News and Events

Coming Up in the Spring

Truth and Healing Conference
April 30 to May 3 at Pendle Hill, Wallingford PA

Save the date for a second conference calling Quakers to a concern for Truth and Healing with Indigenous Peoples, April 30 to May 3, 2020 at Pendle Hill, a Quaker Center for Study, Retreat and Conferences in Wallingford, PA. Details to come.

News Headlines

California Governor Apologizes to California Indians. This Indian Country Today story by Debra Krol includes the text of Governor Gavin Newsom’s apology for genocide, oppression, and other atrocities. The article also reviews California’s history in relation to the Indigenous peoples of the area.

“It’s humbling for me, having believed I was educated, to be so ignorant of our past,” Governor Newsom said. Newsom also established a Trust and Healing Council that will meet to determine next steps in clarifying the historical relationship between the state and “California Native Americans.” The council will be headed by Christina Snider, a citizen of the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians. Read more.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Citizen Joy Harjo named U.S. Poet Laureate. Harjo is the first Native American appointed to that post. “What excites me most is it honors our people, in particular, it honors the Muscogee people. It is a great honor and I wouldn’t be here without my people,” Harjo said.

Harjo mentors youth to inspire creativity in the arts. “You do not have to be an ‘artist’ to enjoy writing poetry or making songs or any of that. That is something all of us can do. Poetry is how we talk to each other, soul to soul.” Read more.

Passports of Haudenosaunee Confederacy Unwelcome at U.S./Canadian Border. Indian Country Today reports that Indigenous people who live along the Canadian-American border find it hard to cross as officials often refuse to recognize the Haudenosaunee passport.  Authors of the article, Molly Gibbs and Rebecca Lan, explain the history.

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy, comprised of six nations — Mohawks, Onondagas, Senecas, Cayugas, Oneidas, and Tuscaroras – is one of the oldest representative democracies in the world. The confederacy issues its own passport, in recognition of the status of each of the six nations as sovereign entities within the United States. But that sovereignty isn’t always recognized.  And since their ancestral lands span across the U.S.-Canadian border, that lack of recognition has serious consequences for Native people as they go about their daily lives.

Kanenotokon Hemlock, who is quoted in the article, is the co-chair of the External Relations Committee for the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Hemlock believes that voting was forced on communities as a means of control. He said that participating in elections would mean accepting the elected government system.  Hemlock only has a Haudenosaunee passport.

“A passport is a declaration of citizenship,” Hemlock said. “We’d kind of be shooting ourselves in the foot from a sovereignty standpoint if we were traveling internationally as Canadians or Americans.” Read more.

Good Sources for News

Indian Country Today – Weekly digital and video news reports covering breaking news, debates, trends, education and culture throughout the Indigenous world, including American Indians and Alaska Natives. You can sign up for the weekly news here.

Native American Legislative Update – a web publication from the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). The FCNL’s Advocate on Native American Policy provides updates and advocacy suggestions on Congressional actions each month. Updates and background materials can be found on the FCNL website. You can sign up for the Legislative Update here.