Social Justice News
Draft Land Acknowledgement
We meet today on the traditional and ancestral land of the Massachusett and the Wampanoag peoples, the original inhabitants of what is now known as Scituate. We are mindful that for the Wampanoag and Massachusett peoples -- past, present, and future -- this land is sacred.
The Social Justice Team created this shortened version of the draft Land Acknowledgement statement presented in October as part of their focus this year on understanding and dismantling white supremacy. The Land Acknowledgement is one part of a larger effort to create educational opportunities and discussions promoting better understanding of Indigenous Peoples locally and across the U.S., and how they have been treated historically and today. The work of the Social Justice Team will also include action steps to support Indigenous communities.
To date we have received very little feedback on the statement. Due to fluctuations in attendance at Sunday services in-person and online during the pandemic, the Team decided to begin using a short version of the Land Acknowledgement statement weekly at Sunday services sometime in March. As you hear it each week think about what it makes you think and feel. Please remember that the statement is not finalized. The Land Acknowledgement statement is a working draft; members and friends are encouraged to provide feedback to anyone on the Social Justice Team as they continue to work on the wording in advance of a congregation-wide vote on its formal acceptance by the church. Social Justice Team.
Resources About Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous Peoples Resource List #4
See Resource list 1 - 3 in the church newsletter for February or weekly What’s Happening emails.
The next 3 articles contain information relating to the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), created in response to the systematic removal of Native American children from their homes in the 1950’s and 60’s. Its constitutionality is being contested in recent court that now are in the hands of the US Supreme Court.
ICWA History and Purpose – a brief description of the law and its rationale on the Montana state government website, Dept of Public Health and Human Services
The Nation’s First Family Separation Policy – online article by Christie Renick posted 10/9/2018 on “The Imprint” website. Background on the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act
Brackeen v Haaland, Part 2: Challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act – brief online article by Meredith Polm posted November 4, 2021 on the Close Up Washington DC website. Non-partisan summary of the basic facts and issues of the case as well as lower court outcomes
Both Sides Ask the Supreme Court to Decide Fate of Indian Child Welfare Act – Short online article by Chuck Carroll posted 9/8/2021 on “The Imprint” website
What Would Tribal Leaders Want from the First Native American to Lead the National Parks Service? – Podcast episode (and transcript) of Think Out Loud hosted by Dave Miller (non-Indigenous). Discussion with a journalist who interviewed 3 Native American leaders about their hopes for Biden’s nomination for the Director role, Chuck Sams III, who was later confirmed (18 minutes).
Discussion of Dunbar-Ortiz book
On Feb. 7, social studies educator and parish member, Richard led us in the discussion of Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s 2019 book, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Community participants and church members gathered to share the impact and thoughts of this provocative text.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz reflects on a 400-year span of struggles against the colonization of the Americas. She articulates the founding mythology of the burgeoning country through the concept of Manifest Destiny and Doctrine of Discovery. Roxanne debunks the myth of brave and adventurous settlers seeking a new and entitled frontier to showcase the troubling yet realistic policy against the Indigenous peoples as colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, by displacing or eliminating them. She documents the shameful genocide. She questions the literary historians such as James Fennimore Cooper, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman and D.W. Griffith’s popular, Birth of a Nation. The impact of Dunbar’s book was enormous and the discussion rich with reawakening, understanding and shame.
We look forward to expanding and sharing further related multimedia opportunities in our Social Justice Meetings on Zoom and our regular contributions to the weekly What’s Happening. Come join us on our journey.
The Social Justice Team