Evidence, Exploitation, Identity & Reconciliation: A Historical Perspective on Intercessory Prayer for Native America

EVIDENCE Of the Christian- Good Fruit.

Historical References / Anniversaries:

June 15, 1831: Choctaw leaders displeased with missionary work.

Below is a link to a copy of the written document signed by 14 Choctaw leaders and witnessed by an interpreter saying they don’t want any more money going to missionaries and they don’t want missionaries accompanying them on the move.

Correspondence on the subject on the emigration of Indians – page 474 [512]
Link

The following is the writing of another who testifies to the Choctaw leaders’ intention in the above letter. Mushulatubbe is quoted as saying “… we have employed and paid Yankee Missionaries for twelve years, for which we have received no compensation, we have never received a scholar out of their schools that was able to keep a grog shop book.”

Indian Removal: The Emigration of the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians
Link

Choctaw Letter to Lewis Cass – Mentioned as mentioned in “This Day in North American Indian History” by Phil Konstantin’s
http://www.mail-archive.com/nativenews@mlists.net/msg02938.html

History of Choctaw Academy
http://digital.library.okstate.edu/Chronicles/v009/v009p382.html

Scripture References

Foundational principles in Scripture suggest that followers of Yahweh, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are to be teachable, reflect repentance, produce fruit of their calling and relationship with their Maker and avoid creating offenses. In reading the letters from the Choctaw leaders, it appears that the missionaries fell short in several of these areas. Of course, those leaders and missionaries are not around today to help us fully understand what was taking place at the time. Yet, we can listen to what Mushulatubbe was saying and we can seek the Word for direction in how to pray.

Evidence of Repentance: Matthew 3:10; Luke 3:9
Evidence of Believer/ Prophet: Matthew 7:19
Evidence of being Teachable: Matthew 13:13-23; Mark 4:1-8; Luke 8:1-18
Avoiding Offense: Matthew 18:5-7, Mark 9:41-43, Luke 17:1-3
Evidence of Worthy Work / Walk: Colossians 1:9-10; Ephesians 4:1-3.

Prayer Regarding Evidence of the Christian ~ Good Fruit:

“Abba Father, only You know the witness of Your followers in this land. Only You know the hearts of Your followers in this land. You desire that Your followers live a life worthy of their calling. You desire that Your followers produce good fruit. It has been Your desire that Your people treat indigenous people of North America in a good way, being a witness of Your light and Your love and Your mercy and Your grace. It is Your desire that indigenous people of North America grow in their knowledge of You and in their faith in You and in their commitment to You. Yet, through the years, often, Your followers have harmed, hurt and offended the indigenous people of North America. They have not produced good fruit or left behind a good witness, instead they have caused others to stumble and have been an offense. Because of that, often, Your missionaries were not valued and their efforts didn’t prosper among indigenous people. Father, we, as your followers, pray that You would forgive the wrongs of past Believers. We pray that You would heal the wounds of poor ministry. We pray that You will lead Your current and future followers into all truth, guiding their paths and their hearts, so that their work would be good and prosperous, bringing healing, power, ministry and the evidence of true humility, compassion, and goodwill to indigenous people of North America. Father, we pray that You continue to give Your indigenous people discernment and wisdom to recognize those who have a good witness and those who do not. We pray that You would remove the spirits of fear and woundedness that stand between You and Your indigenous people. We pray that You would remove the spirits of pride and selfishness from between You and Your followers. We pray You will remove the harmful roots of past ministry and nurture the healthy roots of present and future ministry. We pray that all evidence of You, Your ministry, and Your followers would be good, according to Your perfect will and in Your perfect timing. We pray Your will be done regarding the fruit and witness of Your followers as they touch Your indigenous people. Amen”.

EXPLOITATION

Exploitation of indigenous culture and people has been an issue since the first immigrants came to North America. Today, in addition to the issues of Indian mascots and the retail of Indian made crafts, there are concerns about the exploitation of indigenous people in the / by the Church. Below are several June anniversaries that reflect the possible exploitations American Indians in the North America’s history.

Historical References / Anniversaries:

June 5, 1762: Ostenaco and other Cherokee visit England
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostenaco

This trip was considered more of a cultural exchange and reflection of cooperation between the two countries, as compared to the 1730 trip. Below is a link of a 2012 joint celebration between England and the Cherokee commemorating the adventure.

