CONAM News and Updates

CONAM News and Updates


Submitted by JuDee Anderson
Chair, Yellowstone Conference CONAM

The Yellowstone Annual Conference CONAM (Committee on Native American Ministry) continues to focus on listening, learning and developing relationships within tribes in the conference. This work requires the ability to listen, to be patient, and a willingness to repent; to begin a new relationship with Native American people. Through listening CONAM has learned that many Native Americans still consider themselves Prisoners of War, and many will never step foot into a Christian church, and those within the church may have their own story to tell. CONAM will continue to listen and learn from all Native American perspectives.

Plans for the upcoming year include travel to The Native American Family Camp in July. This gathering in Oklahoma will address many issues, including the Doctrine of Discovery, the Acts of Repentance and inter-generational trauma. We will also attend the Native American Comprehensive Plan in New Jersey in September this year, learning and reconnecting with CONAMs throughout the country.

The Yellowstone Annual Conference CONAM continues to work closely with the Rocky Mountain Conference CONAM as they have generously contributed their time and resources to the work of repentance. YAC CONAM is in relationship and conversation with multiple tribal members from several tribes within the conference. Often, the conversations are cautious and tedious as trust is built. We are prayerfully planning a visit with tribal members on the Blackfeet Reservation and Wind River Reservation this upcoming spring and summer. We are hopeful that we may have some Native American CONAM nominations as these conversations continue.

In recent months, YAC CONAM has focused attention on learning about the Doctrine of Discovery and its long term and devastating effect on Native people in America. We will continue our learning and support of the movement to revoke the papal bulls that are involved in the Doctrine of Discovery.

In 2016, Native American Sunday funds were issued to the Blackfeet Parish for Alfalfa Seed, $300 was issued to support the Birney Veteran's Day Pow Wow, and $500 supported the peaceful protest at Standing Rock. The CONAM link on the YAC website includes the grant request form for grants as well as information about the work of CONAM and the church on issues of relevance to learning and healing. Watch for continued information on the link, with a particular focus on the Doctrine of Discovery and The Acts of Repentance, areas that The United Methodist Church has committed to advocate for and support. An upcoming resource list and other references are in the making and will soon be available on the link as well.

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