the George 
Gustave Heye Center, a museum in New York; and the Cultural Resources 
Center, a research and collections facility in Suitland, Maryland.
  The National Museum of the American Indian is the 18th museum under 
the control of the Smithsonian. It was formally created by Congress in 
1989 after the Heye Foundation in New York City agreed to transfer its 
own unique collection to the Smithsonian. Construction on the Mall 
began in 1999.
  The structure has a unique architectural design using Kasota 
limestone which gives the appearance of having been weathered by the 
elements. It is a majestic setting which enhances the Mall, and the 
Museum's location along Independence Avenue near the Capitol ensures 
that it will become one of Washington's premier attractions for 
visitors. American Indians have played a key role in the Museum's 
design and fund-raising, as well as the exhibitions and programs.
  The Smithsonian Institution has developed a special expertise in 
conceiving and managing museums which move beyond traditional concepts 
of exhibitions that remain static for decades, and instead allow living 
and evolving history to be displayed.
  This is especially appropriate since Native American communities in 
the United States and Canada, and throughout the Hemisphere, remain 
vital forces in the cultural identifies of the many new nations with 
which they have been joined.
  The Native American communities in the United States remain distinct, 
highly visible entities culturally, and often politically and 
economically, in the States where they are located. In this country 
alone there are more than 500 distinct Native cultural communities 
recognized by the Federal government, and States recognize still more.
  There are more than two million indigenous peoples residing in the 
United States.
  The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, in my home State of Connecticut, in 
addition to being a major employer and economic force in the State due 
to its well-known casinos, was the first Tribe to make a large donation 
to the National Museum of the American Indian. Its $10-million donation 
was, at the time, the largest-ever single contribution to the 
Smithsonian. Both the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut and the Oneida Tribe 
of New York later made similar donations.
  The National Museum of the American Indian has also been the 
beneficiary of numerous other sizable donations from tribal communities 
and tribally related organizations. Tribes and tribal organizations 
have donated nearly one quarter of the approximately $199 million total 
cost of the Museum building, a testament to the continuing cultural and 
economic vitality of Indian tribes and their interest in disseminating 
knowledge to the broader American public.

  The Mashantucket Pequots also own and operate the Mashantucket Pequot 
Museum and Research Center in Mashantucket. This 308,000 sq. ft. 
facility houses the largest collection of Native American artifacts in 
the world. Four full acres of permanent exhibits at the Center depict 
18,000 years of Native and natural history in thoroughly researched 
detail. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, along with the Mashantucket 
Pequot Museum and Research Center will continue to work together in a 
cooperative agreement with the National Museum of the American Indian.
  The Mohegans have also created many educational resources to bring 
their contributions to a wider audience. Their Archaeological Field 
School provides an opportunity to learn about Native American history 
first-hand. Cultural and community programs bring Mohegan culture to 
life through presentations of tribal artifacts.
  It is an honor for me to know personnally so many tribal leaders, 
including from the Mohegans, Lifetime Chief and former Chairman Ralph 
Sturges, Chairman Mark F. Brown, Vice Chairman Peter J. Schultz and 
Ambassador Jayne G. Fawcett; and from the Mashantuckets, Chairman 
Michael Thomas, Vice Chairman Richard ``Skip'' Hayward, Executive 
Director of Public Affairs Pedro Johnson, and Councilmember Kenny 
  Mr. Speaker, the successful completion of the National Museum of the 
American Indian bodes well for public interest in the National Museum 
of African American History and Culture, which was created by Congress 
last year and is in the preliminary stages of development, site 
selection and fund-raising.
  I insert in the Congressional Record at this point a chronology of 
the development of the National Museum of the American Indian prepared 
by the Smithsonian Institution.