June 2012 – Emissaries of Peace: 1762-2012
http://www.cherokeemuseum.org/exhibits-emissaries.htm

A different type of ‘cultural touring’ was the Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show, which eventually went to England. It may have been more of a financial enterprise and there was certainly room for exploitation of the American Indian participants.

June 6, 1885: Sitting Bull & Wild West Show.
http://www.historynet.com/how-the-west-was-spun-buffalo-bill-codys-wild-west-show.htm

Another Link
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/biography/oakley-sitting-bull/

Below is a link for an item currently available for purchase on-line. Its the original 1885 contract that Sitting Bull signed to be in the Wild West Show. It is valued at about $50,000.

Current Exploitation of Sitting Bull
http://historical.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=6079&lotNo=44121&type=share_btn#Photo

June 9, 1647: Sermon in America Indian language

There are a few links below about this incident. Some can see this as a great outreach to the American Indian population of the area at the time. However, some of the documentation suggests that the minister was a gifted, professional spokesperson who may have benefited from the notoriety of drawing such a big crowd. (That it was more about personal gain than outreach.) Of course, there is no one around today who can testify either way. Yet, it gives us a great direction for prayer that is still applicable today.

Founding of Harvard College – Page 341 – Sound showman instinct
Link

The Clear Sun-Shine of the gospel breaking forth upon the Indians
http://archive.org/stream/clearsunshineofg00sheprich#page/n13/mode/2up

Following are links that relate to current legal proceedings intended to correct some of the wrongs committed through / by government.

June 10, 1996: Cobell vs Babbit (lead to the Claims Resolution Act of 2010)
http://www.uanativenet.com/topicitem/Topics%20In%20Brief/449

June 12, 1926 – Authorized Investigation into Injustice

Meriam Report
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meriam_Report

The ‘cultural tour’ mentioned below is one that is more well known for its exploitation. The European person involved purposed to have the Cherokee representatives go to England to help establish him as a man of importance and authority in both Europe and North America.

June 18, 1730: Cherokee Representatives visit England
http://www.scottishtartans.org/cuming.html

Below is a case where Christians prayed for rain during a drought. Following the prayer, it rained. In some documentation, it is said that many of the indigenous people became Christians. However, writings from people around during this time suggest that after the fact, the answered prayer was used to justify and edify the Christian missionary and his dominion over the indigenous people, rather than point to Creator.

June 19, 1541: Christian Prayer For Rain & End of Drought

Travels of Hernando de Soto.
http://www.floridahistory.com/elvas-3.html
Please see the entry pertaining to:

XXIIII – How the Cacique of Pacaha came in peace, and he of Casqui went away and returned to excuse himself; and how the governor made him and the Casique of Pacaha friends.

Here is another historical, legal event meant to help correct some of the wrongs.

June 24, 1832: Supreme Court Ruled Georgia Unfair To Cherokee.
http://americanindian.net/June.html

As we come together for prayer, we realize that sometimes people perceive exploitation when it was not the original intent. Sometimes, the original intent turns into exploitation over time. Sometimes, the original intent was exploitation. The subject can become really muddied at times. We can reflect on historical events and current events for direction in prayer. We can also seek Scripture for direction. The Word is very clear about how people should treat one another.

Scripture References

Scripture gives some great insight on how we can proceed in prayer.

Exodus 22:21; Leviticus 19:33; 1 Samuel 23; Ezekiel 18:17; Ezekiel 22:28-30; Proverbs 22:22; Isaiah 55:7-9; Isaiah 58:3; Jeremiah 22; Matthew 22:29; 2 Corinthians 7:2; Luke 6:28; James 5:18 (pray / rain)

Prayer Regarding Exploitation:

