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Toward Right Relationship2020-07-21T20:58:25-04:00
What would right relationship among Native and non-Native peoples of North America look like? How can we begin to take steps in that direction in our communities, places of worship, schools, and other institutions?
The Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples (TRR) program promotes education, reflection, dialogue, and action in response to these queries.

Our goal

is to build relationships among Native and non-Native communities based on truth, respect, justice and our shared humanity.
Join us as we learn to challenge and support each other as we work toward right relationships that address more than 500 years of genocide, colonization, and forced assimilation of Native peoples.

Paula Palmer and Jerilyn DeCoteau (Turtle Mountain Chippewa)

The Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples program

  • offers educational workshops, slide presentations, sermons, and talks for adults and youth in faith communities, civic organizations, schools and universities
  • encourages and coaches communities as they begin to work toward right relationship among Native and non-Native peoples
  • raises awareness of the ongoing impacts of the Indian boarding schools and ways to support healing
  • offers resources for education and responsible action

Native Americans suffer the lowest life expectancy and highest rates of infant mortality, teen suicide, murdered women, and unemployment, compared with all other Americans. These horrors have not come about by accident. They are the ongoing consequences of deliberate policies carried out by European and American governments and Christian denominations since the 15th century. The existence today of more than 550 Indigenous nations within US borders attests to their spiritual and cultural strength as sovereign peoples.

To non-Native people who would wish to support healing within Native communities, leaders like Pawnee attorney Walter Echo-Hawk say: face up to the root causes, learn the truth about our shared history on this continent, acknowledge the harm that was done, and make amends. How to start?

The first step in any truth and reconciliation process is truth-telling, so TRR’s work begins there. Our workshops present truths about our country’s history of genocide, land theft, colonization, and the forced assimilation of Native children by means of the Indian boarding schools and contemporary “child welfare” policies. Our goal is not to induce guilt, but to see ourselves — Native and non-Native Americans — and our institutions more clearly. What do truth and justice ask of us? How can we take steps to support healing?

Paula Palmer, a Quaker peace worker, and Jerilyn DeCoteau, an Ojibwe attorney and educator, founded and direct the Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples program. They created and facilitate the Toward Right Relationship workshops, and they have trained more than 100 Native and non-Native people who also facilitate the workshops in various parts of the country.

 See profiles of some TRR facilitators. 

Where We’re Working Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples 

TRR facilitators have been offering workshops and other programs since 2013 at the request of the following schools, colleges, civic groups and faith communities. Many groups have invited us more than once. Click here to inquire about scheduling a presentation.