           National Museum of the American Indian Chronology

       1980--Discussions begin between the Smithsonian Institution 
     and the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation in New 
     York City. The Heye collection of 800,000 objects, 
     representing tribes from the entire Western Hemisphere, was 
     one of the largest Native American collections in the world. 
     The talks were initiated by the museum's trustees, and 
     discussions centered on an affiliation with the Smithsonian 
     while still maintaining an independent museum in New York. 
     Although not conclusive in themselves, these early talks lead 
     the way to future negotiations.
       April 1987--Smithsonian Secretary Robert McC. Adams 
     accompanied Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) to New York to 
     talk with officials of the Museum of the American Indian, 
     Heye Foundation.
       May 4, 1987--The board of trustees of the Museum of the 
     American Indian unanimously adopted a resolution providing 
     for an affiliation between its museum and the Smithsonian, 
     and for the relocation of the museum collections to a new 
     building on the National Mall in Washington.
       May 11, 1987--The Smithsonian Board of Regents approved a 
     motion encouraging the Secretary to ``continue discussions 
     with representatives of the Museum of the American Indian, 
     Heye Foundation, about the prospect of a formal institutional 
     relationship between the museum and the Smithsonian.''
       Following discussion with the Smithsonian and the Heye 
     Foundation's board of trustees, Senator Inouye introduced a 
     bill (S. 1722) on September 25, 1987, to establish a National 
     Museum of the American Indian within the Smithsonian 
       The Smithsonian Institution continues its negotiations with 
     the board of trustees of the Museum of the American Indian, 
     Heye Foundation. The Smithsonian Board of Regents approved an 
     ``agreement in principle'' on January 30, 1989 to transfer 
     the Museum of the American Indian collection to the 
       March 16, 1989--Julie Johnson Kidd, chairman of the Heye 
     Foundation, signed the agreement. The Smithsonian Board of 
     Regents gave its final approval to the agreement on May 8, 
     1989, and it was endorsed the same day by Secretary Adams.
       Senator Inouye introduced S. 978 to establish the National 
     Museum of the American Indian on May 11, 1989, and Senator 
     Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado), at that time a U.S. 
     representative from Colorado, introduced companion 
     legislation, H.R. 2668 on June 15, 1989.
       September 12, 1989--Secretary Adams joined Senators Inouye 
     and Campbell for a press conference announcing the 
     Smithsonian's revised policy on repatriation of American 
     Indian human remains in the National Museum of Natural 
     History collections. The legislation establishing the new 
     museum, to be named the National Museum of the American 
     Indian, would incorporate the repatriation policy and 
     appropriate funds for an inventory of human remains in the 
     Smithsonian's collections.
       November 28, 1989--President George Bush signs legislation 
     establishing the National Museum of the American Indian as 
     part of the Smithsonian Institution.
       May 21, 1990--Secretary Adams announced the appointment of 
     W. Richard West (Southern Cheyenne), as founding director of 
     the new museum, effective June 1, 1990.
       April 1991--The Smithsonian selected Venturi, Scott Brown 
     and Associates Inc. of

[[Page H7296]]

     Philadelphia to assist the National Museum of the American 
     Indian in developing general architectural program 
     requirements and criteria for the design of the new museum in 
     Washington, D.C., and for a Cultural Resources Center in 
     Suitland, MD, about six miles from Washington where the 
     museum's collections would be housed.
       June 1992--The Smithsonian selected Polshek and Partners of 
     New York City, Tober + Davis of Reston, VA, and the Native 
     American Design Collaborative to provide architectural and 
     engineering services for the Cultural Resources Center.
       A preview exhibition, ``Pathways of Tradition,'' a 
     selection of more than 100 objects representing American 
     Indian cultures and creativity, was on view at the 
     Smithsonian's George Gustav Heye Center of the National 
     Museum of the American Indian in New York City from November 
     15, 1992-January 24, 1993.
       February 1993--The Smithsonian selected the architectural 
     firm of GBQC of Philadelphia in association with Douglas 
     Cardinal Architect Ltd. of Ottawa, Canada, to create the 
     design concept for the National Museum of the American Indian 
     on the National Mall in Washington.
       October 30, 1994--The museum's Geroge Gustav Heye Center 
     officially opened in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House 
     at One Bowling Green in New York City.
       January 1998--The Smithsonian terminated its relationship 
     with GBQC and Douglas Cardinal (Blackfoot) and the 
     Institution assumed responsibility for the design and 
     construction of the museum on the National Mall. Assisting 
     the Smithsonian were Polshek/Smith Group and Johnpaul Jones 
       September 28, 1999--The groundbreaking and blessing 
     ceremony takes place on the National Mall in Washington, DC, 
     at the site of the National Museum of the American Indian's 
     Mall Museum. The new museum will occupy the Mall's last 
     remaining site. Three planned inaugural exhibitions will 
     feature historic and contemporary aspects of Native life, and 
     will highlight artifacts from the museum's priceless 
       June 26, 2001--The Smithsonian Institution awarded a 
     contract to ``CLARK/TMR, A Joint Venture,'' to build the 
     National Museum of the American Indian. CLARK/TMR is composed 
     of the Clark Construction Company of Bethesda, MD, and Table 
     Mountain Rancheria Enterprises Inc., a construction company 
     that is a subsidiary of the Table Mountain Rancheria of 
     Friant, CA.
       September 14-15, 2002--A national Pow Wow was sponsored by 
     the museum on the National Mall adjacent to the museum 
     construction site. Approximately 25,000 people attended to 
     watch nearly 500 Native Americans dance over the two-day 
       November 20, 2002--A ``topping out'' (a circular section of 
     glass was installed on the roof of the building) ceremony and 
     blessing was held to mark the completion of the major 
     structural elements of the new building.
       January 15, 2004--The first phase of occupancy of the new 
     museum by staff begins.

  Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Pallone) may control the remainder of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. McCotter). Is there objection to the 
request of the gentleman from Connecticut?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time to close. I 
have no further speakers other than myself.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 7 minutes to the gentleman from 
American Samoa (Mr. Faleomavaega).
  (Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
his remarks.)
  Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from 
Michigan and my good friend from New Jersey for the management of this 
proposed legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of Senate Joint Resolution 41, as 
offered by the good Senator from the State of Colorado, Mr. Campbell; 
and I would like to take this occasion to commend Senator Ben 
Nighthorse Campbell and Senator Daniel Inouye on the historic opening 
of the National Museum of the American Indian.
  The museum's opening and the other celebratory events of this week 
represent a culmination of over 15 years of dedicated work by Senator 
Ben Campbell and Senator Daniel Inouye to establish a national museum 
that acknowledges and honors the history, the achievement, and the arts 
and the culture of Native Americans.

                              {time}  1930

  This museum also symbolizes the courage and determination of Native 
Americans to persevere in the face of over 500 years of hardship and 
adversity. The National Museum of the American Indian is a true 
national treasure, a living legacy to the vitality and creativity of 
the first Americans of our Nation, a treasure that would not exist 
today without the vision and the efforts of Senator Ben ``Nighthorse'' 
Campbell and Senator Daniel Inouye.
  Senator Campbell has worked tirelessly on behalf of Native Americans 
throughout his distinguished career. He introduced important 
legislation for native communities on issues as divergent as economic 
development, job training, trust reform and health care. Senator 
Campbell has also introduced resolutions honoring the contributions of 
Native American veterans to the United States and designating November 
2003 as National American Indian Heritage Month. Senator Campbell has 
been a leading voice in establishing Native American policies and 
addressing the numerous challenges facing the Native American people, 
and his voice will be sorely missed when he retires at the end of this 
congressional session.
  Senator Inouye has a tremendous reputation among the American Indian 
community. He deserves high praise for his countless contributions to 
the health and the well-being of our Nation's native people. Senator 
Inouye has been actively involved in the Senate Committee on Indian 
Affairs since 1978, playing a key role in establishing the committee 
from a select committee to a standing committee in order to better 
address long-neglected issues affecting our Native American community.
  Senator Inouye has introduced legislation recognizing tribal 
sovereign authority, supporting native health care, and in conjunction 
with Senator Campbell, authorizing the construction of the National 
Museum of the Native American Indian.
  Mr. Speaker, I also commend the Native American Caucus here in our 
own Chamber, led by my colleagues, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Kildee) and the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Hayworth) for their 
outstanding leadership on issues of concern to the Native American 
community. For 16 years I have proudly supported the Native American 
Caucus as it advanced the interests of Native Americans in Congress, in 
the ongoing mission to improve the relationship between the United 
States Government and the Native American tribes to one of dignity and 
mutual respect.
  Mr. Speaker, when I think of the American Indian museum, I think of 
the many trials and tribulations and suffering of the Native Americans. 
I am reminded of their generosity and humanity to teach the first 
pilgrims how to farm and to save the first Europeans from starvation. I 
am reminded of the forced removal of the Cherokees on the infamous 
``Trail of Many Tears,'' and the moving surrender speech of Chief 
Joseph, who said, ``My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now 
stands, I will fight no more, forever.''
  Mr. Speaker, when I think of the American Indian Museum, I am 
reminded of the great speech by Chief Seattle, a member of the 
Squamish-Dowamish tribe in the State of Washington, and I will submit 
the text of Chief Seattle's speech for the Record. Chief Seattle's 
speech was a moving and most profound and keen observation on the 
relations between Native Americans and our country; profound, in that 
his insights were prophetic and accurate. I want to share with my 
colleagues an excerpt of Chief Seattle's speech, and I quote.
  ``Every part of this country is sacred to my people. Every hillside, 
every valley, every plain and grove has been hallowed by some fond 
memory or some sad experience of my tribe. Even the rocks, which seem 
to lie dumb as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore in solemn 
grandeur thrill with memories of past events connected with the fate of 
my people. The very dust under your feet responds more lovingly to our 
footsteps than to yours because it is the ashes of our ancestors, and 
our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch, for the soil is 
rich with the life of our kindred.''
  Mr. Speaker, as my good friend and colleague, the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Baca) alluded to earlier, the unmet social, political, 
educational and health care needs of some 4.1 million Native Americans 
is still an embarrassment, at least in this Member's opinion, and is 
not a record of which our national government can be proud. Yes, we are 
giving assistance, but never enough to do the job. I, for one, am 
puzzled by our Nation's inability to provide the necessary resources to 
assist our Native American community

[[Page H7297]]

with the very serious problems affecting them, especially health care 
and education.
  Today, Mr. Speaker, the opening of the National Museum of the 
American Indian is a celebration of the Native American contributions 
to our national identity as well as a testament to the drive and 
determination of our congressional leaders who fought to make this 
museum a reality. Again I applaud the efforts of Senator Ben 
``Nighthorse'' Campbell and Senator Daniel Inouye for their leadership 
and initiative, and I am hopeful that Congress will now act to give our 
Native American community a voice in government, hopefully for 
generations to come.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support Senate Joint Resolution 
  Mr. Speaker, the speech of Chief Seattle, referred to above, follows:

