THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION

The theological reflection this month is drawn from an excerpt of Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.


LEARN

Choose one or more of the following:

READ

WATCH

  • Paha Sapa: The struggle for the Black Hills (59 min) The continuing struggle of the Cheyenne and Lakota Sioux peoples to regain their sacred ground is movingly portrayed in this documentary video.

  • A tribe called Red  - Black Snakes (music video) A music video about resistance and resilience at Standing Rock by a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

  • Stand Up/Stand N Rock (music video) This song and video were created in support of the Standing Rock Reservation and the Sioux Tribe, as part of the movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

LISTEN

  • Native America Calling (podcast) Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this podcast features a “thought-provoking national conversation from a Native perspective.” The program includes Native-related news, guests, and discussions of Native issues, culture, and people.

  • The Fight To End Violence Against Indigenous Women Continues In Iowa (48:31) Iowa Public Radio interview with three Indigenous women, who are fighting to raise awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women and relatives, and end the cycle of violence.


NOTICE

  • Follow the hashtag #MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women) to stay aware of violence against Indigenous women and how people are taking action across the country.

  • Follow St. Paul’s Indian Mission on Facebook to lean more about the diocesan ministry in Sioux City, Iowa.

  • Do any of the schools in your area use Native American people and spiritual symbols as sports team names and mascots? Are there streets or landmarks in your area that have Indigenous roots?


ENGAGE

  • Visit the Meskwaki Cultural Center & Museum in Tama, Iowa and learn about the Meskwaki nation’s rich history and traditions. Open M-F 8:30am-4:00pm or other times by appointment.

  • Conduct and disseminate research on your denomination’s involvement as operators, promoters, managers, teachers, and funders of Indian boarding schools. Explore the resources from the Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition

  • Attend a school board meeting and inquire about the representation of Native Americans in current books used at school and inquire about how the district plans to recognize Indigenous People’s Day (formerly celebrated in the state as Columbus Day).


REFLECT

  • What stood out to you the most?

  • How are you feeling?

  • What action will you take?

  • Who in your family/community may want to take action with you?


PRAY

O God of infinite mercy, we live in a land where the native peoples were moved, often by force, from the bountiful lands they inhabited to places of desolation. Help us to support them now as they seek to retain their rich native cultures. Open our eyes to the poverty and despair that so often accompany them through life, and give us the courage and will to change the systems that perpetuate injustice, for the sake of your Son our Lord. Amen.

- from A year of prayer to end racism