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National Resolution of Apology

National Resolution of Apology to the Native Peoples

Out of a desire to keep these things before us and be faithful in prayer in this critical time for our nation, please see the included Insights and Prayer Focus from a Native Perspective, and latest update and information on the Resolution of Apology from Intercessors for America.

Note this Special Focus is also posted online at site and may be referenced directly here:

Personal Testimony - Witness of the Time

During the fall of 2001, a small intercessory prayer group from our congregation had some specific direction from the LORD regarding prayer for our city. It was the first time, after a number of years of meeting, that He released us to pursue some things regarding the roots of our community. The direction He gave was was very clear, and included both geographic place, as well as time - which was to be Rosh HaShanah. We were not experts in prayer or warfare, just a band of prayer warriors diligently seeking God for His will for our congregation, our city, and community. We sanctified the 7 days prior through fasting and prayer to prepare our hearts - and then during that week of preparation September 11th occurred.

With such national tragedy distracting from our "preparation," I questioned the LORD if we were discerning His correct timing. The next day one of the intercessors (Marcia Glass) had a vision - she saw a Native American sitting on the ground (cross-leg) facing her with his back to the river, at the spot we'd been directed to pray. He had a breast plate made of strips of what appeared to be bone, a single white feather with a black tip, and a "single tear" coming down his face. When she shared this, not wanting to presume, I said we need the interpretation. The next night, the LORD gave a scripture verse to her husband while at work, who called me because he did not have his bible with him (so did not know what it said). He told me the LORD had spoken to him, "Genesis 4:10" - I did not need to look it up. I knew it was the interpretation ... "What have you done? The voice of thy brother's blood cries to me from the ground."

Our previous direction from the LORD had NOTHING to do with Native issues. Now, we had a vision and spoken word from the LORD, calling us to account for the sins of our forefathers. It was clear we were to go forward, and we accomplished the original specific direction given, and then repented the best we knew how regarding what Native things must have occurred - which we knew nothing of. We also cried out to God for relationships with the Native people so we could understand what has truly happened and what must occur for healing and restoration. That began a journey that has accelerated to a staggering pace - within two weeks we "suddenly" met native leaders (unbelievers) and they were sharing with us their history from their perspective - it was eye-opening. Then we began asking the LORD for relationships with native people and leaders who were Christian, and that too quickly followed. A supernatural journey ensued with many more details and testimonies that could be shared, and the pace quickens still ...

MORE IMPORTANTLY, we also discovered our story, and even this personal testimony was not unique. We began to cross the path of many whom God was visiting by visions, dreams, strong impressions, and quickened scriptures that were all calling us (as a people, as a nation) to account regarding these very same things. First we met people throughout our valley to whom this was occurring, and then people across the nation. I share all that to say this ... It is always right to make amends when there is corporate sin - whether by a tribe, a people, or a nation - but we are literally in a TIME when God Himself is speaking to people in supernatural ways and calling - even commanding - that we address this. I shudder to think of the consequence, if we choose to ignore such a thing.


Meet Richard Pyle - Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama

In recent years the LORD has brought many relationships - some even covenantal - with key native people and leaders that have brought tremendous insight, direction, gifting, and leadership. Until recently, most of these were from outside the state of Alabama (though many have roots here). It has long been a personal prayer of mine, that the LORD would also bring key relationship with Native leadership "planted" in the state of Alabama, who could speak from a Native perspective and give counsel and insight regarding state efforts and in particular regarding AL-USSPN as one who is also from here presently. The LORD has been faithful to answer ...

I have long known of Richard Pyle, as he is very well-known throughout this state (and the Southeast and beyond) in both native and non-native circles. Richard is of Cherokee, Creek and Scot-Irish Blood and a member of the Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama. He has previously served in tribal politics, including as Chairman of the Wolf Clan of the Echota Cherokee (during which time he was deeply involved with land preservation issues throughout the state). He and Echota Cherokee Chief Perry White were also the co-founders of the Tribe of Christ Church in Leeds, AL where Richard pastored for a number of years, and which also included an evangelistic ministry that utilized the native drum and flute.

Richard was also the catalyst to mobilize a historic gathering in the Southeast born from an on-going vision and ministry called Sacred Fire - "The fire on the altar must be kept burning, it must never go out" (Lev 6:12). It was just prior to this time that both Charlene Story (then Principal Chief of the Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama), and Perry White (then Chief of the Echota Cherokee Tribe) - BOTH of whom are also very strong Christian leaders - together laid hands on Richard and prayed and commissioned him as a Native gatekeeper for this geographic region (in particular the Cherokee region of Alabama north of Montgomery).