Alaska
Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Church
Nome Nome Community Center
Arizona
Paradise Valley Palo Cristi Presbyterian Church
Tempe Tempe Friends Meeting
California
Ben Lomond Ben Lomond Friends Center
Berkeley Young Adult Friends, Pacific Yearly Meeting
Davis Davis Friends Meeting
Marin County Pacific Yearly Meeting
Nevada City Grass Valley Library
Nevada City Grass Valley Quaker Meeting
Oakland Sage-ing International
Palo Alto Palo Alto Friends Meeting
Redlands United Methodist Church
San Francisco San Francisco Friends Meeting
Santa Rosa Redwood Forest Meeting
Visalia Visalia Friends Meeting and Unitarian Church
Canada
Ontario Coldstream Friends Meeting
Toronto Parliament of World Religions
Colorado
Allens Park Boulder County Area Agency on Aging
Aurora Aurora Community College
Boulder Boulder County Commissioners
Boulder Boulder County Martin Luther King Day
Boulder Boulder County Open Space Department
Boulder Boulder Friends Meeting
Boulder Boulder Healing Hub
Boulder Boulder History Museum
Boulder Boulder Resonance Chorus
Boulder Boulder Valley School District
Boulder Chautauqua
Boulder City of Boulder Open Space Deptartment
Boulder Community United Church of Christ
Boulder Community United Church of Christ
Boulder Community United Methodist Church
Boulder First Congregational Church
Boulder First Uhited Methodist, Church, MLK Day
Boulder First United Methodist Church
Boulder Horizons Middle School
Boulder Humanist Psychology Conference
Boulder Moishe House
Boulder Moishe House
Boulder Mountain View Methodist Church
Boulder Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church,
Boulder Naropa U, Diversity Class
Boulder Naropa University
Boulder Right Relationship Boulder
Boulder Shining Mountain Waldorf School
Boulder St. John’s Episcopal Church
Boulder St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church
Boulder U of Colorado Diversity Communications class
Boulder U of Colorado Diversity Education Team
Boulder U of Colorado Diversity Summit
Boulder U of Colorado, Bioneers
Boulder U of Colorado, Cheynne-Arapaho Dormitory
Boulder Unitarian Universalist Church
Boulder University of Colorado
Boulder YWCA and Reading to End Racism
Broomfield The Refuge
Colorado Springs Colorado Springs Friends Meeting
Colorado Springs Episcopal Diocesan Convention
Denver Second Tuesday Race Forum
Denver First Universalist Church
Denver Denver Justice & Peace Committee
Denver Episcopal, Lutheran, Catholic Youth Services
Denver Library Association, U of Denver
Denver Mountain View Friends Meeting
Denver Park Hill United Methodist,Church
Denver Romero Troupe, American Friends Service Committee
Denver Sisters of Loretto
Denver Spring Institute
Denver St. Peter & St. Mary Episcopal Church
Denver University of Colorado Denver
Durango Durango Friends Meeting,
Fort Collins Colorado State University
Greeley Friends General Conference Gathering
Greeley United Church of Christ Youth Group
Lafayette Columbine Unity Church,
Lafayette Lafayette Peer Empowerment Program
Lafayette Lafayette Public Library
Lafayette The Collective
Lafayette Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Longmont Front Range Community. College
Longmont Light of Christ Church
Longmont Sisters Cities Youth Exchange
Longmont Showing Up for Racial Justice
Longmont Philanthropiece Foundation
Louisville Louisville Arts Center
Louisville Louisville Middle School
Loveland International Sage-ing Conference
Connecticut
Concord Concord Friends Meeting
New Haven New Haven Meeting
District of Colombia
Ecumenical Advocacy Day
Friends Committee on National Legislation
National Capital Presbytery
United Methodist Church
Delaware
Cheswold Immanuel Union UMC Church
Newark St. Nicholas Church, Mill Creek Friends Meeting
Wilmington Delaware Historical Society
Florida
Gainesville Gainesville Friends Meeting
Orlando Southeastern Half-Yearly Meeting
Illinois
Algonquin United Church of Christ
Rockford Zion Lutheran Church
Iowa
Des Moines Des Moines Unitarian Church
Grinnell Friends General Conference Gathering
Iowa City Episcopal Diocese of Iowa
West Branch Scattergood Friends School
West Branch West Branch Friends Church
Kansas
Council Grove Wisdom Keepers Conference
Flint Hills Flint Hills Wisdom Keepers Gathering,
Manhattan Manhattan Unitarian Church
Topeka Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Kentucky
Louisville Presbyterian conference
Nashville Nashville Friends Meeting
Massachusetts
Boston Beacon Hill Friends House
Boston Upstander Academy
Cambridge Cambridge Friends Meeting
West Falmouth West Falmouth Friends Meeting
Maryland
Adelphi Adelphi Friends Meeting
Adelphi Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church
Baltimore Community College of Baltimore County
Baltimore Stony Run Friends Meeting
Westminster Friends Council on Education
Maine
Orono Interfaith Conference
Lyman Fund Gathering
Missouri
Liberty Precious Blood Renewal Center
Liberty William Jewel College
Minnesota
Collegeville Friends General Conference Gathering
Mystic Lake Hotel Council of Native American Ministries
Montana
Bozeman Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Bozeman First Presbyterian Church
Red Lodge Montana Friends Quarterly Meeting
Red Lodge Red Lodge Community Church
Nebraska
Lincoln Lincoln Indian Center
Lincoln Lincoln High School
New Hampshire
Hanover Hanover Friends Meeting
New Jersey
Woodstown Woodstown Friends Meeting
New Mexico
Albuquerque Albuquerque Friends Meeting
Espanola Episcopal Church
Ghost Ranch Intermountain Yearly Meeting
Santa Fe Episcopal Church
Santa Fe St Bede’s Episcopal Church
New York
Brooklyn Brooklyn Friends Meeting/School
Clinton Hamilton College
Ithaca Ithaca Friends Meeting
Ithaca First Methodist Church
New York City United Nations Church Center
Niagra Friends General Conference Gathering
Rochester White Privilege Symposium
Saratoga Saratoga Quaker Meeting
Silver Bay New York Yearly Meeting
Stony Point Presbyterian Earth Care Conference
Syracuse Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation
Syracuse Skä·noñh—Great Law of Peace Center
Syracuse Syracuse Friends Meeting
North Dakota
Turtle Mountain Reservation National Native Ameircan Boarding School Healing Coalition
Turtle Mountain Reservation Turtle Mountain Tribal College
Oklahoma
Concho Southern Arapaho Tribe and Students
Oregon
Eugene Eugene Friends Meeting
Eugene Wellsprings Friends School
Portland Presbyterian Earthcare Conference
Pennsylvania
California Friends General Conference Gathering
Haverford Haverford College
Haverford Conference on Quakers and Native Americans
Philadelphia Central Philadelphia Friends Meeting
Philadelphia Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting
Philadelphia Conference of Quaker Historians and Archivists,
Philadelphia Dialogue Institute
Philadelphia Friends Association for Higher Education
Philadelphia Friends Council on Education
Philadelphia Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions
Philadelphia Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Indan Committee
Philadelphia Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia
Radnor Radnor Friends Meeting
Swarthmore Swarthmore College
Wallingford Pendle Hill Quaker Conference Center
Wallingford Westtown Friends School
  Pachamama Alliance
Rhode Island
Providence Friends Meeting
South Dakota
Rapid City Unity Concert
Tennessee
Nashville United Southern and Eastern Tribes
Utah
Logan Logan Friends Meeting
Mountain camp Unitarian Universalist Conference of Utah
Salt Lake City Human Science Institute Conference,
Salt Lake City Parliament of World Religions
Salt Lake City Salt Lake City Friends Meeting
Salt Lake City Unitarian Church
Salt Lake City South Valley Unitarian Universalist
Vermont
Burlington Burlington Friends Meeting
Washington
Bellingham Bellingham Unitarian Universalist Church
Bellingham Bellingham Friends Meeting
Olympia Olympia Friends Meeting
Port Townsend Port Townsend Friends Meeting
Seattle University Friends Meeting
Wisconsin
Green Bay Wisconsin Dept of Transportation
Madison Wisconsin Dept of Transportation
Milwaukee Sisters of the Divine Savior
Oshkosh Our Savior Lutheran Church and FIT
Rhinelander Wisconsin Dept of Transportation
Ripon United Church of Christ
Ripon Ripon College
Superior Wisconsin Dept of Transportation
Wyoming
Laramie Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Learn About our Work

