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Showing posts from June, 2021

Truth-Telling

Below is a message from the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) that I am sharing with you for this week’s message. Last week I attended the screening of the film  Home from School, the Children of Carlisle . The documentary was extremely moving along with some of the testimony that was shared afterwards by Arapaho people.  It will be airing on PBS in the future on  Independent Lens , at a time not yet determined. Finally, we are hearing the truth which gives me hope that healing can come with our response of compassion, empathy, and reparation, not objectifying. A co-producer of the film, Jordan Dresser, also chair of the Northern Arapaho Business Council, noted in his concluding remarks after the film that churches also need to be taking responsibility for their role in this era. “The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) would like to express deep gratitude for the leadership of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, w

No Turning Back

  We have a new holiday called Juneteenth in commemoration of slaves being set free. For four years we had a President intent on “Making America Great Again” at the expense of people of color.  In 2020 we were struck with the COVID-19 pandemic that gave us an opportunity to take a deep look at ourselves. Millions watched the video of George Floyd dying from police brutality, too blatant to be explained away. People studied and discussed racism as never before. The veil of White Privilege was lifted. White Fragility was shattered, and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not glue it back together again.  Last week I attended a webinar on reparations sponsored by Church and Society of the United Methodist Church.  What I learned is that we are not ready for reparations, except in small, although good, ways. One of the speakers, Rev. Chebon Kernell, an enrolled member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and of Muscogee Creek heritage, is executive director of the Native Ameri

Who Protects the Water Protectors?

Hundreds of arrests, low-flying helicopters stirring up dust making it hard to breathe, a long-range acoustic device that causes nausea and other symptoms, bright blinding lights and other military actions are being taken by law enforcement and Homeland Security against those who are protesting Enbridge’s Line 3 in Northern Minnesota through tribal land and headwaters of the Mississippi River to the docks in Superior, Wisconsin. The Water Protectors began their efforts last winter as pipeline was being laid in swamps because laying pipeline in swamps is easier when a swamp is frozen. Big Wind, known by some as Micah Lott, from here in Riverton has been there since December 2020. I have known Big Wind for nearly a decade. Big Wind is two-spirited and goes by the pronouns they, them and their. After the 2016 election cycle when Big Wind headed up the GOTV on the Wind River Indian Reservation for the Wind River Native Advocacy Center, they immediately headed for the protest at Standing

Church Decolonization

  A post on Facebook this week read, “White privilege is the ability to pass laws that prevent everyone from learning history that makes white people feel uncomfortable.” I partly disagree. White privilege allows that ability, but white supremacy actualizes it. At the Wind River Justice Pod meeting we watched  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfsfoFqsFk4  to give us a brief understanding about U.S. imperialism that has hurt people of color. It included how the U.S. won the Philippines from Spain, not to free them, but to colonize them. White privilege protected white people from the impacts; white supremacy allowed people of color to be oppressed. Last week we heard about the coverup of a mass grave of the remains of 215 children at a former Catholic residential school in Canada. The news barely made a ripple in the mainstream media, a reminder that the church has not been held accountable for a 500-year history of abuse of people of color, the same ones that claimed to be spreading

Giving Up Colonization

 " We have the power to begin this world over again."   – Thomas Paine I am reading  Where Do We Go from Here, Chaos or Community?  By Martin Luther King, Jr, first published in 1967, although a message unfortunately still relevant today.  I was surprised that the above quote by Thomas Paine is included. But the mindset that  we could start over again should we have the willpower  gives me hope that we could end colonization derived from European conquests in the 15 th  century that included stealing land, enslaving human bodies, and destroying anything in the way while defining those of darker skin color as less than human to justify such evil. I believe that where we go from here is going to require white people to be liberated from a system that we now live in. Are we ready for “white liberation” from a culture that values ownership and control of property above humanity and life itself?  King wrote in 1967 about how white people viewed Negros as not being ready for equali