“Father, Your Word is full of instruction and caution regarding the exploitation of people. Yet, throughout time, people have exploited one another for personal gain. Even when Your followers pray for one another or help one another, there are times when their motives are not Your motives. As Your Word says, our thoughts are not Your thoughts, our ways are not Your ways. As Believers, we have often done what is right, but for the wrong reasons. There are also times that we have done wrong. We’ve even done wrong for the right reasons. Your Word tells us that when we don’t truly know Your Word or know Your power, we are in error. Yet, You are even bigger than our transgressions. Father, forgive us in our lack of knowledge, understanding, faith, belief and relationship of/ in You. Forgive Your people of past and present wrongs due to lack of knowledge. There was a time when earthly rulers of North America did not see their ways as exploitation and did not see how it hurt Your heart or Your people. Even when people spoke out, the majority didn’t hear. I am amazed in that so much has been recorded to give that small voice longevity, yet most are unaware. Most are unaware of the wrongs or the small voice that fought to stop injustice and exploitation. Father, bring a stop to the works of the spirit of exploitation. Father, heal the wounds from exploitation. Father, bring Your people into repentance. Father, stop the generational roots of exploitation. Expose current exploitations of indigenous people. Heal those who are afraid of being exploited and who perceive good works as exploitations. Father, give Your followers the conviction to stand against exploitation. Father, give the people of North America wisdom and discernment, so they can understand the difference between promoting indigenous culture and tradition and exploiting indigenous culture and tradition. Father, give the people of North America wisdom and discernment so they can understand the difference between promoting indigenous leaders and exploiting indigenous leaders, particularly in the Church. We pray Your will be done regarding the exploitation of indigenous people in North America. Amen.”

IDENTITY

Historical References / Anniversaries:

June 1, 1934: “Indian” Defined (Section 19 of Indian Reorganization Act)

Indian Reorganization Act – Page 6 – Section 19 – Definition of Indian
http://www.cskt.org/gov/file/reorganizationact.pdf

June 2, 1924: United States Citizenship – Indian Citizenship Act of 1924

Indian Citizenship Act of 1924
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Citizenship_Act_of_1924

Coolidge signs Indian Citizen Act
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/coolidge-signs-indian-citizen-act

The Indian Citizenship Act
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-indian-citizenship-act

Congress Granted Citizenship to All Native Americans Born in the U.S. – June 2, 1924
http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/jazz/jb_jazz_citizens_1.html

June 3, 1830: Cherokee laws nullified.

Trail of Tears – Starting with paragraph 6.
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/trail-of-tears.htm

June 18, 1934: Indian Reorganization Act – 48 Stat. 984-985

Indian Reorganization Act (Same as CSKT site)
http://www.standupca.org/gaming-law/land-acquisitions/reorganizationact.pdf

June 30, 1914: Cherokee Government Dissolved.

Tulsa World
No longer available …. 

Timeline of Cherokee History
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Cherokee_history

The Removal of the Cherokee Nation – The History Project
http://historyproject.ucdavis.edu/lessons/view_lesson.php?id=11

2012– Blackfeet Enrollment Issues
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blackfeet-Enrollment-Issues/142231702570587

Scripture References

Scripture gives some great insight on how we can proceed in prayer.

Name as Identity: Zechariah 13:5 (Amplified)
Companions as Identity: Matthew 26:71-73
Knowledge of Duty as Identity: 1 Kings 3:6-8
Knowledge of Foreign Culture / Tradition to preserve Identity: 2 Kings 17:25-27
Knowledge of Law of the Land to preserve Identity: Ezra 7:24-26
Suffering disconnecting Identity: Job 14:20-22
Connection to Creator to preserve Identity: Jeremiah 33:2-4
Worship What You Know to preserve Identity: John 4:21-23
Teach What You Know to preserve Identity: 1 Timothy 1:6-8
Genealogy as Identity: Genesis 5; Genesis 10; Ruth 4; 1 Chronicles; Matthew 1
Tribal Affiliation as Identity: Exodus 28:20-22; Numbers 1
Regalia as Identity: Genesis 37

Prayer Regarding Identity:

