on the 500th Anniversay of Columbus, 1989
Mennonite Church USA
The year 1992 is the 500th anniversary
of Columbus' arrival in the western hemisphere and his "discovery"
of the people he named Indians. Thus began a history of the conquest
and displacement of the native peoples of the Americas and the
destruction of their cultures. Monuments, textbooks and popular
films still portray the white conquerors as heroes and the Indians
as villains. We anticipate that many celebrations of the 500th
anni versary will reflect this racist attitude and distortion
In the year 1992 we also will
gather for the 46th triennial sessions of the General Conference
Those of us who were immigrant
peoples now own land which was once the collective possession
of the native peoples. We have been the beneficiaries, however
indirectly, of their violent and unjust displacement. Injustice
and racism continue to be directed against them. While some among
us have spoken out courageously on these issues, we have too
often been silent.
Therefore, be it resolved:
1. That during this triennium
following our resolution, "A Church of Many Peoples Confronts
Racism," we seek ways to correct the distortions of history
and racist attitudes regarding native people in North America.
2. That we encourage our congregations
to use the Multi-Cultural Worship Resource Notebook and the new
educational material, Neighbors Near and Far: Native People in
North America, and to invite speakers who can interpret native
3. That we incorporate into the
1992 General Conference sessions (a) a public confession of our
sin of silence about continued injustice, (b) an affirmation
of the dignity and integrity of native peoplehood, and (c) a
testimony that all of us stand together as God's people.
4. That we request the Commission
on Home Ministries, the Native Ministries Board of the Conference
of Mennonites in Canada, and the Mennonite Indian Leaders Council
to prepare action for 1992 and beyond, which will symbolize and
make public our commitment to the above resolution.
Adopted by the 45th triennial sessions of the
General Conference Mennonite Church, 1989.
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