                         Chief Seattle's Speech

As Translated by Dr. Henry Smith--Seattle, Washington Territory, During 
                       Treaty Negotiations--1854

       Yonder sky that has wept tears of compassion upon our 
     fathers for centuries untold, and which to us looks eternal, 
     may change. Today is fair, tomorrow it may be overcast with 
       My words are like the stars that never set. What Seattle 
     says the Great Chief at Washington can rely upon with as much 
     certainty as our paleface brothers can rely upon the return 
     of the seasons.
       The son of the White Chief says his father sends us 
     greetings of friendship and good will. This is kind, for we 
     know he has little need of our friendship in return because 
     his people are many. They are like the grass that covers the 
     vast prairies, while my people are few and resemble the 
     scattering trees of a storm-swept plain.
       The Great, and I presume, also good, White Chief sends us 
     word that he wants to buy our lands but is willing to allow 
     us to reserve enough to live on comfortably. This indeed 
     appears generous, for the Red Man no longer has rights that 
     he need respect, and the offer may be wise, also, for we are 
     no longer in need of a great country.
       There was a time when our people covered the whole land as 
     the waves of a windruffled sea covers its shell-paved floor. 
     But that time has long since passed away with the greatness 
     of tribes now almost forgotten. I will not mourn over our 
     untimely decay, nor reproach my paleface brothers for 
     hastening it, for we too, may have been somewhat to blame.
       When our young men grow angry at some real or imaginary 
     wrong, and disfigure their faces with black paint, their 
     hearts, also, are disfigured and turn black, and then their 
     cruelty is relentless and knows no bounds, and our old men 
     are not able to restrain them.
       But let us hope that hostilities between the Red Man and 
     his paleface brothers may never return. We would have 
     everything to lose and nothing to gain.
       True it is, that revenge, with our young braves is 
     considered gain, even at the cost of their own lives. But old 
     men who stay at home in times of war and mothers who have 
     sons to lose, know better.
       Our great father, Washington, for I presume he is now our 
     father as well as yours, since George has moved his 
     boundaries to the North--our great and good father, I say, 
     sends us word by his son, who, no doubt, is a great chief 
     among his people, that if we do as he desires he will protect 
       His brave armies will be to us a bristling wall of 
     strength, and his great ships of war will fill our harbors so 
     that our ancient enemies far to the northward--the Simsiams 
     and Hydas--will no longer frighten our women and old men. 
     Then he will be our father and we will be his children.
       But can that ever be? Your God is not our God! Your God 
     loves your people and hates mine! He folds His strong arms 
     lovingly around the white man and leads him as a father leads 
     his infant son--but He has forsaken his red children. He 
     makes your people wax strong every day and soon they will 
     fill all the land; while my people are ebbing away like a 
     fast receding tide that will never flow again. The white 
     man's God cannot love His red children or He would protect 
     them. They seem to be orphans who can look nowhere for help.
       How, then, can we become brothers? How can your Father 
     become our father and bring us prosperity and awaken in us 
     dreams of returning greatness?
       Your God seems to us to be partial. He came to the white 
     man. We never saw Him, never heard His voice. He gave the 
     white man laws, but had no word for His red children whose 
     teeming millions once filled this vast continent as the stars 
     fill the firmament.
       No. We are two distinct races, and must ever remain so. 
     There is little in common between us.
       The ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their final 
     resting place is hallowed ground, while you wander away from 
     the tombs of your fathers seemingly without regrets.
       Your religion was written on tablets of stone by the iron 
     finger of an angry God, lest you might forget it. The Red Man 
     could never remember nor comprehend it.
       Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors--the dreams 
     of our old men, given to them by the Great Spirit, and the 
     visions of our Sachems, and is written in the hearts of our 
       Your dead cease to love you and the homes of their nativity 
     as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb. They wander far 
     away beyond the stars, are soon forgotten and never return.
       Our dead never forget the beautiful world that gave them 
     being. They still love its winding rivers, its great 
     mountains and its sequestered vales, and they ever yearn in 
     tenderest affection over the lonely-hearted living, and often 
     return to visit and comfort them.
       Day and night cannot dwell together. The Red Man has ever 
     fled the approach of the white man, as the changing mist on 
     the mountain side flee before the blazing morning sun.
       However, your proposition seems a just one, and I think 
     that my folks will accept it and will retire to the 
     reservation you offer them, and we will dwell apart and in 
     peace, for the words of the Great White Chief seem to be the 
     voice of Nature speaking to my people out of the thick 
     darkness that is fast gathering around them like a dense fog 
     floating inward from a midnight sea.
       It matters little where we pass the remainder of our days. 
     They are not many. The Indian's night promises to be dark. No 
     bright star hovers above his horizon. Sad-voiced winds moan 
     in the distance. Some great Nemesis of our race is on the Red 
     Man's trail, and wherever he goes he will still hear the sure 
     approaching footsteps of the fell destroyer and prepare to 
     meet his doom, as does the wounded doe that hears the 
     approaching footsteps of the hunter.
       A few more moons, a few more winters, and not one of all 
     the mighty hosts that once filled this broad land or that now 
     roam in fragmentary bands through these vast solitudes or 
     lived in happy homes, protected by the Great Spirit, win 
     remain to weep over the graves of a people once as powerful 
     and as hopeful as your own!
       But why should I repine? Why should I murmur at the fate of 
     my people? Tribes are made up of individuals and are no 
     better than they. Men come and go like the waves of a sea. A 
     tear, a tamanamus, a dirge and they are gone from our longing 
     eye forever. Even the white man, whose God walked and talked 
     with him as friend to friend, is not exempt from the common 
     destiny. We may be brothers after all. We shall see.
       We will ponder your proposition, and when we have decided 
     we will tell you. but should we accept it, I, here and now, 
     make this the first condition, that we not be denied the 
     privilege, without molestation, of visiting at will the 
     graves of our ancestors and friends.
       Every part of this country is sacred to my people. Every 
     hillside, every valley, every plain and grove has been 
     hallowed by some fond memory or some sad experience of my 
     tribe. Even the rocks, which seem to lie dumb as they swelter 
     in the sun along the silent shore in solemn grandeur thrill 
     with memories of pass events connected with the fate of my 
     people, the very dust under your feet responds more lovingly 
     to our footsteps than to yours, because it is the ashes of 
     our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the 
     sympathetic touch, for the soil is rich with the life of our 
       The sable braves, and fond mothers, and glad-hearted 
     maidens, and the little children who lived and rejoiced here 
     and whose very names are now forgotten, still love these 
     solitudes and their deep fastnesses as eventide grows shadowy 
     with the presence of dusky spirits.
       And when the last Red Man shall have perished from the 
     earth and his memory among white men shall have become a 
     myth, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my 
     tribe and when your children's children shall think 
     themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the 
     highway, or in the silence of the woods, they will not be 
     alone. In all the earth there is no place dedicated to 
       At night, when the streets of your cities and villages 
     shall be silent and you think them deserted, they will throng 
     with the returning hosts that once filled and still live this 
     beautiful land.
       The white man will never be alone. Let him be just and deal 
     kindly with my people, for the dead are not powerless.