Through videos, Podcasts, and articles 

A two-part interview (one hour each) with TRR coordinators Jerilyn DeCoteau (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) and Paula Palmer, by Reconciliation Rising and Indianz

An interview with Paula Palmer on Northern Spirit Radio (one hour)

Click the image below to go to the interview

Northern Spirit Radio

The Quaker Indian Boarding Schools: Facing our History and Ourselves

This video includes a 10-minute 2016 Interview with Jerilyn DeCoteau, Chair of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, and a 50-minute slide presentation on the history and legacy of the Quaker Indian Boarding Schools.

Presentations

TRR offers public presentations at the request of faith communities, schools, universities, and civic organizations throughout the United States. To request these presentations or to learn how you can host them online, please contact Paula Palmer.

We offer this 2-hour workshop in response to calls from Indigenous leaders at the United Nations and the World Council of Churches. Through an experiential exercise, we trace the historic and ongoing impacts of the Doctrine of Discovery, the 15th-century justification for European subjugation of non-Christian peoples. Our goal is to raise our level of knowledge and concern about these impacts, recognize them in ourselves and our institutions, and explore how we can begin to take actions toward right relationship. In the Doctrine of Discovery we find the roots of injustice. In the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we find the seeds of change. How can we nurture these seeds to bring forth the fruits of right relationship among Native and non-Native peoples?

