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The 4 Cs of Cross-Cultural Outreach

Reverend Calvin Hill outlines the four “C’s” of Cross-Cultural Outreach and Discipleship from the Indigenous perspective in a recent article written for the UMC Discipleship Ministries website.

Rev. Hill gives clear instructions to decolonize our liturgies and rituals. He outlines the ways that Clarity, Consistency, Communication, and Compassion are needed.

Today’s Indigenous People do not want to maintain assimilation rituals. Many know the reality of spirituality and want expressions of spiritual formation that ensure the survival of creation.

Read the entire article at:

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Permanent Commission Statement on Failed Vote to Override Farmworker Minimum Wage Veto

July 25, 2023
Contact: Morgan Pottle Urquhart, 207-659-4064,
Ariel Ricci, 207-530-7437
AUGUSTA – The Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous, and Tribal Populations issued the following statement after the Maine House of Representatives failed by a vote of 61 to 61 to override Governor Mills’ veto of LD 398,“An Act to Make Agricultural Workers and Other Related Workers Employees under the Wage and Hour Laws.” The bill would have established farmworkers as employees under Maine law, making them eligible to be paid the state’s minimum wage.  
“We are disappointed that this modest compromise legislation fell to the pressure of agricultural lobbying groups. These groups had a seat at the table at every stage of the negotiations –negotiations that stripped the bill of most of the provisions that would have provided real worker protections for the people whose labor puts food on our tables,” said Morgan Pottle Urquhart, Policy and Communications Director of the Permanent Commission. “When groups benefit from an unjust status quo, they have no incentive to change the system.”
“We grant minimum wage protections to workers throughout our country, yet deny these protections to farmworkers due to systemic racism and historic marginalization,” said Commissioner Juana Rodriguez-Vazquez, who also serves as the Executive Director of Mano en Mano, an organization that works with farmworkers statewide and immigrants in Downeast Maine to empower them to thrive. “Farmworkers are the backbone of the potato, blueberry and seafood harvests- the iconic products of Maine. They are an essential part of what makes our economy strong, and communities vibrant- yet they are not afforded basic rights. This bill had the potential to support farmworkers in a small step towards justice, towards redistributing power and resources, and towards making Maine a healthier place. Our community deserves more than the bare minimum – which was again denied today. We will keep working alongside our community to advocate for justice.”
The Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous, and Tribal Populations was established in 2019, with the enactment of LD 777 and began its work in late 2021, after receiving its first funding with the enactment of LD 1034. The Permanent Commission has a mission to examine racial disparities across all systems with a goal of improving the status and outcomes for historically disadvantaged racial, Indigenous, and tribal populations in the state. The Permanent Commission is empowered to advise all three branches of Maine government and to introduce legislation. More information about the Permanent Commission’s work can be found on its website:

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Book Resources

Book Resources

The Committee on Native American Ministries has created this list of book resources to allow people to educate themselves on Indigenous culture, New England contexts of Indigenous people and some of the issues that face Indigenous people.

NEAC Book Recommendations

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Decolonizing Local Histories

This November, during Indigenous Peoples’ History Month, the New England Conference Committee on Native American Ministries is encouraging churches in the New England churches to challenge the histories in their towns and cities. Too often, city and town histories are white washed and Indigenous stories are lost or misrepresented. 

Stories are often told by the victor, and in most cases these stories are written by white individuals that lived in these places soon after the events they are writing about. This is a chance to learn more about the history of the town or city that you live in. As you read through accounts, think about what voices are missing from the story, how biased these stories may be. Think about the contributions made by the Indigenous people that lived or live in your area. Locate individuals who may know more about the real histories of the area, the stories that need to be told from an Indigenous view point. Reach out to schools to find out how they are teaching about the local Indigenous history.

We encourage churches and individuals to start the work of decolonizing history. This is important work. The more diverse stories there are at the table, the richer the understanding of that history can be. 

The principles of the decolonizing Indigenous framework. Adapted from “The Decolonizing Interpretive Research Methodology” in Decolonizing Interpretive Research: A Subaltern Methodology for Social Change, by A. Darder (2019). New York, NY: Routledge. Copyright 2019 by Routledge.