“Yahweh,You are the Creator of all. You formed every being, creating unique life every day since the beginning of time. You are the One who created identity. Individual Identity and Community Identity. Since the beginning of time there has been an attack on identity. As one person or people group fights to secure their identity, they in turn rob someone else. This attack has its roots in many things, including fear and insecurity, two things that were given ground in the garden. Father, documented history provides a lot of detail on the assault on indigenous identity. The battle continues today. In North America, governments determine the identity of indigenous people, not You or individuals speaking for themselves. Master and Maker of All, we pray that You will take the power of determining identity away from government, according to Your perfect will. We pray You will restore identity of indigenous people in a good way. That identity will not simply be a measure of material benefits, but a significant factor in the restoration and healing of the soul. Father, we pray You will tear down every stronghold that exists to attack identity. We pray that You will breath new life into your indigenous people, nurturing identity. We pray that government legislation will no longer control racial, cultural, spiritual, ethic and community identity. Father, we pray that people will embrace customs and laws and give live to indigenous identity. Father, we pray that You will give Your indigenous people wisdom and discernment in adopting laws and customs outside of their own, so as to protect their identity or their understanding of You. We pray that non-indigenous people will not be threatened by indigenous people embracing their identity. We pray that non-indigenous people will be active in helping indigenous people embrace their identity. At the same time, we pray that non-indigenous people will be sensitive and not try and manipulate and control indigenous people into accepting more of indigenous identity than they want, need or can grasp. We pray that Your perfect will be manifest regarding indigenous identity in North America. Amen.”

RECONCILIATION

Historical References / Anniversaries:

June 11, 2008 – Apology to Aboriginal People of Canada – Video
The original one I referenced is no longer available, but search that subject line and you’ll find lots of video.

June 11-13, 2010 – National Forgiven Summit – Ottawa Canada. – Video
Signing of the Forgiveness & Freedom Charter
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUNNmVfW41U&feature=related

“I Believe” performed by Noelle Maracle at National Forgiven Summit – Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF5tlsskrCc

For more video clips from the summit and information, visit the Gathering of Nations website: www.gatheringnations.ca

June 21 (Beginning 1996) – National Aboriginal Day – Canada

National Aboriginal Day
http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/aboriginals/aboriginalday.html

Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
http://www.aboriginalaffairs.gov.on.ca/english/events/national_aboriginal_day.asp

June 23, 1992 – Year of Reconciliation Between American Indians & Non-Indians

Proclamation 6450 – page 5347
6450 Year of Reconciliation Between American Indians and Non-Indians, 1992.
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=47377#axzz1vRDdSLdz

Note: December 19, 2009 – US President Obama signed the Native American Apology Resolution. The Apology Resolution was included as Section 8113 in the 2010 Defense Appropriations Act, H.R. 3326, Public Law No. 111-118. Although the signing of this document was not widely publicized, nor was there a ‘public’ event, the documentation of the Defense Appropriations Act, is available to the public.

The Apology Resolution had originally been sponsored in the Senate by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) as S.J. Res. 14. A companion measure, H.J. Res. 46, was also been introduced in the House by Congressman Dan Boren (D-OK) earlier this year. Senator Brownback successfully added the Apology Resolution to the Defense Appropriations Act as an amendment on the Senate floor on October 1, 2009.

Spring 2012 – Response by University of Minnesota Students to the issue of government apologies to indigenous peoples. They hope to encourage the state of Minnesota, as well as the United States, to publically issue an apology.
http://www.care2.com/causes/minnesota-called-to-apologize-to-native-americans-video.html

The University of Minnesota American Indian Studies students created a video that was published on YouTube May 2012. See the following links.

Part 1 – Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8y_HiUtHl8&feature=relmfu

Part 2 – Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5TTk5e68DM&feature=relmfu

Part 3 – Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SRSi9YaTg8&feature=relmfu

Part 4 – Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekkCK2ILb_Q&feature=relmfu

Part 5 – Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLZ4qdRtJsc&feature=relmfu

Mexico Church – State Relations
http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-8728.html

Indigenous Wisdom for Reconciliation of the Self: Re-Narrating Mexican Identity
Link no longer available … 

International Reconciliation Coalition
http://www.reconcile.org/

 

RELATED to June Prayer Point on Reconciliation … 

Conversation for Reconciliation ~ December 19, 2012

“Page 45 of the 2010 Department of Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 3326) contains an apology to Native Americans on behalf of the citizens of the Unites States. This apology is
buried in a 67 page bill that has never been clearly communicated or shared with the nearly 5 million Native American citizens of this country.”

