The Spirit created the opportunity for Paula Palmer to be with us in Iowa and Nebraska recently. Supported by Boulder Friends Meeting, the resources for Toward Right Relationships with Native Peoples can be found here: https://www.boulderfriendsmeeting.org/ipc-right-relationship-2/
My leading started with a nudge four years ago and grew into a ministry called Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples. This ministry has grown in depth and breadth under the loving care of the Boulder (Colo.) Meeting. Working in partnership with Native American educators, I learned about their efforts to bring healing to the Native people, families, and communities that continue to suffer illness, despair, suicide, violence, and many forms of dysfunction that they trace to the Indian boarding school experience.Friends Journal, October 2016
Native American organizations are asking churches to join in a Truth and Reconciliation process to bring about healing for Native American families that continue to suffer the consequences of the Indian boarding schools. With support from Pendle Hill (the Cadbury scholarship), Friends Historical Library (the Moore Fellowship), the Native American Rights Fund, and other Friendly sources, Paula Palmer researched the role that Friends played in implementing the federal government’s policy of forced assimilation of Native children. For a link to her 50-minute slide presentation and other resources, please see www.boulderfriendsmeeting.org/ipc-boarding-school-researchPaula Palmer’s ministry, “Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples,” is under the care of Boulder Friends Meeting. Please contact her at paulaRpalmer@gmail.com
The links below are to a number of blog posts about Paula’s workshops and presentations.
- The workshops “Toward Right Relationships with Native People” were held at the Indian Center in Lincoln Nebraska, West Branch Friends Church and the First Unitarian Church in Des Moines.
- The film “Two Rivers” was shown at Des Moines Valley Friends Meeting and was followed by a discussion.
- Perhaps the most upsetting discussion was about the Quaker Indian Boarding Schools, which was held at Scattergood Friends School and Farm, a Quaker Boarding School.
One of the significant benefits of Paula’s visit was bringing together people who care about building right relationships among white and Native people, who hadn’t known each other prior to this. Several of the workshops had around 60 participants. But it is important that many more white people learn about this tragic history, so that, hopefully, we can seek reconciliation for the past, and move forward together now.
This is especially urgent now, because we need Native people to lead the way as we move deeper into environmental chaos. Native people have a deep connection to Mother Earth and all who live on her. Spirituality is fundamental to their culture and needs to be more central to white people’s culture as we live through increasingly turbulent times ahead. A Green New Deal is essential. And it is essential that a Green New Deal be indigenous led. Christine Nobiss has created a campaign related to this named SHIFT, Seeding the Hill with Indigenous Free Thinkers.
As the name Right Relationship Iowa suggests, we plan to build on the work that Paula did here. The purpose of this blog post is to invite you to be involved in how this work moves forward. Right Relationship Iowa at the moment is essentially a list of people who have attended Paula’s workshops and presentations, and have indicated they are interested in participating.
This is an invitation for anyone interested in building right relationships among Native and white people.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no organizational structure for Right Relationship Iowa at the moment. We just want to know who is interested in moving forward with this. Please share this opportunity with others you think might be interested.