Queries - Virtual Worship for White Friends Confronting Racism
Resources for newcomers:
What does home mean to you?
What does home mean for Indigenous People who have been forced to live on reservations?
[A]n acknowledgment is not the same as a relationship. Land does not require that you confirm it exists or that it has been stolen, rather that you reciprocate the care that it has given you. - Joseph Pierce, Cherokee Nation
How do you express gratitude for the place where you live and the people who cared for it before it was stolen?
How do you make the act of giving thanks part of relationships of reciprocal care?
What have you learned from First Nations People about relationship to resources and the land?
How would our community's relationship with the land and resources change if we learned from First Nations People?
How can we evolve Thanksgiving into a time for reparations and repairing our relations with First Nations People?
First Peoples Worldwide:
2007 was a watershed year for Indigenous rights. On September 13th, the United Nations adopted the and it has since been ratified by 143 countries. While the Declaration is not legally binding, it sets a global standard for the treatment of Indigenous Peoples. This was a vital step in securing Indigenous rights worldwide.
Victories [such as these] have been followed by an increased global awareness of Indigenous issues and further successes in securing the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Although Indigenous initiatives are often the most underfunded and under-recognized, they have succeeded so far on an unprecedented level. Indigenous communities, advocates and supporters are forming the world’s first global civil rights movement.
The single unifying issue facing Indigenous Peoples everywhere is how to protect their territories and stop the “asset stripping” that robs them of their livelihoods and the foundation of their cultures. Without land and control of their assets, Indigenous Peoples are destined to remain the world’s poorest communities – with the worst health, highest mortality rate and shortest life span.
When you think of ‘home,” do you include the Indigenous history of your home, land, town or community?
What do you know about the Indigenous Peoples who inhabited the land you live on now?
How does it feel, emotionally and in your body, to acknowledge the complex and often violent history of land rights in your country and in your community?
- What relationship do you have to the Native American community in your area?
- In what ways can you help land acknowledgements be made more than a statement that is repeated over and over?
- How can you help your meeting engage in reparations to be in right relationship with Native people, considering the history of Quaker and Native people on the land?
- What do you feel holds you back from taking steps toward right relationship with the Native American community in your area?
“Known in the middle 1600s in Britain as radicals whose public defiance of conventional religions and the clergy led to persecution and often imprisonment, by the 1700s Quakers…had turned inward and become a “settled” people whose lives would witness to their beliefs. As “quietists,” Friends’ prevailing view was that God’s will would be revealed in the silence of meeting for worship, and they began to see other Friends as radicals for their increasingly public advocacy for causes like emancipation.”