  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, may I inquire about the amount of time I 
have remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. McCotter). The gentleman from New Jersey 
has 12 minutes remaining.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume, 
and I do not intend to use all the time, but I do want to speak out 
about the National Museum of the American Indian.
  First of all, let me say that 15 years after Congress passed 
legislation calling for the establishment of a National Museum of the 
American Indian, we finally arrive today at the day when American 
Indians have a place to call their own in the Nation's Capital. I had 
the opportunity today to witness most of the procession that took place 
beginning at 9 a.m. and then the opening

[[Page H7298]]

ceremony at 12 noon, and then the opportunity this afternoon to go and 
visit the museum itself. So I want to talk a little bit about my 
firsthand experiences today and why I think it is so significant that 
this museum has finally opened.
  When I was talking to Native Americans today, some of whom I had met 
before, some of whom I had not, they all seemed to say the same thing, 
which is, finally, finally, the day had come when they were going to be 
recognized in this museum. I asked some of them what they meant by 
that, and they pretty much said the same thing, which was that for a 
long time in these United States, Native American culture was not paid 
attention to.
  Many people, I would say, particularly on the East Coast, are not 
even aware of the fact that Native American communities continue to 
exist. It is almost as if they are something that happened and occurred 
a long time ago, maybe 100 years ago, and now there is very little 
knowledge on the part of many Americans about Native Americans or their 
communities. So the museum seeks to change all that.
  When I went through the museum today, there was, of course, reference 
to the genocide that occurred, there was, of course, reference to, I 
remember one particular place where there is a wall that talks about 
how so many Native Americans were wiped out through diseases when 
Europeans arrived. But, generally speaking, it was not so much a museum 
about the past, it was much more a museum about communities that exist 
today, the peoples that exist today, the cultures that exist today, and 
the uniqueness of them and how there is so much variety between the 
various tribes and Indian nations, not only in the United States, but 
in all of the Americas.
  So the museum has become an affirmation of the fact that Native 
Americans and their communities not only continue to exist, but are 
growing and are vibrant and are an important part of American culture. 
I think that is a lesson that is certainly important for nonNative 
Americans. In the museum today, most of the people seemed to be 
American Indians, but there were certainly a lot of people who were 
not, and the museum serves as a way of explaining to them how the 
Native American culture continues to exist and survive and strive and 
move forward.
  I have to also say that looking at the museum, the artwork was just 
unbelievable, not only in terms of traditional culture, such as 
baskets, moccasins, clothing, and blankets, but also in terms of modern 
art, like abstract art and abstract paintings. It truly is a museum 
that encompasses the entire spectrum of the Native American culture. So 
I just want to say that when I went down there today and witnessed the 
museum, I just felt that this was sort of the culmination of the 
artistic achievement of the Native American culture in the United 
  The other thing that was so significant was the opening ceremony 
today. I think they estimated there were over 10,000 native peoples 
that participated in the opening ceremony. They were arranged 
alphabetically by tribe. And when you saw them march, you could see the 
pride in their faces, you could see the children that were learning 
from the experience, you could see the elders that were so proud to be 
there, and the various cultures in just watching that procession with 
the various tribes.
  I do not know how many tribes were represented. I am sure there had 
to be hundreds, not only from the United States, but also throughout 
the Americas. I saw Incas from Peru, I saw people from the extreme 
southern part of South America, and I saw Arctic peoples. It was just 
truly amazing.
  So I just want to close today, although I do see we have another 
speaker that I will yield some time to, but I want to close today by 
saying on my behalf, and also on behalf of the Native American Caucus, 
of which I am one of the vice chairs, we want to welcome the thousands 
of Native Americans that came to Washington to celebrate the opening of 
the National Museum of the American Indian, and certainly ask my 
colleagues here in the House to join in the celebration this week and 
take time to reflect now upon the rich culture of Native Americans.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Washington (Mr. McDermott).
  Mr. McDERMOTT. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to talk on 
this resolution because I think it is a long time in coming. Our 
treatment of the first people in this country has been abysmal. We are 
largely ignorant of what their culture was or that there was a culture, 
and this is now an opportunity to redress what I think has been a 
serious error that has been made by the United States.
  What is amazing about this is that it is not over. At the time of the 
last 8 years under President Clinton, a number of tribes tried to get 
their recognition. The Dowamish and Chinook tribes in the State of 
Washington went through the entire process in the Department of the 
Interior. They were given their status as recognized tribes in this 
process. The President signed the order creating this relationship with 
the Chinooks and the Dowamish, and when the new administration came in, 
one of the very first things they did was reach back into the desk 
drawer and wipe out the Dowamish tribe. They do not exist any more, to 
this administration.
  Now, I come from a city called Seattle, that is a corruption of the 
name of the Chief of the Dowamish tribe, Sealth. Chief Sealth was a 
Dowamish. He lived in this country when everybody arrived. He helped 
those people who came into Pugent Sound all by themselves. And, in 
fact, he gave his name to the city. He made a speech once where he 
said, ``When I met the great white father, I didn't know the land was 
his. I thought that God gave us, the great spirit gave us the land to 
live in and to share and to leave it in better condition than when we 
found it.'' That kind of wisdom is in that museum, and you will see it.
  However, the fact is there are still wrongs that need to be righted. 
This Congress needs to advance a bill, which we put in a couple of 
years ago and no one ever wants to even have a hearing on. We want to 
be out here glorify the opening of a museum. And it is a good thing the 
museum was started before this administration got in place, or it never 
would have happened. I believe that there are these kind of grievances 
that people need to go and find out about.
  We took their land. We created treaties with people who did not 
really understand how skillful we were with words, but they took us at 
our words and they have tried to live with us. But the fact is that we 
still continue to leave the Dowamish without their recognition and 
Chief Sealth is a man without a tribe.

                              {time}  1945

  That is wrong. We should fix that, too.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I wanted to join my colleagues 
out of respect for the final reckoning and recognition of those who 
were first on this land. So many times as we speak on the floor of the 
House we are engaged in the tumultuous challenges of diversity and 
opportunity, and we raise the claims of African-Americans, Hispanics, 
Asians and many others who in this 20th and 21st century have faced 
  I want to acknowledge Native Americans as individuals who have 
experienced challenges and obstacles throughout the centuries. In the 
backdrop of those obstacles, however, has been an outstanding and 
wonderfully enriched culture and heritage. I have had the opportunity 
of visiting the Pueblos in New Mexico and working with various Members 
of this body on issues dealing with our Native American community.
  I salute them for their strength, their love of country and what they 
have added to the richness of America. We would not be America had it 
not been for this vital part of our history. What better tribute than 
this magnificent museum which will eventually be part of fixing the 
history of America. We have not yet done that. There are many pieces of 
the puzzle that we have left out.
  Just recently, in Houston, we have finally come to acknowledge the 
importance of having an African-American