This is an incredibly powerful experience … a tool with the power to engage the hearts and minds of a community in the work of acknowledging our history in order to begin to imagine a new way forward.
—Rev. Nikira Hernandez-Evans (Paiute)>/span>

Download and circulate a flyer

Through this 1-hour program, 6-12 grade students symbolically experience the colonization of North America as the Native peoples and the European colonists experienced it. They hear the voices of Indigenous leaders, and European popes, monarchs, presidents, generals, and historians as the story unfolds. The exercise is followed by a response period, when students share what they learned, how they feel, and what they think about the reality of Native peoples in our society today. Supplementary materials for teachers are provided.

The lesson today was really powerful and moving. I learned a lot and this inspired me to dig deeper and take actions to help end prejudice and racism.
—Middle school student, Boulder CO

Jerilyn DeCoteau (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) and other Native American workshop facilitators offer this 2-hour program specifically for Native people. It places Native nations at the center of the history of this continent, and opens deep dialogue about the meaning of this history for Native people and all Americans today.

The Toward Right Relationship workshop is an innovative and impactful step towards healing the wounds of genocide and colonization in our country. To move forward in a healthy way, we must first honestly face these truths.
—Brett Lee Shelton, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Indigenous Peacemaking Initiative, Native American Rights Fund

This 1-hour documentary film tells the story of a rural community in Washington state that undertook some significant actions toward reconciliation with the area’s Indigenous peoples. Following the film, a facilitated discussion will focus on your community: Who are the Native peoples who have lived and are now living on the land that you call home? How can you learn your region’s real history? What would right relationship with Native peoples look like in your community? What steps can you start taking in that direction?

In this film, it was so powerful watching people take steps toward healing and wholeness, and modeling experiences of being in ‘right relationship.’ Now we’re talking about what we can do here in Des Moines.
—Linda Lemons, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and First Unitarian Church

This hour-long presentation teaches the history of the United States Boarding School Policy and offers an understanding of its devastating effects and what it may take to heal. The assimilationist purpose of the schools, to “Kill the Indian, Save the Man,” was very literally implemented, as demonstrated by historical statements and documents, photographs and the testimony of boarding school survivors. In these schools, all evidence of Indian culture, long hair, clothing, names, was destroyed and replaced, and any hint of cultural practice, language, ceremony, and social interaction, was forbidden and severely punished. Family and societal bonds were broken, through separation by long distances and time, often many years. Intergenerational trauma equal to the cultural devastation inflicted on boarding school survivors, their families and Indian communities is the legacy left by boarding schools. The first steps toward healing and right relationship is telling the truth and acknowledging the harm.

Jerilyn has a remarkable talent to convey information about intentional acts that caused great personal damage to her own family and culture. She does so in a way that the descendants of the responsible culture can hear, understand and want to repair. Rather than creating a sense of guilt, she openly shows the pain and sorrow, and the need to support healing in Native communities today.
—Caroline Himes, Boulder Friends Meeting

To request this presentation, please contact Jerilyn DeCoteau

A video of this presentation is available online here. Please contact Paula Palmer if you would like her to facilitate an online discussion of this presentation. 

Native American organizations are asking churches to join in a Truth and Reconciliation process to bring about healing for Native American families that continue to suffer the consequences of the Indian boarding schools. With support from Pendle Hill (the Cadbury scholarship), Friends Historical Library (the Moore Fellowship), the Native American Rights Fund, and other Friendly sources, Paula Palmer researched the role that Quakers played in implementing the federal government’s policy of forced assimilation of Native children. This 1-hour slide presentation is followed by an hour of discussion about what this history means for Friends and Native Americans today.

Paula has created a compelling audio-visual presentation outlining Quaker involvement in operating Indian boarding schools. Using photographs and documents from her research, and the voices of teachers, administrators, and Native children, Paula awakens and informs hearts and minds to the intergenerational harms Quakers caused by their involvement in this ‘civilizing’ Enterprise.
—John Meyer, Pendle Hill Quaker Conference Center

Many Native people say the land remembers. In this one-hour program, we invite non-Native people to think about the places on this continent that they know and love, and then ask: What does this land remember? Who loved this land before my family came to know it? What happened to them? How am I connected to them through the land? How could this connection grow into relationship?