While much more could be shared, I wanted to give you a glimpse of the "voice" that has been committed to him, and the "role" that has been entrusted to him, so that we can listen diligently to what counsel or insights he may share with us, as he can speak from the Native perspective, and also with authority as one literally set and commissioned - both naturally and spiritually - as a gatekeeper by both spiritual and tribal authorities of the native and host people of our state.

Now the LORD has also knit our hearts, and their is a very special relationship growing between us personally as well as with AL-USSPN as a prayer network. As we have sensed this is the LORD, and also His timing, I've requested he begin to share with us in coming months to help us as a prayer network both honor and glean from the Native gift and perspective within our state. We all truly need one another. You will soon see - even in the insights and prayer focus he has shared below - that His heart in passionate about reconciliation and truly seeing the Body of Christ in the beauty of its diversity, fully functioning as God intended, and honoring the diverse members and gifts among us - native and non-native. Only then will we fulfill our highest calling - together.

Richard has provided us below some insights from a native perspective and some areas of specific prayer regarding the National Resolution of Apology to the Native People now on the U.S. Senate calendar. In light of the TIME, let's PLEASE be faithful to consider, weigh, and meditate upon these things, and then diligent in prayer in regard to the areas he has specifically highlighted.

May we have ears to hear what the LORD would speak through the diverse gifts within the Body of Christ - whether native or non-native.

John Buhler

National Resolution of Apology - Native Insights
and Prayer Focus

September 24th, 2005
By Richard Pyle
Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama


As I have been considering the dynamics of everything that surrounds the proposed National Resolution of Apology to the Native peoples, the hardest obstacle I have contended with has been where to begin. However, if I am honest with myself, I must realize that I have in some ways, tried to distance myself from it – for, being of Native blood, to dig these things up again, breeds in me a great deal of conflicting emotions. Perhaps that may at first seem a bit odd to you. After all, who would have mixed feeling over something that seems to possess the potential for so much positive impact upon Native and non-native alike?

Perhaps I can explain it this way; as I have been allowing God to speak to my heart concerning this, I have as well been looking back over a few of the treaties made between the United States and the Cherokee and Creek nations. As I have done so, I cannot help but have the thought cross my mind that this is perhaps the next chapter in a continuing book of worthless promises. And that thought is not without substance, for the oldest of the treaties in my possession is dated November 28, 1785. It and all successive treaties made between the United State and the indigenous nations of this land have been violated. To say the least, there is not a positive history of promise in the past affairs of our people with the government of this land. However, the problem did not start with broken treaties – it started long before the first one was ever penned, for within the next year (1786), Thomas Jefferson would write in a letter entitled “To Mr. Hawkins”:

The two principles on which our conduct towards the Indians should be founded are justice and fear. After the injuries we have done them, they cannot love us, which leaves us no alternative but that of fear to keep them from attacking us. But justice is what we should never lose sight of and, in time, it may recover their esteem.

Mr. Jefferson’s statement is both reflective of what had past and in some regard, prophetic about what was to take place. For from the attitude of George Washington, who viewed our people as mere beasts of the field – sub human at best, to Theodore Roosevelt who felt it best if we were all dead - volumes could and have been written of one offence after another. History is littered with the need for such a resolution and as such, answers anyone’s question of why.

However, I believe that the most important question that needs asking in this time needs to be ask of the church:

What will we do within the body of Christ to walk this out together – regardless of the outcome of this resolution?

One of two things will take place. It could pass or fail. And if it were to fail in passage, America will continue to cover up her past sins of oppression while at the same time trying to justify defending the oppressed in other nations. The question in regard to the nation then becomes; will God continue to tolerate this country if it chooses to walk forth in that type of hypocrisy? Or, the resolution could pass. And if so, could very well pave the way for a continuing season of healing for Native and non-native peoples alike, for the nation and for the church - ushering in that which could be far beyond what we have yet to imagine.

Either way, we who are the body of Christ, native and non native must walk this out together, doing all that we can to bring forth the healing we all need regardless of the progress of the resolution. If in no other place, it is here among Gods own that there needs to begin now to be an understanding of our diversity - a sharing of the gifts that God intended to be brought together so long ago – but were never joined. For ultimately that will be the salvation of America. The body of Christ – joined and fitted together with all the gifts given to each - in place, moving as God desires – being “the body” controlled by the head – who is Christ. We can no longer afford to keep limping!

