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Native American Advocacy and Outreach 2016-2017
"Our Fires Still Burn - An Act of Repentance Toward Healing Relationships with Indigenous Peoples
In 2012, the United Methodist General Conference - the denomination's top legislative body - held an Act of Repentence Toward Healng Relationships with Indigenous People service. A General Conference resolution also charged the denomination's Council of Bishops with carrying out an ongoing process to improve relations with indigenous individuals including local or regional acts of repentance.
Here in the Michigan Area a team has committed to fulfilling that charge. An Act of Repentance and Reconciliation will be part of the joint session of the Detroit and West Michigan Annual Conference this June 19th, 2016, in East Lansing. But before annual conference, there are opportunities to learn more. The one-hour documentary, "Our Fires Still Burn" reviews the history of north Americans which is considered by many to be our "American Holocaust". When Europeans first visited the New World there were 100,000,000 Native Americans in North and South American. Today, as the film explains, "there are but a handful".
"Our Fires Still Burn" invites viewers into the lives of contemporary Native American role models living in the Midwest. "It dispels the myth that the American Indians have disappeared from the American horizon, and reveals how they continue to persist, heal from the past, confront the challenges of today, keep their culture alive, and make contributions to society."
YouTube searches show several versions of this story, including theatre productions and films. The stories are difficult to watch and to hear, but necessary, perhaps if reconciliation is ever to succeed.