Mark Charles stumbled onto the apology in the 2010 Defense Appropriation Act a year ago after hearing presidential candidate Mitt Romney say he would never apologize for America, CNN reported.
On page 45 of the defense act -- following pages on maintenance and operation of the military -- a passage say the United States "recognizes that there have been years of official depredations, ill-conceived policies and the breaking of covenants by the federal government regarding Indian tribes" and "apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all native peoples."
It goes on to urge the president to acknowledge the wrongs, and comes with a disclaimer, that the apology cannot be used in a court of law against the United States.
"As a Native American I feel offended that the apology was buried in this bill," Charles said.
Charles stood near the U.S. Capitol in Washington Wednesday and recited the entire defense bill, in hope that the apology will gain wider notice.
"I don't believe it's an accident our people are marginalized. Our country is so undereducated in Native American history that most people don't even know why the country is apologizing," he told CNN.