[[Page H7299]]

history museum in that city. Each time, we are continuing to put the 
pieces together. I am so grateful to the leaders of this Congress and 
the authors of the legislation who were able to move this Congress to 
establish this great museum. Let me say, come one, come all, come to 
the Nation's capital to understand how America is made much more whole 
and how we can love, cherish and respect the history of Native 
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to wrap up this debate. I thank my 
colleagues for their fine speeches and good comments that have been 
made. However, I must express my concern that the gentleman from 
Washington State tarnished this joyous event by raising partisan 
issues, and I certainly dispute the gentleman's statement that the 
current President of the United States would have stopped the 
construction of this museum if he had been able to. That is certainly a 
wrong assumption, and I am sorry that statement was made.
  I want to speak on behalf of the full Congress and say we are very 
pleased to join the Smithsonian and the Native American community in 
this country by celebrating the completion of this museum. It will be a 
tremendous asset to this country in understanding the first human 
inhabitants of this continent, and I hope everyone who proceeds through 
the museum will regard with great reverence and respect the history of 
the American Indian and learn a great deal about the founders of this 
country and who established the first governments. I am very pleased to 
be able to participate in this event.
  Mr. CARSON of Oklahoma. Mr. Speaker, this week, thousands of 
indigenous people from across the Western Hemisphere have come to 
Washington, DC. It is arguably the largest gathering of native people 
in U.S. history. By planes, cars, metro, and on foot, native people 
have come to celebrate the opening of the National Museum of the 
American Indian. The museum is a stunning and long overdue tribute to 
indigenous people across this land.
  If is entirely fitting and appropriate that the National Museum of 
the American Indian join the United States' other national treasures, 
and take its place among the family of Smithsonian museums on the Mall. 
For, the history and culture of our nation is inseparable from the 
history and culture of Indian people.
  Through centuries of great hardship, Indian people have struggled to 
maintain their social and cultural identity. The museum opening marks a 
revolution in this struggle, for it is a reclaiming of native identity. 
It is the culmination of thousands of hours of work by Indian people to 
tell their story. It links the past, present, and future of Indian 
people in a way that visitors can experience and understand the native 
perspective. The design and construction of the museum, itself, reveals 
an animate, live entity. And inside visitors find the living cultures 
of Indian people in language, history, dance, arts, cultural values, 
and spirituality.
  As a Representative of Oklahoma, the State historically known as 
Indian Country, and as a member of the Cherokee Nation, I am deeply 
honored to join the native community in witnessing and welcoming this 
historical event, for the opening of the National Museum of the 
American Indian celebrates what was once despised, and honors what our 
Nation for too long tried to eradicate.
  It is my hope, the location and majesty of the museum will today--and 
forever--remind lawmakers on Capitol Hill of the United States legal 
and moral responsibilities to Indian nations. For we must never forget 
to honor and recognize all that Indian tribes contribute and have 
  Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of all the tribal 
people of my district and of Arizona to commemorate the opening of the 
American Indian Museum today in Washington, DC. This is an historic 
moment when at long last the indigenous peoples of this continent have 
a place to call their own on our National Mall and in our national 
  The museum is not a place that will display relics of the past, but a 
living monument to the multitudes of cultures, arts, and languages that 
exist in the Americas. This museum will be a ``living legacy'' to those 
who have come before, and a gift to those who will be born in the 
  This morning I had the honor of seeing the procession of Native 
American people on the National Mall. Tens of thousands of people from 
every corner of this continent filled the Mall. They have come to make 
a ceremonial and symbolic journey, representing the millions of native 
people who live and thrive in the Americas.
  But, while we honor this monument to our native peoples today we must 
not forget the ongoing struggle these communities face to retain their 
