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An Offer of Apology


Today, we echo the words of colleagues whose wisdom inspires the American Psychological Association (APA). “We acknowledge the First Peoples of our countries, as the custodians and occupants of the traditional lands where we live, work, and recreate. We pay our respects to the Elders past, present, the seven generations yet to come, and to their continued connection to the land and community” (Aiello et al., 2021, p. 7). Within that spirit, APA apologizes for its contributions to the harms that First Peoples and their communities have suffered and commits to a path of remediation and reconciliation into the future. We further acknowledge the sovereignty, strength, spirituality, resilience, and perseverance of First Peoples,3 who are the “proud custodians of the longest surviving cultures on our planet” (Australian Psychological Society, 2017, p.1). In so doing, we humbly recognize and honor the richness and diversity of Indigenous cultures that value the wholeness and authenticity of life, the interconnectedness and respect for all sentient beings, mental health and wellness, the vital roles of cross-generational bonds from the distant past far into the future, and the historical and current stewardship of these lands.

Source: American Psychological Association, released date: February 2023

Full Apology to the Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian People, drafted by Psychoanalysis for Social Responsibility, Section IX of Division 39 (Psychoanalysis), American Psychological Association The United States is a settler colonial nation that grew wealthy, in part, by the theft and despoiling of Native American land and culture. The Standing Rock protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline is a movement resisting the further theft, loss, and despoliation, which makes the present moment an important one in which to speak out against the longstanding harm afflicted on native peoples, including much psychological harm. As representatives of several American Psychological Association Divisions and Sections, we respectfully offer a full apology to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians, and we stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock resistance movement. 

To read the full apology, click here: 

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