​While Mary Mitchell cooks a Potawatomi meal for Trail of Death participants, Lynda Hollinger-Janzen listens to Eddie Joe Mitchell's history of his ancestors. Photographer: Photo by Peter Anderson, fiercelyalive.com

By Cynthia Friesen Coyle and Lynda Hollinger-Janzen
Tuesday, October 6, 2020

In acknowledgement of Indigenous People's Day on Oct. 12, we offer the final blog of a three-part series. Mennonite Mission Network participants outline some action steps based on what they learned during Mother Earth's Pandemic: The Doctrine of Discovery, an online conference. Read the first blog here and the second blog here.

As women who have committed our lives to following Jesus Christ, we desire to refute the Doctrine of Christian Discovery as a twisted biblical interpretation that is motivated by greed and lust for power. Some of our ancestors moved onto Indigenous lands after forced removals by the U.S. government. How do we start walking upstream against the current of the long history of our Mennonite denomination's blind cooperation with the U.S. government?

Learn. By listening to narratives from cultures whose voices have been suppressed, we can gain a broader and truer perspective.

Acknowledge the truth. Many Mennonite congregations are writing land acknowledgments, recognizing the people who lived where they now worship, as a starting point for moving toward justice and right relationships with Indigenous brothers and sisters.

Lament. "Our only path to healing is through lament and learning how to accept some very unsettling truths," write the authors of Unsettling Truths.

  • Charles and Rah introduce the concept of White trauma. "White America could not perpetrate five hundred years of dehumanizing injustice without traumatizing itself…we are called to an equality in our mutual brokenness and trauma…Institutions established by [White people] are so ashamed of their own past that they are unable to even publish accurate history."
  • Lament resources compiled by Mennonite Church USA.

Connect with the earth and the global community. In her presentation at the Mother Earth Pandemic conference, Tina Nagata from Te Ika a Maui (New Zealand) said that her ancestors were ocean people, living in harmony with water. "Before there was land, there was water," Nagata said. "Our bodies are made of 60 percent water." She explained that water is intended to be a connector that gives life. People travel from one community to another via water. However, the Doctrine of Christian Discovery has made rivers and oceans into boundary lines that divide people. "Water loves us," Nagata said. "She is waiting for enough of us to recognize her, so we can connect around the world."

Do justice. In James 1:22-24, the Bible tells us to not just hear the truth, but to act on what we hear. "…whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God… and sticks with it, … that person will find delight and affirmation in the action."

 

 

 Related

 

 

Monthly food packages provide a chance to meet Jesus at the wellColombiahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4748/Monthly-food-packages-provide-a-chance-to-meet-Jesus-at-the-wellMonthly food packages provide a chance to meet Jesus at the wellGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Bogotá
Lessons I’ve learned from my catsInternational Cat Dayhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4738/Lessons-Ive-learned-from-my-catsLessons I’ve learned from my catsGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Tension is essential for lifeSermonhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4730/Tension-is-essential-for-lifeTension is essential for lifeGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Bammental
'Women and Peace' project creates sacred space for peacebuilders of faithColombiahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4720/Women-and-Peace-project-creates-sacred-space-for-peacebuilders-of-faith'Women and Peace' project creates sacred space for peacebuilders of faithGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
God is in the City!Outreachhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4719/God-is-in-the-CityGod is in the City!GP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Juneteenth acknowledges freedom delayedJuneteenthhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4716/Juneteenth-acknowledges-freedom-delayedJuneteenth acknowledges freedom delayedGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
I bike for world peace, personal shalom — and because I love bikingBikinghttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4712/I-bike-for-world-peace-personal-shalom-and-because-I-love-bikingI bike for world peace, personal shalom — and because I love bikingGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Reflections on the Sent ConferenceSent Conferencehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4709/Reflections-on-the-Sent-ConferenceReflections on the Sent ConferenceGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
God laughsWorld Laughter Dayhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4696/God-laughsGod laughsGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Like Jesus, 'Juan' Driver encouraged women in ministryRemembering John Driverhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4685/Like-Jesus-Juan-Driver-encouraged-women-in-ministry-Like Jesus, 'Juan' Driver encouraged women in ministryGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
While celebrating Lord’s supper, Ukrainian church leader identifies with people’s painUkrainehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4679/While-celebrating-Lord’s-supper-Ukrainian-church-leader-identifies-with-people’s-painWhile celebrating Lord’s supper, Ukrainian church leader identifies with people’s painGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Odesa
Prayer amid a new reality of warUkrainehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4677/Prayer-amid-a-new-reality-of-warPrayer amid a new reality of warGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Ghanaian church leader says women will carry church to “next level”Women's History Monthhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4674/Ghanaian-church-leader-says-women-will-carry-church-to-next-levelGhanaian church leader says women will carry church to “next level”GP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Vacation Bible school in Brazil a blessing to both students and teachersBrazilhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4670/Vacation-Bible-school-in-Brazil-a-blessing-to-both-students-and-teachersVacation Bible school in Brazil a blessing to both students and teachersGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Caruaru
Valentine cookies are a sweet reminder to pray for peaceKoreahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4669/Valentine-cookies-are-reminder-to-pray-for-peaceValentine cookies are a sweet reminder to pray for peaceGP0|#49a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633;L0|#049a01354-0a5e-4821-ba87-b9f6ba8b7633|Blog;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476Namyangju

 

 

​Cynthia Friesen Coyle is a graphic designer for Mennonite Mission Network.

 

 

Monthly food packages provide a chance to meet Jesus at the wellhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4748/Monthly-food-packages-provide-a-chance-to-meet-Jesus-at-the-wellMonthly food packages provide a chance to meet Jesus at the well
Lessons I’ve learned from my catshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4738/Lessons-Ive-learned-from-my-catsLessons I’ve learned from my cats
Tension is essential for lifehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4730/Tension-is-essential-for-lifeTension is essential for life
'Women and Peace' project creates sacred space for peacebuilders of faithhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4720/Women-and-Peace-project-creates-sacred-space-for-peacebuilders-of-faith'Women and Peace' project creates sacred space for peacebuilders of faith
God is in the City!https://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4719/God-is-in-the-CityGod is in the City!
Juneteenth acknowledges freedom delayedhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4716/Juneteenth-acknowledges-freedom-delayedJuneteenth acknowledges freedom delayed



 

 

Monthly food packages provide a chance to meet Jesus at the wellhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4748/Monthly-food-packages-provide-a-chance-to-meet-Jesus-at-the-wellMonthly food packages provide a chance to meet Jesus at the wellColombia
Youth Venture Borderlands tour in photoshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4749/Youth-Venture-Borderlands-tour-in-photosYouth Venture Borderlands tour in photosPhoto essay
Sent Network church planting Fall 2022 sessionshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/church-vitality/church-planting/sent/4729/Sent-Network-peace-church-planting-Fall-2022-sessionSent Network church planting Fall 2022 sessionsRegister today!
Inscríbase para Enviadoshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/church-vitality/church-planting/sent/enviados/4746/Inscribase-para-EnviadoInscríbase para EnviadosInscríbase aquí
El programa Enviados es resultado un esfuerzo colectivohttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/church-vitality/church-planting/sent/enviados/4747/El-programa-Enviados-es-resultado-un-esfuerzo-colectivoEl programa Enviados es resultado un esfuerzo colectivo
Women of faith conferencehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/church-vitality/leadership/4734/Women-of-faith-conferenceWomen of faith conferenceSept. 29–Sunday, Oct. 2