dignity in face of poverty, unemployment, lack of access to adequate 
healthcare, among other issues.
  For example, the infant mortality rate is 150 percent greater for 
Indians than that of White infants. Indians have the highest prevalence 
of Type-2 diabetes in the world, and are 2.6 times more likely to be 
diagnosed with diabetes. Indians have a life expectancy 5 years less 
than the rest of the U.S. population.
  The United States has a longstanding trust responsibility to provide 
health care services to American Indian and Alaska Natives. As a 
society, we can and we must take action to address the disparity and 
distress many of these communities face.
  So on this occasion, I ask my fellow Members of Congress to join me 
in honoring the opening of the American Indian Museum, and I also ask 
you to join me in seeking to address some of the difficulties facing 
our native population in order to truly honor the first Americans.
  Mr. EMANUEL. Mr. Speaker, I proudly rise to recognize the American 
Indian Center of Chicago, the longest-running urban Indian organization 
in the country and the leader of the National Urban Indian Family 
Coalition. I would like to congratulate the American Indian Center on 
its family oriented activities and publication of the new book 
``Chicago's 50 Years of Powwows.'' I would also like to congratulate 
them on the special honor of being selected by the Smithsonian 
Institute as the only organization representing contemporary urban 
American Indians to be featured in the opening of the new Smithsonian's 
National Museum of the American Indian. This museum celebrating the 
past and present of American Indians, and their rich history, opened 
  The American Indian Center of Chicago is showcased in the new 
Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian exhibit Our Lives: 
Contemporary Life and Identities. Our Lives presents the American 
Indian culture from a first voice perspective and tells stories of 
modern American Indian communities, examining the personal and 
collective identities of American Indian peoples in the 21st century.
  The American Indian Center of Chicago was organized in 1953 by the 
Chicago American Indian community, in response to the Indian Relocation 
Act. That bill brought an influx of American Indians to Chicago, which 
soon became home to individuals from more than 50 tribes, including 
Oneida, Ojibwa, Menominee, Sac and Fox, Potawatomi, Lakota, Navajo, 
Blackfoot, Papago, and many others.
  Throughout its history, the American Indian Center has been the 
principal cultural resource for American Indians in Chicago, promoting 
cultural awareness and cultural education within and outside the 
American Indian community. Over the years the center has hosted 
powwows, potlucks, bingo, birthdays, special celebrations, wakes and 
commemorative dinners, and many other special events.
  Today, the American Indian Center of Chicago is a family-focused 
urban center and educational organization. It is also the cultural 
institution where the richness of American Indian traditions and 
culture are celebrated. The center serves as a model for other American 
Indian urban organizations in the country.
  Mr. Speaker, on this historic day marking the opening of the new 
Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian on the National 
Mall, I wish to congratulate the American Indian Center of Chicago on 
its leadership and work with the American Indian community, and high 
honor of being selected by Smithsonian as part of its grand opening 
exhibits. On this remarkable day, I am proud to join the American 
Indian people of my district, as well as those of American Indian 
descent throughout the country, in celebrating this historic event.
  Mr. REYES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of S.J. Res. 
41, commemorating the opening of the Smithsonian's National Museum of 
the American Indian.
  For the first time in our Nation's history, the American public is 
being provided with a venue in which they can explore and develop a 
deeper understanding of this rich culture, its history, and the issues 
that affect these communities. Our Native American citizens have long 
been awaiting this day.
  My district is fortunate to have one of the three Native American 
reservations in Texas. The Tiguas of Ysleta del Sur founded one of the 
oldest communities in the Southwest over 300 years ago. They have faced 
many hardships, but they continue to thrive and persevere as a united 
community. It is a great honor to have the Tiguas share their rich 
culture and history with the El Paso community, and I am glad to see 
that all Native American communities will now be able to do the same 
with the rest of the Nation in this beautiful new museum.

