HONORING FIRST PEOPLE AND THE LAND
The Church of Reconciliation Earth Care Committee’s 2018 study of the Doctrine of Discovery prompts us to recognize the Indigenous People who came before us on the lands we now inhabit in North Carolina.
The Doctrine of Discovery is a philosophical and legal framework dating to 15th century European papal decrees. This framework gave Christian governments a false moral rationale for invading and seizing indigenous land and people around the world. Its effects, including intergenerational trauma, still linger in our social and legal systems.
We confess our complicity in this sinful doctrine, and we are grateful that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), by official apologies to Indigenous People harmed by colonization, has led the way to listening and to repentance. With the whole church, we intend to further nurture mutual relationships of loving care and respect.
We acknowledge that we live on land traditionally belonging to and cared for by Indigenous People now formally recognized as:
Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation Sappony
Cohaire Intra-Tribal Council, Inc. Lumbee Tribe
Eastern Band of Cherokee Waccamaw-Siouan Tribe
Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe Meherrin Nation
They are our neighbors, those we are commanded to love as ourselves as we heed Christ’s call to the healing of people, of land, and all Creation.
Nancy Corson Carter, Facilitator,
Earth Care Committee
Rev. J. Mark Davidson, Pastor,Church of Reconciliation
It is with gratitude that I, of Sappony and Lumbee heritage, read the statement Honoring First People and the Land. Too few acknowledge our indigenous ancestors and even less are aware of our presence today. May God bless you and us as we continue to honor our ancestors and elders and seek to bring more awareness and understanding about our past and tears and triumphs as well as our present struggles and successes.ReplyDelete