Paula Palmer’s talk at my church opened my eyes and heart about how and where my own immigrant ancestors came to this country, and what the land of my hometown meant to the original inhabitants and their living descendants. I was moved to research stories previously unknown to me about what happened there, and learned some difficult truths. I feel motivated to follow Paula’s example to reach out to connect with Native peoples.
—Kathy Partridge, Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

PResentations

We offer this 2-hour workshop in response to calls from Indigenous leaders at the United Nations and the World Council of Churches. Through an experiential exercise, we trace the historic and ongoing impacts of the Doctrine of Discovery, the 15th-century justification for European subjugation of non-Christian peoples. Our goal is to raise our level of knowledge and concern about these impacts, recognize them in ourselves and our institutions, and explore how we can begin to take actions toward right relationship. In the Doctrine of Discovery we find the roots of injustice. In the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we find the seeds of change. How can we nurture these seeds to bring forth the fruits of right relationship among Native and non-Native peoples? 

Download and circulate a flyer

Through this 1-hour program, 6-12 grade students symbolically experience the colonization of North America as the Native peoples and the European colonists experienced it. They hear the voices of Indigenous leaders, and European popes, monarchs, presidents, generals, and historians as the story unfolds. The exercise is followed by a response period, when students share what they learned, how they feel, and what they think about the reality of Native peoples in our society today. Supplementary materials for teachers are provided.

Jerilyn DeCoteau (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) and other Native American workshop facilitators offer this 2-hour program specifically for Native people. It places Native nations at the center of the history of this continent, and opens deep dialogue about the meaning of this history for Native people and all Americans today.

“The Toward Right Relationship workshop is an innovative and impactful step towards healing the wounds of genocide and colonization in our country. To move forward in a healthy way, we must first honestly face these truths.” — Brett Lee Shelton, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Indigenous Peacemaking Initiative, Native American Rights Fund

This 1-hour documentary film tells the story of a rural community in Washington state that undertook some significant actions toward reconciliation with the area’s Indigenous peoples. Following the film, a facilitated discussion will focus on your community: Who are the Native peoples who have lived and are now living on the land that you call home? How can you learn your region’s real history? What would right relationship with Native peoples look like in your community? What steps can you start taking in that direction?

This hour-long presentation teaches the history of the United States Boarding School Policy and offers an understanding of its devastating effects and what it may take to heal. The assimilationist purpose of the schools, to “Kill the Indian, Save the Man,” was very literally implemented, as demonstrated by historical statements and documents, photographs and the testimony of boarding school survivors. In these schools, all evidence of Indian culture, long hair, clothing, names, was destroyed and replaced, and any hint of cultural practice, language, ceremony, and social interaction, was forbidden and severely punished. Family and societal bonds were broken, through separation by long distances and time, often many years. Intergenerational trauma equal to the cultural devastation inflicted on boarding school survivors, their families and Indian communities is the legacy left by boarding schools. The first steps toward healing and right relationship is telling the truth and acknowledging the harm.

“Jerilyn has a remarkable talent to convey information about intentional acts that caused great personal damage to her own family and culture. She does so in a way that the descendants of the responsible culture can hear, understand and want to repair. Rather than creating a sense of guilt, she openly shows the pain and sorrow, and the need to support healing in Native communities today.” — Caroline Himes, Boulder Friends Meeting

To request this presentation, please contact Jerilyn DeCoteau

Native American organizations are asking churches to join in a Truth and Reconciliation process to bring about healing for Native American families that continue to suffer the consequences of the Indian boarding schools. With support from Pendle Hill (the Cadbury scholarship), Friends Historical Library (the Moore Fellowship), the Native American Rights Fund, and other Friendly sources, Paula Palmer researched the role that Quakers played in implementing the federal government’s policy of forced assimilation of Native children. This 1-hour slide presentation is followed by an hour of discussion about what this history means for Friends and Native Americans today.

