Ready to take the next steps of repair beyond education and awareness about the Doctrine of Discovery?
We want to walk with you on that journey! We’re launching a new network to support Mennonite communities in education, solidarity and reparative action alongside Indigenous peoples.
We also believe this network has the potential for healing for white settlers and Christians as we seek to undo internalized superiority.
Coalition organizer Katerina Friesen shares about our Indigenous solidarity campaigns with a committee from Eighth Street Mennonite Church in Goshen, IN
Our Coalition’s volunteers and organizer(s) will accompany you and your congregation/ community in the work of repair! We commit to:
- Engaging your community regularly through sharing resources for worship, education, Bible study, and movement-building
- Inviting you to join Indigenous partners in their calls for prayer, advocacy and accompaniment
- Inviting you to quarterly meetings of the Repair Network, including our annual gathering (a great time for relationship-building and reconnection!)
- Offering feedback, cultural competence accompaniment, and practices toward building relationships with Indigenous peoples and addressing white supremacy and Christian supremacy
- Connecting our Coalition’s work for repair with other struggles for liberation, such as Black and Palestinian justice movements
- Connecting you with fabulous guest speakers for worship, Adult Ed, retreats, etc.
- Sharing your work and examples with others in the Repair Congregations and Communities network and in our educational resources
Join and Commit to these Steps:
1) Education and lament
Engage with the educational resources on our website (and others) to learn about the Doctrine of Discovery and lament its impacts in your region and beyond. This is not just a mental exercise, but a heart and body experience of inner work, transformation and repentance for Christians and for settlers as we grieve the devastation caused by church-sponsored colonization and white supremacy.
4) Restitution in the Budget
Work together to put restitution/ repair funds in your budget each year. You may choose to return wealth directly to Indigenous groups working for land return, sovereignty and justice in your region, or groups in other lands working to dismantle the DofD. In addition to restitution, we ask that you donate to the work of our Coalition so we can sustain and continue our reparative justice organizing (we contribute 60% of all donations toward an annual Indigenous “repair partner”).
#LandBack image from ndncollective.org
2) Organize a committee or team
Create a group or task an existing committee to carry the work of repair forward beyond awareness-raising. Consider studying and adopting the Mennonite World Conference Statement of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples and/or drafting your own repudiation statement of the Doctrine of Discovery, as Seattle Mennonite Church has done.
5) Respond to calls for solidarity with Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous lands and lives around the world continue to be threatened by extractive industry and violence because of the Doctrine of Discovery. Indigenous Peoples’ struggles for land and life are all of our struggles! Join the solidarity campaigns that the Coalition is actively involved in, support our work through advocacy and through engaging your whole congregation, and grow this movement! You may also be called to participate and show up for justice alongside Indigenous communities locally or internationally as you listen and learn from them.
Work together to create a Land Acknowledgment statement for your congregation or community. See our Land Acknowledgment Guide for ideas on how to do this. Explore other forms of truth-telling as a congregation related to the Indigenous peoples and land where you live, such as creating public signage and memorials, remembering forced removals, and using Indigenous place names.
6) Connect the work of repair with creation care!
Earth groans as a result of colonization. Many of the roots of our ecological crisis can be traced back to the Doctrine of Discovery and relationships of extraction rather than kinship and care with and for the land. Find ways to engage in Earth care, such as community gardening, climate change action and advocacy, or river restoration, and connect the dots in your community with dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery.
7) Commit to being contagious!
Spread conversations about the work for repair and the impacts of the Doctrine of Discovery throughout your spheres of influence, including regional conferences, denominational gatherings, and beyond! Share your stories with the Repair Network and inspire new imagination for what is possible today!
“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?…
If you remove the yoke from among you…
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in.”
— Isaiah 58:6,9b,12
Fill out the form below for more info and to join the Repair Network!
We will be “officially” launching this new network on August 13th, 2021 by Zoom during a special session of our Annual Gathering from 6-8 p.m. EST.
Reach out to us at mennosdismantlingthedofd[AT]gmail.com for more info!