Indigenous Peoples Concerns Committee


We wish to increase our understanding and appreciation of Indigenous peoples, to learn from them and their cultures, and to support them in exercising their rights and achieving their goals, as way opens. By “as way opens,” we mean that we are responsive to what is asked of us by Indigenous peoples rather than determining on our own what we believe we should do for their benefit. We seek to act in accord with the Quaker testimonies and to grow in our understanding of “right relationship.” We undertake projects as we are led by the Spirit, within the constraints of our human and material resources.

Our focus is on “peoples” as cultural groups, whose rights are recognized in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We share their concerns and seek to support their efforts to exercise self-determination; maintain their cultural identity and languages; protect their territories, environment, and sacred sites; express their spiritual values and practices; and exercise sovereignty. We are committed to continuing Friends’ historic efforts to build right relationship with Native Americans, and we also extend our concern and involvement to Indigenous peoples throughout the world. Our current activities include a study group; support of specific programs in collaboration with the Navajo, Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Lakota peoples; and educational outreach to the wider Quaker community and other faith communities around the “Doctrine of Discovery” and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Support the Sand Creek Massacre Spiritual Healing Run

“There is a bluff near Chivington, Colorado, overlooking Big Sandy Creek where you can hear women and children crying in the wind. This remote spot is the place where 160 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians were murdered by Colonel John M. Chivington’s militiamen….no one was ever punished.” — Walter R. Echo-Hawk

Boulder Friends feel called to support a healing process that the Cheyenne and Arapaho people themselves initiated 14 years ago. Elders from the communities in Montana, Wyoming, and Oklahoma bring young runners to the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site each November. There they conduct prayer ceremonies and the young people continue to carry the prayers in their Spiritual Healing Run.

See “How Does Healing Happen?” Boulder Camera Guest Commentary, October 2012, by Paula Palmer and Aya Medrud.


About the IPC Committee

Committee Members – Kaye Edwards and Caroline Himes (co-conveners),  Mary Carhartt, Paula Palmer, Ken Wallace, Jane Westberg, 

Meetings are held generally once a month. Please contact any member for information if interested in participating. We welcome new members!

Supported Organizations

The IPC Committee recommends organizations for support from the Boulder Friends Meeting. We maintain connections with the organizations. For 2018 – 2019, the organizations supported are:

  • Loneman School at Pine Ridge
  • Youth Healing Camps (Pine Ridge)
  • Native American Rights Fund (NARF) Indigenous Peacemaking Initiative
  • National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition
  • Southern Arapaho Language Program
  • Right Relationship Boulder




Repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery

In solidarity with initiatives led by Indigenous leaders and a growing number of religious organizations, the Boulder Friends Meeting repudiates the “Doctrine of Discovery.” Click to read the Minute

For more information and resources on the Doctrine of Discovery, click here.

Implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

In order to build relationships with Indigenous Peoples founded in equity and justice, we affirm and support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Click to read the Minute

To read a report by Friends Committee on National Legislation about implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the United States, click here .

For more information and resources on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, click here

Resources and Connections

Books about Native Americans for Children and Teens

Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples
Indigenous leaders are calling on people of faith 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 UN 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 America’s Native Peoples.” Click for more The workshop, and other educational programs, are presented to faith communities, high schools and colleges, and civic organizations, locally and nationally.

The Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples website on the Boulder Friends Meeting has significant resources available. click here

Right Relationship Boulder 

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. The goal of the organization is to promote and practice right relationship with Native peoples.

Past Activities

Gerald One Feather
Awarded Honorary Doctoral Degree
At the Spring, 2013 University of Colorado Commencement, Gerald One Feather, longtime friend of the Boulder Friends Meeting, was awarded an honorary doctoral degree for his outstanding contributions in Lakota education and other areas. Click for more
Remember Gerald One Feather by Martin Cobin

One Step

We invite all members of Meeting to join with us in understanding and working towards healing in our relationship to Indigenous People. In this section, we will provide just a few suggestions, changing quarterly, of “small bites” to help you deepen your knowledge.

Fall 2018
• Watch the PBS series Native America
• Learn about the Sand Creek Massacre and the significant impact on the Boulder County Arapaho people as a result of the massacre in November 1864.
• Learn about the Doctrine of Discover.  click here.