Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples – News, Resources, and Actions

Dear Friends,

It won’t be a surprise to hear that TRR facilitators are looking to Zoom and other online platforms to carry our work forward during this period of no-public-gatherings. We’re just about ready to pilot-test Zoom versions of our “Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change” and “Re-Discovering America” workshops. It will be really interesting to see how we can convert the highly participatory kinesthetic learning process of our on-site workshops into an equally moving and meaningful online experience. We’ll keep you posted.

Our slide presentation on the Quaker Indian Boarding Schools (including an interview with Jerilyn DeCoteau during her tenure as president of the board of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition) is already available online.

And we are creating a new series of participatory webinars based on my article, “The Land Remembers: Connecting with Native Peoples through the Land” and the Bartimaeus Institute conference, “Unsettling Histories | Decolonizing Discipleship | hukišunuškuy.” Look for these this summer.

If you would like to support these efforts, we would much appreciate your donations during this time when our usual public presentations are not bringing in income. We encourage you to support Indigenous communities that are terribly hard-hit by COVID-19 (for example, see articles below about COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation and donate directly to help their COVID-19 response here). At the same time, we need to be teaching Americans why such deep and persistent inequities exist and equip them with resources to build a more equitable society. This is the ongoing work and commitment of TRR. Thank you for joining us.


A Life on and Off the Navajo Nation, by Wahleah Johns
COVID-19 Devastates Navajo Nation, by Andrea Germanos

Credit…Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times


May 18,10:30 am EASTERN time, History of the Snowbird Indian Day School for Eastern Cherokee children, presented by Swannanoa Valley Museum. This school was founded by Quakers and then operated for seven decades — until 1963 — by the federal government. Former students and family members will share their memories and the legacy of the Snowbird Day School. Registration required.


Update on Mashpee Wampanoag hearing from Wopanaak Language Reclamation Project:
Dear Friends,

As a further update, the hearing that was originally scheduled for May 7, 2020 for the preliminary injunction against the Department of the Interior (DOI) to halt its efforts to disestablish the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s reservation, has been pushed to Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

The hearing will be held via video conference with public access available through the Court’s public teleconference. Notably, for now, the DOI has agreed to extend the Tribe’s Land in Trust status until June 5.

Until that time, your efforts directed to Senator Hoeven, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, asking him to support the Tribe’s pending legislation (HR312, the Mashpee Wampanoag Reservation Reaffirmation Act) will be especially helpful. Here again is a script you can use:

My name is __________ and I reside at ____________ in [City], [State]. I am a proud supporter of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and am calling to voice my strong opposition to Secretary Bernhardt’s recent directive to disestablish the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation and to ask Congress to act quickly to enact HR 312 — the Mashpee Wampanoag Reservation Reaffirmation Act.

They are the first peoples of this land and extended their hands to the European settlers in peace and friendship. I am calling to urge Senator Hoeven to lead the effort to protect their Reservation from being disestablished on his watch.

I urge Chairman Hoeven to take the steps needed to pass the bi-partisan legislation, HR 312, that already has been passed by the House and now awaits Senate action.

I want to ensure that my message reaches the ears of Senator Hoeven and is shared with the rest of the Senate Committee for Indian Affairs. Thank you.

To call: (202-224-2551)

To email: send to both



With gratitude and hope for a positive outcome.

Wopanaak Language Reclamation Project started this petition on MoveOn. If there’s an issue close to your heart that you’d like to campaign on, you can start your campaign here.