This map depicts at least one interpretation of what Indigenous entity (tribe or band) lived or lives in the New England area. 

New England Indigenous lands map

Find an interactive map of Indigenous lands here

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Honoring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Back in May 2022, our committee created an important video to encourage people to wear RED to honor Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The video can be viewed here.

One of our members, Todd Warfield, worked with St. John’s United Methodist Church to create a Red Dress Art Display. Over twenty red dresses were put on display outside on the church grounds. Two dresses were displayed within the front entry way of the church as well to remind those worshipping that Sunday of the event and the cause. Individuals were provided a brochure explaining why this exhibit existed and how to donate toward Strong Hearts, which is an Indigenous organization that helps Indigenous women that are dealing with domestic and sexual abuse.

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Justice Sought for Boarding Schools

Education is a crucial first step

The New England Conference Committee on Native American Ministries encourages everyone to read this important story by United Methodist News on the history and impact of Native American Boarding Schools.

Here’s the link to the UM News story:


Day of repentance called for Oct. 6

The Native American International Caucus of The United Methodist Church is calling on United Methodists to observe Oct. 6 this year as a day of truth and repentance for children who were victims of Indian boarding schools.

Read the press release

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Boston Indigenous Peoples’ Day Protest

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Park Street station on Boston Common October 11th, 2020 in the afternoon and marched to the downtown waterfront to denounce Christopher Columbus and show their support for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

One of our committee members was there showing their support and shared these photos from the protest.


Maine replaces Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day

On April 26, 2019, Governor Janet Mills signed into law a bill to enact Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Maine joins a handful of states that have now changed the holiday. The bill was sponsored by Representative Benjamin Collings of Portland. It passed with bipartisan support in the Legislature. Representatives from the Penobscot Nation, the Passamaquoddy Nation, and the Houlton Band of Maliseets were present at the signing of the bill.

Abolish Columbus Day!
Let’s work to abolish Columbus Day and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day!

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

On October 14 2019, Maine and Vermont will celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day. This is a great step forward for indigenous people in New England and beyond. New England CONAM is recommending local churches in the entire conference and the New England Conference to stand together with this movement. As part of our Acts of Repentance, we can provide an example to those in our communities that we stand with those indigenous communities around our conference.

What we learned in school history books is only part of the story. Columbus initiated his transatlantic slave trade in 1494 when he send dozens of Taínos to Spain. Then in 1495, Columbus ordered some 1600 Taínos rounded up and 550 of them sent to Spain as slaves. From the beginning, Columbus was not on a mission to discover, but a mission to exploit and conquest. Taínos were forced into a tribute system and forced to find gold. If they failed, the Taínos were punished. This punishment took some ugly forms, from cutting off hands to being chased down by attack dogs. The wood cut below depicts a brutal scene of what the Taínos endured.

A woodcut by Theodor De Bry, in the 16th century, based on the writings of Bartolome de las Casas.

In the book The Conquest of Paradise, Kirkpatrick Sale depicts the scene where Columbus’s men encountered a group of Taínos in March 1495 in Hispaniola.

The soldiers mowed down dozens with point-blank volleys, loosed the dogs to rip open limbs and bellies, chased fleeing Indians into the bush to skewer them on sword and pike, and [according to Columbus’s biographer, his son Fernando] “with God’s aid soon gained a complete victory, killing many Indians and capturing others who were also killed.”


Too often, the Columbus story only depicts Columbus planting a flag on “San Salvador”, children learn the three ships names, but that is about it. The Taínos don’t have a voice in most history books that are in schools today.

How do we change the narrative? We start by educating those around us with the other side of the story. We have provided some resources below for those who would like to educate themselves or provide another voice at the table.


Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years edited by Bill Bigelow
All the Real Indians Died Off And 20 Other Myths by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Columbus: His Enterprise by Hans Koning
Christopher Columbus and the Conquest of Paradise by Kirkpatrick Sale
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Abolish Columbus Day!
Let’s work to abolish Columbus Day and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day!
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