So what shall we as believers both native and non-native do now in light of what is known of our past – in light of what is at stake for our future? We must look within ourselves for the divine revelation of who we are and who the Father intended us to be and be just that. God has never created a group of clones – one look at creation itself is more than enough evidence that our God is a God who both created diversity and loves diversity. And the body of Christ is no different. We are a diverse group of multi-colored, multi-cultural individuals, each created with a special gifting that is uniquely our own.

We are much like a jigsaw puzzle – a beautiful picture waiting to be connected together, all made up of unique pieces of differing shape, size and color. Some differences are slight – some quite large but as we interconnect those pieces, the picture we desire to see (which is usually reflected on the box) begins to come to life. And this life comes only as we carefully seek to find the place that fits only that one piece we hold in our hand and carefully snap it in. Oh, it is frustrating some times – and there are times you really want to cut that little tab off of the piece you are holding and make it fit – but if you did, as you moved along, you would soon find out that your picture – the image you desired to see – had within it a gaping hole. The image is blemished – scarred.

It is the same way within the body of Christ – each diverse member must be allowed to “fit” where God has uniquely gifted them to fit - and to share the gifting that is uniquely their own, with the rest of the body. It is not “one piece” of the puzzle that makes the picture so beautiful, it is all the pieces in the proper place. That is how we walk these things out. Not by trying to take those who differ from us and conform them into our image of what we think they should be – but by allowing them to share with us - and for us to share with them the unique gifts we all posses from the Holy Spirit – for the glory of the Father.

For too long now, the Native gifts have been left out. I don’t mean that to sound harsh, it is just a fact. I have been to a great many services in a great many churches. I have seen Christian Rock, Rap and Hip Hop used in ministry and yet, I have rarely if ever walked into a church where they were using the native drum or flute along side other means of worship. I have seen mission emphasis on various cultures around the world, but little if any evidence within the churches of America of the indigenous – the foundational culture of this land.

Not that it is required I suppose and perhaps there are many who are not aware that these gifts even exist – but it is odd that in countries throughout the world, indigenous expressions of worship are welcomed and encouraged – except for here. It is still as though there is a denial that there is even an indigenous culture of this land. How many of you reading this, know of the traditional protocols of Native worship and the impact they can have on healing in the land? As I mentioned earlier, I am not meaning to be harsh – it is just an observation that we need to all learn from each other.

The native people have significant gifts to bring to the body of Christ in things such as prayer, indigenous authority, healing of the land and prophecy and it is my belief that the church needs that perspective – that gifting. Likewise, there are gifts within the other diverse members of the body of Christ that we do not posses – and need. It will take us all walking this out together sharing that gifting for the body of our Lord to reign upon the earth and move in the authority in which it should move throughout our land. There is much I would share – and much that needs to be shared, for we have not yet begun to imagine the many wonders that could come forth from such a divine unity.

What we must realize now however, in regard to this resolution, is that what will be has already been set in motion – it cannot now be stopped and as such, no matter the outcome of the proposal, a consequence awaits us either good or bad and the church will have to deal with it – to walk it out under the divine mandate God gives us. But we need not wait until that overtakes us to begin!


The following are some areas of prayer upon which I believe we may want to focus specifically in regard to this resolution – and as well on how we walk out the healing that God desires within the body of Christ, regardless of the outcome of this resolution.

1. Pray that the Native peoples of this land will receive this apology.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, it cannot help but cross our minds, that this is just another chapter in a long book of broken promises.

2. Pray that the Native people see the worth of this apology.

It is not offering them anything other than words – and those have come and gone before. To many a native, words are the way the “white man” appeases his own conscience. They need to see the worth behind this!

3. Pray that the United States is serious about walking out this resolution.

This doesn’t need to be a lip service apology and then it all goes away – even outside the church; this will need to be walked out.

4. Pray for wisdom within the United States government on how to not only approach this resolution – but how to effectively live it beyond its passage.

5. Pray that the church in America sense the seriousness of the division between native and non-native cultures and that she begin to bleed with the heart of God over the absence of the indigenous presence in our worship.

6. Pray for Native believers that we all we be more open to sharing with the whole body of Christ – that remnants of fear will be removed and a new freedom will emerge.

7. Pray for native believers to be at peace with who they are and feel the freedom of Christ to express that through their varied cultures.