Website:
http://wirelesshogan.com/us_apology_to_natives

2016 UPDATE:
Page 45 of the 2010 Department of Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 3326)
Pastor, Dr. Negiel Big Pond speaks about the bill as well as many other important and thought proving things. You’ve got to listen. Radio show: Council Fire w/ The Riverwinds
https://www.spreaker.com/user/councilfirewiththeriverwinds/the-last-yuchi-indian-pastor-negiel-bigp

Prayer For Reconciliation:

“Yahweh, You are the author of reconciliation. You desire that all of creation be reconciled to You. Your Word is full of examples and direction in being reconciled to You. You also desire that we be reconciled to one another. Your Word states that if we are not reconciled with someone we are in relationship with, that our prayers and gifts at the altar are unacceptable to You. Your Word also says if we make a unique treaty or covenant with someone, that we can not break that unique covenant with one and join another. We are to either reconcile or refrain from making another covenant. Father, in the issues of indigenous people in North America, there are many, many, many broken treaties and covenants. People of North America need to be reconciled to You and with one another. Tribes, bands, clans and nations need to be reconciled with one another. Non-indigenous people need to be reconciled with indigenous people. Governments and sovereign nations need to be reconciled. Families and communities need to be reconciled. Reconciliation comes through repentance and forgiveness. Father, we pray that people will stop abusing one another, accusing one another, and quarreling with one another cross-culturally, cross-racially and cross-spiritually. Thank you for the efforts made by the Canadian government and the United States government in seeking reconciliation. We pray You will prosper these efforts. Thank you for the indigenous people of North America who have responded to these efforts and have accepted apologies and offered forgiveness. Thank You for the outpouring of healing that has come through reconciliation between the First Nations of Canada and the Canadian government. We pray that the seeds that have been planted in the United States will grow and that there will be opportunities for communication, forgiveness and freedom in the United States. We thank you for the many works of reconciliation in Mexico and Central America, Hawaii and Alaska. We pray for reconciliation throughout North America. We thank you for the many Believers and leaders, indigenous and non-indigenous, that You have strategically placed to be instruments of reconciliation. We pray that wounded people will not be hindered by fear and skepticism of reconciliation. We pray that You will give supernatural courage and wisdom to those called to be instruments of reconciliation. We pray for Your perfect will to be done in North America and her people regarding reconciliation. Amen”

Rev. Jeny Running Brook Covill
First Nations Monday

(Note: This is a study that was originally prepared in June 2012 in partnership with NIAP Prayer Shield)

Books Used in this 12 Month Study

The Holy Bible in the following translations: KJV, NIV, Amplified, NASB, CEV and The Scriptures.

“Church History in Plain Language” by Bruce L. Shelley

“Encyclopedia of Native American Wars & Warfare”. General Editors William B. Kessel, Ph.D. and Robert Wooster, Ph.D.

“This Day In North American Indian History” by Phil Konstantin

As with the First Nations Monday prayer and Scripture studies, I like to study with 5 translations. As you go through these studies, I encourage you to do the same. “The Scriptures” is a translation that includes the original Hebrew names and has the books in chronological order. The Contemporary English Version (CEV) is a translation that is written for ‘oral tradition’ peoples and it flows well while reading it aloud. The Amplified version is one where meanings of words and phrases are ‘amplified’ for better understanding. The King James Version (KJV) is the translation that works well with Strong’s Concordance. The Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) is a great companion version that I find gives great insight.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

First Nations Version Project
A retelling of the Sacred Scriptures for Native Americans and all English speaking Indigenous peoples.
http://www.firstnationsversion.com/

Cherokee Bible Project – ONLINE – New Testament
https://sites.google.com/site/cherokeebibleproject/new-testament

Cherokee Bible Project – ONLINE – Old Testament
https://sites.google.com/site/cherokeebibleproject/old-testament-verses

Cherokee Bible Project Titles in Book form:
(A joint mission of the Cherokee Bible Project and Four Rivers Native American Church)
http://tuscanyglobal.com/bible/
Genesis in Cherokee
Haggai in Cherokee
Jonah in Cherokee
100 Days Of Indigenous Wisdom
Cherokee New Testament
New Cherokee Hymnal
Matthew’s Gospel in Cherokee
Mark’s Gospel in Cherokee
Luke’s Gospel in Cherokee
John’s Gospel in Cherokee
The Acts of the Apostles in Cherokee
ROMANS in Cherokee
CORINTHIANS in Cherokee
GALATIANS to COLOSSIANS in Cherokee
THESSALONIANS to HEBREWS in Cherokee
JAMES to JUDE in Cherokee
John’s Revelation in Cherokee
Pastoral Epistles in Cherokee (coming)
General Epistles in Cherokee (coming)

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