Many Native people say the land remembers. In this one-hour program, we invite non-Native people to think about the places on this continent that they know and love, and then ask: What does this land remember? Who loved this land before my family came to know it? What happened to them? How am I connected to them through the land? How could this connection grow into relationship?

“Paula Palmer’s talk at my church opened my eyes and heart about how and where my own immigrant ancestors came to this country, and what the land of my hometown meant to the original inhabitants and their living descendants. I was moved to research stories previously unknown to me about what happened there, and learned some difficult truths. I feel motivated to follow Paula’s example to reach out to connect with Native peoples.” – Kathy Partridge, Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Calendar

“Roots of Injustice Seeds of Change: Toward Right Relationship With Native People”

8/1/20  Red Lodge MT, Red Lodge Community Church

8/6/2020 Upstander Academy, Boston ONLINE

9/22/2020 Wisconsin Department of Transportation ONLINE

10/20/2020 Wisconsin Department of Transportation ONLINE

“Re-Discovering America: Understanding Colonization”
“Two Rivers” Film and Discussion 
“The Land Remembers”  

August 9 Estes Park CO, Quaker/Unitarian Discussion Group

“The Quaker Indian Boarding Schools: Facing our History and Ourselves”  
“The Indian Boarding Schools and Multigenerational Trauma” 

9/21/2020  Wisconsin Department of Transportation ONLINE

10/19/2020  Wisconsin Department of Transportation  ONLINE

INDIAN BOARDING SCHOOLS

THE HARM AND THE NEED FOR HEALING

More Information, Resources and Recommended Actions

This video includes two presentations:

  1. “The Indian Boarding Schools and Pathways to Healing” an interview with Jerilyn DeCoteau, chair, National National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (10 minutes)
  2. “The Quaker Indian Boarding Schools: Facing our History and Ourselves” a slide presentation by Paula Palmer (56 minutes)

If you would like to order this DVD, please send a check for $15 to Paula Palmer.

One of the goals of the Indian Schools was to eliminate Native languages. Some Native languages were completely lost as a result of the policy of forced assimilation. Others were passed on secretly, even illegally, by tribal elders. Now many Native communities are struggling to keep their languages alive. Languages carry thousands of years of knowledge, wisdom, songs, stories, and ceremonies. For Native youth who have the country’s highest rate of suicide, language is a key element of traditional healing and development of a positive identity and self-image. 

 We cannot undo the damage done to Native children in the boarding schools, but we can support tribal programs for Native languages and trauma healing now. Please learn about these programs in the nearest Native communities to you, and ask how you can offer support.

COACHING COMMUNITIES

The Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples program encourages and coaches communities to form citizen groups to work together toward right relationship. The first such group to grow out of TRR’s work is Right Relationship Boulder, in Boulder, Colorado.
Learn More

Resources and Actions

Download the Resource Kit here

Contents

  • Doables: Some suggestions for actions you can take
  • The Ally Bill of Responsibilities: How to be an ally to Indigenous Peoples
  • Taking Steps toward Healing, by Walter Echo-Hawk
  • Guswenta, the Two-Row Wampum Belt: A Model for Right Relationship
  • Resources on the Doctrine of Discovery
  • Resources on the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Download Recommended Books and Films 

General

    • An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
    • The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present, by David Treuer
    • Everything You Know About Indians is Wrong, by Paul Chatt Smith
    • Conquest, by Andrea Smith
    • Like a Loaded Weapon: The Rehnquist Court, Indian Rights, and the Legal History of Racism in America, by Robert A. Williams, Jr.
    • Going Native: Indians in the American Cultural Imagination, by Shari M. Huhndorf
    • Playing Indian, by Phillip J. Deloria
    • Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
    • 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, by Charles Mann
    • Genocide of the Mind: New Native American Writing, MariJo Moore, ed.
    • Custer Died for Your Sins (and all his other books), by Vine Deloria, Jr.
    • In the Light of Justice: The Rise of Human Rights in Native America and the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, by Walter Echo-Hawk.