8. Pray for a new spirit of unity to be birthed within the body of Christ – as Paul put it in Ephesians, that the dividing walls of hostility will be destroyed.

9. Pray that more avenues are opened for ministry in the land with and through our Native peoples and that all believers will walk in and through these things with boldness and receptiveness in the Holy Spirit.

Intercessors for America - National Resolution of Apology

THE RESOLUTION OF APOLOGY TO THE NATIVE PEOPLES – The Resolution is still waiting for debate and a floor vote in the Senate. Look at the Resolution’s co-Sponsors at ; enter bill #S.J. Res 15, and see.) Pray for Senate passage and visit the Resolution web site at

To view a video presentation explaining the Resolution, go to the website:  

Have your Senators added their support?


Offer thanksgiving for additional Senate co-sponsors. Intercede that President Bush and his administration will support and publically proclaim this vehicle of reconciliation and healing. Pray that all opposition to the Resolution be overcome and thwarted. Pray for the speedy gathering of a broad working coalition of leaders and organizations who will support, promote and work for congressional passage.

To Visit the Resolution of Apology Website <click here>

S.J. Res 15

April 19, 2005

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Sam Brownback reintroduced legislation to offer an apology from the government of the United States to American Indians. Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT) cosponsored the legislation.

"This resolution recognizes and honors the importance of Native Americans to this land and to our nation - in the past and today - and offers an official apology to the Native peoples for the poor and painful past choices our government sometimes made to disregard its solemn word," Brownback said. "This is a resolution of apology and a resolution of reconciliation. It is a step toward healing the wounds that have divided us for so long - a potential foundation for a new era of positive relations between Tribal governments and the federal government. It is past time for us to heal our land of division, and bring us together as one people."

The legislation, S.J.Res. 15, commends and honors the Native peoples for the thousands of years that they have stewarded and protected this land, and apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all Native peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on them by citizens of the United States. It also commits to build on the positive relationships of the past and present to move toward a brighter future "where all the people of this land live reconciled as brothers and sisters, and harmoniously steward and protect this land together."

Brownback continued, "The resolution I am introducing today does not dismiss the valiance of our American soldiers who bravely fought for their families in wars between the United States and a number of the Indian Tribes. Nor does this resolution cast all the blame for the various battles on one side or another.

"Martin Luther King once said, 'The end is reconciliation, the end is redemption, the end is the creation of the beloved community.' This resolution is not the end. But perhaps it signals the beginning of the end of division and the faint first light and first fruits of the creation of beloved community."

The resolution of apology does not authorize or serve as a settlement of any claim against the United States and does not resolve many challenges still facing Native peoples, however, it does recognize the negative impact of numerous federal policies on Native peoples and cultures and strives to progress the process of reconciliation. (April 19, 2005)

To Visit the Resolution of Apology to the Native Peoples website <click here>

Resolution of Apology
To The Native Peoples Feature
Video Presentation:

Time - 09:30

Real Video:
<click here to view>

MAY 25, 2005

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Hearing on the S.J. Res 15
Resolution of Apology

Senate Hearing Video:
Real Video: Full Hearing

Introduction - 2:10 *
Opening Statement by Sen. John McCain

Sen. Sam Brownback - 9:17 *
Testimony by Sen. Sam Brownback,
Sponsor of Resolution

Panel I - 33:30 *
Discussion and testimony
Tex Hall, President,
National Congress of American Indians

Ed Thomas, President,
Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Tribes

Dr. Negiel Bigpond Sr., President,
Two Rivers Native American Training Center

Full Hearing - Audio Only- 44:57 *

* Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Hearing on the
S.J. Res 15  Resolution of Apology
Real Audio Streams are linked from

PDF Transcripts
May 25, 2005
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

The Honorable Sam Brownback (PDF), United States Senate, Washington, DC

The Honorable Tex Hall (PDF), President, National Congress of American Indian , Washington, D.C.

The Honorable Edward K. Thomas (PDF), President, Central Council Tlingit & Haida Tribes of Alaska, Juneau, Alaska

Dr. Negiel Bigpond, Sr. (PDF), President, Two Rivers Native American Training Center, Bixby, Oklahoma

"Beyond the News" Radio Broadcast
Dr. Jay Swallow and Dr. Negiel Bigpond
Aired: April 30th, 2005
Salem Communications

Dr. Jay Swallow

Dr. Negiel Bigpond

Senator Sam Brownback

Informed Intercession - Fervent Prayer and Decisive Action