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conam indigenous

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: 

 

https://www.umnews.org/

en/news/pastor-reflects-on-dark-days-at-indian-boarding-schools

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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conam indigenous

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.

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indigenous

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!
Categories
indigenous

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.

Columbus
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.”

THE CONQUEST OF PARADISE

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.

Resources

Books:
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!