America will never be great unless it does justice to the first Americans on this continent.

Dr. Canku discusses what should be done about treaties in the U.S. today.

Things to think about: 

How can the U.S. government honor past treaties with indigenous peoples?

Audio Chapters

I think the treaties are still valid, and that the United States needs to honor those treaties and do what they need to do in order to do justice to all the Native American tribes in the United States. I think the treaties are the conscience of this continent. I think there was a singer who said, "America will never be great unless it does justice to the first Americans on this continent." I have never heard any politician or president or any person of leadership worth their salt say that. If a person says that, then I'll think highly of that person. Because I think the treaties need to be honored, and the only place that they'll be honored is at the United Nations. That's the recourse, because the United States is not going to honor these treaties they made with the United States. It's a mentality – it's a sickness of mentality, these treaties, to American people. It's like not wanting to admit that they have stolen property that they are benefiting from even today. For example, if I stole your home, you car and so on, and you say, “I'm enjoying it” – what does that mean? It's not my property. I'm benefiting, in terms of stolen property. It would be on my conscience. So I think that it's the same level of justice. The treaties need to be dealt with justice, without going to the United Nations and the United Nations forcing the United States to honor these treaties.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Dr. Clifford Canku Interviewer Deborah Locke made at Minnesota History Center, St. Paul, MN | Friday, June 10, 2011

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