The Doctrine of Discovery

    • Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, by Steven T. Newcomb.
    • Discovering Indigenous Lands: The Doctrine of Discovery in the English Colonies, by Robert Miller
    • (film) The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code
    • Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery

The Indian Boarding Schools

    • Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada, by Paulette Regan
    • Kill the Indian, Save the Man, the Genocidal Impact of American Indian Residential Schools, by Ward Churchill
    • Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Board School Experience 1875-1928, by David Wallace Adams
    • Boarding School Seasons, by Brenda J. Child
    • Stringing Rosaries: The History, the Unforgivable, and the Healing of Northern Plains American Indian Boarding School Survivors by Denise K. Lajimodiere

Films

Download Doables: Actions You Can Take in Your Community

Doables: Actions You Can Take in Your Community

These are some actions that can be important steps on the path toward building relationships based on truth, respect, and justice. Please add your own ideas, and then do at least one of these actions soon.

Learn more…

  • Invite Native American speakers to give talks at your church, library, or civic organization.
  • Learn the history of your own region and its Native Peoples, past and present.
  • Click here and study an interactive map that shows how the United States government “acquired” Native lands by treaties and by breach of treaties. Search by geographic region or by Native tribe.
  • Research your family’s settler story: Where did they immigrate from? Where did they settle? Which Native peoples lived in that area, and what happened to them? Where are they now?
  • Click here and find out whose land you live on.
  • Ask Native Americans in your region what issues are currently of greatest concern to them. Ask them if there are ways you can be helpful as an ally.
  • Study Dr. Lynn Gehl’s “The Allies’ Bill of Responsibilities”
  • Visit your local history museum. Encourage the staff to develop exhibits about the Native peoples of the area – past and present – with the participation of Native American scholars and community members
  • Read Native American newspapers and magazines. See a list here.
  • Ask your public library to acquire more publications and films by Native Americans.
  • Attend lectures by Native American speakers.
  • Form a study group to learn about the Doctrine of Discovery, the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and current Native American issues.
  • Study resources on De-Colonization.
  • Visit the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.
  • Visit tribal museums and cultural centers.
  •  Look at the Native-language place names in your part of the country – names of towns, rivers, mountains, and other landmarks that derived from words in Indigenous languages. Consider the significance of these names in the past, present, and future of your community.
  • Attend the annual White Privilege Conference and study the resources at their excellent website: whiteprivilegeconference.com
  • Read books and watch films by Native American authors and film makers. Here are some suggestions:
  • In your book group, read and discuss the books listed above, and also:
    • Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery
    • Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, by Steven T. Newcomb.
    • In the Light of Justice: The Rise of Human Rights in Native America
    • U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, by Walter Echo-Hawk
    • Not From Here, by Allan G. Johnson 1491, by Charles Mann

In the schools, you can… 

Read your school district’s curriculum on Native American history. Does it accurately portray Native societies before the European invasion, the impacts of the Doctrine of Discovery, colonization, genocide, ecocide, and Native American societies today?

  • Find out whether/how Native Americans were involved in creating the curriculum. Recommend that a Native American Review Commission be formed (and funded) to revise the curriculum at all grade levels.
  • Suggest that Native Americans be invited to speak in classrooms.
  • Donate good books about Native American history to the school library. Be sure to select books from the list provided by American Indians in Children’s Literature
  • Ask school board candidates how they will advocate for Native American participation in curriculum development. Make this a campaign issue.
  • Support Native American candidates for school board and other civic offices.
  • Offer to help a teacher present the 2-hour exercise, “Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change: Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples,” in a high school or college classroom.
  • Offer to help a teacher present the 1-hour exercise, “Re-Discovering America: Understanding Colonization,” in a middle school or high school classroom.
  • Suggest or purchase Tribal Nations Maps by Aaron Carapella

In the political realm, you can…

  • Ask your representatives what they are doing to implement the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Learn about legislation that supports Native American rights. For example, see Friends Committee on National Legislation’s “Native American Legislative Update”  and Native American Rights Fund
  • Sign up to receive email alerts from Friends Committee on National Legislation and take action when you receive them.
  • Urge your city or state to change the name of the October holiday from “Columbus Day” to “Indigenous Peoples Day.”
  • Urge your state legislature to ban the use of Native American mascots and logos. See how Maine did it here.
  • Download and print free posters. These posters by Native American artists say “You are on ______ land.” Fill in the blank with the Native people of your area, and post these posters around your community.

