Mennonites must give land backby Annie Wenger-Nabigon, Sudbury, Ontario
I read the article about the Oct. 9, 2010, apology ceremony in Lancaster, Pa. ("Mennonites Apologize to Native Americans," November 2010) and wept the whole way through. I read all the other articles in the issue and saw words and terms like "missional," exoticism, PTSD, "at peace with war"— and found my head swimming. I keep coming back to some of the stories I have heard from my Anishnaabe family-by-marriage, and it gets harder and harder to find anything relevant in the current Mennonite discourse to the real issues facing the original peoples of Turtle Island.
Maybe all this talk, talk, talk comes down to nothing more than racism, simple and raw. My husband is right when he says the key to a right relationship is to do one’s own work.
What that means for Mennonites is that all the “work” for peace and mission and antiracism needs to go on “pause” while the issues of lateral violence and historical trauma transmission in Mennonite life are addressed.
Who is talking about that? Is everyone so busy talking about what the rest of the world needs to do that we can't get to the heart of what wounds us all?
Mennonites really have nothing to say to anyone anywhere about anything until stolen land is given back, treaties are recognized, recompense is made. It was all about genocide from the beginning, and Mennonite settlers were used by the colonial powers to see that genocide was carried forward.
We are all complicit because we all benefit from the results of that genocide. We have to look at that if we ever expect to be in right relationship. We have to name it for what it is and find a way together to heal the past. Our ancestors need us to do that.
Associated Issue: The beat of mission - November 2010
Associated Article: Mennonites apologize to Native Americans
- Lawrence Hart's visions of peace
- Life hurts
- The legacy of Mennonite education
- A family affair: Mennonite education includes family members across generations
- Training pastors for the church
- The Underground Railroad story in quilts
News stories, digests and Meno Acontecer
- Goshen College student assaulted
- Ninety leaders of color gather in Tampa
- Soto Albrecht nominated for moderator-elect
- Tucson congregation touched by shooting
- Convention 2013 will be held in Phoenix
- CPT joins IMH in abstaining from Convention 2013 if held in Arizona
- Bluffton's insurers liable in 2007 crash
- Hispanic leaders release letter about Phoenix convention
- Shirk uses her French, Creole to help Haitians
- Mennonite couple opens winery in Virginia
- Top 10 Mennonite Church USA events in 2010
- Churches host art galleries for First Fridays
- Thousands of unique visitors
- South Korean partners pave way of peace
- Young adults hooked on convention
- Oaklawn expands
- Bethel sees greatest enrollment increase
- Prestigious gathering features Mennonite scholars
- Investing in hope: In the name of Jesus
- Seeking direction
- Is the Mennonite church a peace church?
- It's time for a new 'young adult litany'
- Church baby
- Resolve in the new year
- Transforming the world
- Books on trust, worship, Bible, ecology
- January film and book reviews