[[Page H7300]]

  Mr. Speaker, I encourage all Americans to visit the National Museum 
of the American Indian when in Washington, DC, and I urge my colleagues 
to show their support for this very worthy resolution.
  Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate our first 
Americans on this, the long awaited opening day of the National Museum 
of the American Indian. If, indeed, the last shall be first, this is a 
fine example as this museum dedicated to our first Americans is located 
on the last spot open on the National Mall.
  This a joyous day. At this very moment, thousands of native Americans 
who traveled from all the corners of our country, Canada, and South 
America are participating in a procession on the Mall leading to the 
museum itself. They are dressed in unique traditional attire, stopping 
along the way to celebrate with dance, song, and drums.
  I am honored to say that as a member of the Interior and Insular 
Affairs Committee, I worked with then Chairman Mo Udall on the 
legislation to build a museum devoted solely to the culture, art, and 
history of our Native Americans. Although Mo is no longer with us, I am 
certain that he is smiling down upon us today.
  I encourage everyone to visit this magnificent National Museum of the 
American Indian and use its resources to learn about the rich history 
and legacy of Native Americans, as well as contemporary Indian life. I 
promise your lives will be enriched by the experience.
  Mr. MATHESON. Mr. Speaker, I rise in celebration of today's opening 
of the National Museum of the American Indian--a historic event that is 
long overdue. My congressional district contains lands of the Navajo 
Nation, the Southern Utah Paiutes, and the Northern Ute Indian Tribe--
people who understand all too well the atrocities that Native Americans 
have experienced at the hand of our Federal Government.
  The opening of this museum is a bold step toward the United States 
becoming a nation that understands the history of its people and 
celebrates the uniqueness of native cultures in its society. My hope is 
that the museum will help foster and maintain this understanding for 
``as long as the rivers shall run and the grass shall grow.''
  The designing of the National Museum of the American Indian was 
indicative of the cooperative and inclusive process that the Federal 
Government should always use when working with Native American tribes. 
I am proud of the collaborative efforts of all of the people who worked 
to make this museum a success, and I welcome the many Utahns who join 
me in celebrating this joyous occasion.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. McCotter). The question is on the motion 
offered by the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) that the House 
suspend the rules and pass the Senate joint resolution, S.J. Res. 41.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds having voted in favor 
thereof) the rules were suspended and the Senate joint resolution was 
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.