Toward Right Relationship with America's Native Peoples
Indigenous leaders are calling on people of faith – and all people – to raise awareness about the historical and ongoing injustices committed against Native peoples, and to seek ways of building right relationship with them in accord with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In response to this call and with the advice of Native American educators, the Indigenous Peoples Concerns Committee developed a 2-hour workshop called, “Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change: Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples.” Workshop participants enact a 45-minute script and then reflect on and share their responses in a “talking circle” or worship-sharing format. A Resource Kit is provided so that groups can pursue further study of the issues and consider what “right relationship” might mean in their own circumstances.
We present a similar, but shorter, program in middle school and high school classrooms, titled, “Re-Discovering America: Understanding Colonization.” Native American facilitators in the Toward Right Relationship project offer a version of the workshop to Native audiences (schools, colleges, communities), titled “Native History, Native Rights; Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change.” To request a presentation of any of these Toward Right Relationship workshops, please contact project director Paula Palmer at paulaRpalmer(at)gmail(dot)com. For more information, see the documents below.
The Toward Right Relationship project collaborates with Native Americans and other organizations to create and/or support meaningful processes for truth, justice, reconciliation, and healing. The Boulder Meeting established a restricted fund to enable the Toward Right Relationship project to accept donations in support of this work. Funds are used for materials and supplies; travel to conferences and to facilitate workshops and offer trainings; publications; social media development and management; project administration; and project staff support. To make a donation, please see instructions and a PayPal link below. We gratefully appreciate your support to carry on this work.
In Memoriam: Dennis Banks, Co-Founder of the American Indian Movement
“What we did in the 1960s and early 1970s was raise the consciousness of white America that this government has a responsibility to Indian people. That there are treaties; that textbooks in every school in America have a responsibility to tell the truth. An awareness reached across America that if Native American people had to resort to arms at Wounded Knee, there must really be something wrong. And Americans realized that native people are still here, that they have a moral standing, a legal standing. From that, our own people began to sense the pride.” — Dennis Banks
“For Indigenous Nations to Live, Colonial Mentalities Must Die” Envisioning a just future beyond the Indian Act starts with recognizing that the root of the problem we are facing is not one of laws or policies, of funding disparities or even of governmental capacities at any level.
In this short article, First Nations writer Taiaiake Alfred states concisely and precisely how Settler people must change ourselves and our institutions in order for Native peoples to survive and thrive. The parallels between his Canadian context and the US are obvious.
The Toward Right Relationship Project has produced a Video, which includes two presentations: This video link is temporarily unavailable.
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 receive a DVD of this video, please send a check for $18 (to cover costs of reproduction, postage and handling) to “Boulder Friends Meeting,” and in the memo line write “DVD.” Mail your check to:
1603 Cottonwood Dr., Unit N
Louisville CO 80027.
Read Paula Palmer’s article, “The Quaker Indian Boarding Schools: Facing our History and Ourselves,” in
Listen to an interview with Paula Palmer about the Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples workshops and her research on the Quaker Indian Boarding Schools, on Northern Spirit Radio.
A Participant’s Response to the Toward Right Relationship Workshop, by Emily Jacobi
Proclamation of the Continental Commission of the Great Turtle Island, Abya Yala Sept 24, 2015
A new documentary film, “The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code” is available from Dakota 38 Plus 2 Productions. See: http://www.38plus2productions.com/
United Nations Holds Holy See Accountable for Racist Doctrines
Quaker Indian Boarding Schools
During her tenure as Pendle Hill’s 2015 Cadbury Scholar, Toward Right Relationship project director Paula Palmer conducted research on the role Quakers played in conceptualizing, promoting, and carrying out the forced assimilation policies of the last two centuries. This policy was succinctly expressed by Merrill E. Gates in 1891:
“We are going to conquer the Indians by a standing army of school teachers.”
“First Light” is a 13-minute video about Maine’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which concluded that Maine’s child welfare system committed cultural genocide against the Wabanaki people. The Wabanaki people are engaged in healing processes.See: https://vimeo.
09/27/17 Portland OR – Presbyterian Earthcare Conference
10/08/17 Boulder CO – First United Methodist Church – 3-5pm
10/12/17 Lafayette CO – The Collective – 6:30-8:30pm
10/14/17 Berkeley CA – Berkeley Friends Meetinghouse
10/14/17 Brooklyn NY – Friends Meeting/School
11/12/17 Philadelphia PA – Weavers Way Co-op 3-5pm
Toward Right Relationship Project Documents
Letter to Faith Communities about Workshop
Toward Right Relationship Workshop Facilitators Bios
Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change – Workshop Description
Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change – Participant Feedback
Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change – General Flyer
Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change – Workshop Calendar
Walter Echo -Hawk’s Five Steps to Healing
Re-Discovering America flyer
Paula Palmer’s Traveling Minute from Boulder Friends Meeting
“Healing Our Nation’s Oldest Wounds,” by Paula Palmer, Western Friend, Jan./Feb. 2014
How to Host a TRR Workshop
How You Can Support the Toward Right Relationship Project
To make an online donation, enter “Toward Right Relationship” in the “Purpose” box, then click “Donate”. You may need to enter it twice; the second time the space may look like this: . Please click on the plus sign and enter “Toward Right Relationship” again if you see the plus sign; thank you.
To donate by mail, send a check to Treasurer, Boulder Friends Meeting, P.O. Box 4363, Boulder, CO 80306. Make the check payable to “Boulder Friends Meeting” and write “Toward Right Relationship” in the Memo line.
Toward Right Relationship Project Quarterly Reports