FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Two Democratic senators plan to introduce a companion bill to a U.S. House measure to revoke Medals of Honor for soldiers who participated in the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Medals of Honor were given to 20 soldiers for participating in the massacre that killed an estimated 250 Native Americans, many of whom were women and children.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Jeff Merkley of Oregon announced Wednesday they will sponsor the Remove the Stain Act. It was first introduced in the House by Democrats Denny Heck of Washington and Deb Haaland of New Mexico and Republican Paul Cook of California.
Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota has said he does not support the effort because “we’re now guessing” about the roles of individual soldiers.
Back in June, advocates for Native Americans called on Congress to revoke the Medals of Honor. Native American groups have called for years for the Medals of Honor to be rescinded from the soldiers who were at the Wounded Knee massacre. In 1996, GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona, then chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, received a petition to revoke the medals but said in a letter that retroactive judgment of the massacre did not warrant the action.
In 1990, Congress apologized to the descendants of those killed at Wounded Knee but did not revoke the medals.
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