Toward Right Relationship with America's Native Peoples

A Project of the Indigenous Peoples Concerns Committee

How you can support this work.

discovery 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.

declarationWe 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.

Visit Toward Right Relationship on Facebook.

What’s New

Words by Friends: Paula Palmer
Friends General Conference e-Newsletter, November 2017
By Marta Rusek

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

Join Right Relationship with Native Peoples – BOULDER.   We are Native and non-Native people working with local governments and organizations to help all Boulder Valley residents learn about the Native peoples who lived here historically and those who live here today.

Background Info – Right Relationship Boulder
Visit Right Relationship with Native Peoples – BOULDER on Facebook.

After traveling to Oklahoma to visit the Southern Arapaho tribal leaders, and to the Wind River Indian Reservation to visit the Northern Arapaho, Paula Palmer, Ava Hamilton (Arapaho), and Jerilyn DeCoteau (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) presented the following report and PowerPoint presentation to the City of Boulder’s Human Relations Commission. 
Right Relationship Boulder’s report to Human Relations Commission Dec 11, 2017
Powerpoint Slide Presentation

Recommended: Watch the documentary film, “Two Rivers,” and host a discussion in your community. What would right relationship with Native Peoples look like? How can you start taking steps in that direction? 


Indigenous Peoples Conference on Processes for Reconciliation  — World Council of Churches

Friends General Conference – Dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery in your Meeting

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:

United Nations Holds Holy See Accountable for Racist Doctrines

“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. 

Quaker Indian Boarding Schools

Research on Quaker Indian Day Schools and Boarding Schools image

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.”

boardingschooldvdThe Toward Right Relationship Project has produced a Video, which 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 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:
Paula Palmer
1603 Cottonwood Dr., Unit N
Louisville CO 80027. 

Read Paula Palmer’s article, “The Quaker Indian Boarding Schools: Facing our History and Ourselves,” in
Friends Journal.

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.

Field Research Travelogue Sept 2015

“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:

Upcoming Workshops

March 11, 2018 – Columbine Unity Church, Lafayette CO
March 17, 2018 – Boulder, Resonance Chorus
March 18, 2018 – Philadelphia, Pachamama and Lenape
March 22, 2018 – Boulder, Humanist Psychology Conference
March 31, 2018 – Southeastern Yearly Meeting, Florida
March 31, 2018 – Visalia Friends Meeting, Visalia, CA
April 3, 2018 – Palo Alto CA Friends Meeting
April 7, 2018 – Grass Valley Library, CA
April 9, 2018 – San Francisco Friends Meeting, CA
April 11, 2018 – Redwood Forest Meeting, Santa Rosa CA
April 13 – 15, 2018 – Ben Lomond Quaker Center, Santa Cruz, CA
May 3-6, 2018 – Pendle Hill Quaker Conference Center, Philadelphia, PA

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
Resource Kit
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: purpose_box. 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 

Oct 1 – Dec 31, 2013
Jan 1 – March 31, 2014
April 1 – June 30, 2014
TRR Project 2014 Annual Report

TRR Project Description and Work Plan 2015

Oct 1 – Dec 31, 2014
Jan 1 – March 31, 2015

April 1 – June 30, 2015
TRR Project 2015 Annual Report

Oct 1 – Dec 31, 2015
Jan 1 – March 31, 2016
Apr 1 – June 30, 2016

TRR Project 2016 Annual Report

TRR Project Description and Work Plan 2017

Oct 1 – Dec 31, 2016
Jan 1 – March 31, 2017
Apr 1 – June 30, 2017

TRR Project 2017 Annual Report

TRR Project Description and Work Plan 2018

TRR 2018 First Quarter Financial Report
Oct 1 – Dec 31, 2017 

Friends Committee on National Legislation(FCNL)

Intermountain Yearly Meeting (IMYM)

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