In your faith community, you can…

  • Read the World Council of Churches’ 2012 Statement on the Doctrine of Discovery, and additional statements by various faith communities.
  • Invite Native Americans to address the congregation.
  • Acknowledge the Native peoples on whose land you live and worship (see https://quakerservice.ca/wp- content/uploads/2019/07/Land-Acknowledgment-Resource.pdf).
  • Educate your congregation about the Doctrine of Discovery and its impact over the centuries, including today.
  • Present the workshop, “Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change: Toward Right Relationship with America’s Native Peoples.” Contact Paula Palmer
  • Ask your faith community to draft and approve a statement repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery and supporting implementation of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. See examples of such statements in the Resource Kit.
  • Work with your Religious Education committee to create meaningful age-appropriate activities for young people in your congregation.
  • Research the role your denomination played during the era of the Indian boarding schools, and contribute your research toward a truth, reconciliation, and healing process in collaboration with the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition.
  • View a video, “The Quaker Indian Boarding Schools: Facing our History and Ourselves”
  • Watch and discuss these films about the multigenerational trauma still experienced in Native communities as a result of the Indian boarding schools and Child Welfare policies:

Support Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations

  • Find out about Native American organizations in your own community. How can you support them?
  • Visit websites of national and international Indigenous Peoples’ organizations. Find out what they do, and support their programs financially and as an advocate. Start with these, and add others:
    • National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition
      • The Mission of NABS is to work to ensure a meaningful and appropriate response from responsible agencies for those Native American individuals, families, and communities victimized by the United States’ federal policy of forced boarding school attendance and to secure redress from responsible institutions in order to support lasting and true community- directed healing.
    • Native American Rights Fund
      • Founded in 1970, the Native American Rights Fund is the oldest and largest nonprofit law firm dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide
    • Seventh Generation Fund
      • Seventh Generation Fund promotes and maintains the uniqueness and sovereignty of our distinct Native Nations by offering advocacy, small grants, trainings and technical assistance to Indigenous communities.
    •  Indigenous Environmental Network
      • IEN is an alliance of grassroots Indigenous Peoples whose mission is to protect the sacredness of Mother Earth from contamination and exploitation by strengthening, respecting, and maintaining traditional teachings and natural laws.
    •  Indigenous Law Institute
      • The Indigenous Law Institute assists American Indian and other Indigenous communities to work toward a future of restoration and healing. They do this by working to develop a radically new basis for thinking about Native rights, from a Traditional Native Law perspective, and by contending that Native nations and peoples have an inherent right to live free of all forms of empire and domination.
    • Native Harvest
      • Native Harvest works to continue, revive, and protect our native seeds, heritage crops, naturally grown fruits, animals, wild plants, traditions and knowledge of our Indigenous and land-based communities, for the purpose of maintaining and continuing Native culture and resisting the global, industrialized food system.
    • American Indian College Fund
      • The American Indian College Fund transforms Indian higher education by Funding and creating awareness of the unique, community-based accredited tribal colleges and universities, offering students access to knowledge, skills, and cultural values which enhance their communities and the country as a whole.

Consider these guidelines for creating land acknowledgments:
From Canadian Friends Service Committee
From Native Governance Center
From New York University
From the US Department of Arts and Culture (an Indigenous organization)

Download Land Reparations by John Stoesz

Land Reparations are ways that non-Native people can acknowledge that they benefit from land stolen from Native peoples and compensate them, at least symbolically.

Read:

Listen to: Reconciliation Rising

History

John Stoesz and Paula Palmer

The Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples program grew out of the work of the Indigenous Peoples Concerns Committee at the Boulder, Colorado Meeting. As part of her work with Global Response, committee member Paula attended meetings of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. There, in 2012, she heard Indigenous leaders from around the world call on faith communities to face up to Christianity’s crimes against Indigenous peoples and repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery. She brought this concern to the Indigenous Peoples Concerns committee and invited a professor of Native American Studies, Dr. Doreen Martinez (Mescalero Apache) to help start a study group…

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