Committee on Native American Ministries (CoNAM)
Welcome to the Conference Committee on Native American Ministries
Listed on these pages are the members of the Committee, upcoming and past events, resources and the Act of Repentance Service.
At Charge Conference, names can be added to the Directory of Official Elected at Church Conference. This person could work with the Worship Committee and Pastor to set up the NAMS Worship. Click here for the role and responsibility of the NAMS Local Church Representative. Continue to come back to this page, as we will be adding more information regularly.
Countryside United Methodist Church welcomes first indigenous Bishop
Bishop David Wilson was installed on Saturday morning at Countryside United Methodist Church. Cheers and claps filled the church as Wilson accepted the appointment. Wilson said it’s a huge honor to serve the church and his people. Click here for full article.
Northeastern Jurisdictional Native American Ministries Committee’s Training and Sharing Session on Legislative Advocacy
This video is of the Northeastern Jurisdictional Native American Ministries Committee’s training and sharing session on legislative advocacy, held via Zoom, January 28, 2023. The guest presenter is the Rev. Neal Christie, staff member of the Baltimore Washington Conference and a long-time activist with much experience in the legislative advocacy arena. He is a member of the Baltimore Washington CoNAM and the Native American International Caucus, having spent many years as a program executive at the UMC’s General Board of Church and Society.
Native American caucus receives grant for 2023 Family Camp
The Native American International Caucus (NAIC), a UMC-affiliated caucus, received a grant in December from the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) to support its 2023 Family Camp for Native American United Methodist Families. The camp, scheduled for July 20-23 at the Asbury Retreat Center in Silver Lake, NY, near Niagara Falls, is returning after a hiatus due to the Covid pandemic.
“Bishop John Schol graciously accepted the grant on behalf of the NAIC,” reports Cynthia Mosley (Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape), chair of GNJ’s Committee on Native American Ministries and a NAIC board member-at-large. “The GNJ will hold the money and distribute it for general operating expenses for the Family Camp.”
The camp agenda will include education about Murdered and Missing indigenous Women (MMIW), former Native American Boarding Schools, healthy lifestyles and other important concerns.
“We are hoping churches may provide camperships for Native American families who cannot afford the modest tuition and travel,” said Mosley, who recently appealed for camperships at a Jan. 14 regional meeting of United Women in Faith. “Family Camp is a great experience for tribal families.”
GBCS awarded over $98,000 in Peace with Justice, Human Relations Day and Ethnic Local Church grants for 2022.
On Friday, the National Museum of the American Indian hosted a grand procession and ceremony for the dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial. The 1,500 Native veterans participated in a grand procession through the National Mall.
Michael Coon traveled with a group of veterans from the Muscogee Creek Nation from Oklahoma and had tears of joy in participating in the grand procession for the National Native American Veterans Memorial. Read the article here.
“It is an honor to be here with all of our brothers and sisters in the military family,” Coon said. “I look forward to having camaraderie with all of my brothers and sisters as we show the world how strong we are when our call comes to serve this nation.”
Mosley speaks on Native American issues to UWF group
Cynthia Wilks-Mosley, chairwoman of GNJ’s Committee on Native American Ministry (CONAM) presented a PowerPoint presentation titled “We are Still Here,” on Native American issues to the United Women in Faith’s online winter Call to Action meeting, Jan. 14. Along with issues of concern, she appealed for support for camperships to help Native American families attend the 2023 NAIC Family Camp, July 20-23 at Silver Lake, NY.
View a video-recording of Mosley’s presentation: (423) NativeAmericanIssues1 14 23 – YouTube).
Native American leader discusses threatened cultures
In former times, the Rev. Glen Kernell would have been called an “Indian.” His name in the language of his tribe is Chebon.
As European settlement of North America expanded westward, the indigenous population with cultures going back hundreds and thousands of years was overwhelmed, oppressed and massacred. Families were split up and children re-educated.
Kernell said only 0.004% of Native Americans in North America survived after the relocation and dispossession period when Native Americans were forcibly removed from their lands and taken from their families. Today’s Native population are the descendants of those survivors.
“I’m one of them,” he added.
During the 11th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches, held Aug. 31-Sept. 8, Kernell talked with UM News about what it’s like for threatened cultures consigned to life on the sidelines. The ecumenical gathering is characterized by colorful diversity — not just in terms of culture, but also with the issues that move participants and the challenges they face. Around 3,000 people from 120 countries attended.
A Road Map Home: Reclaiming Buried Relatives from Carlisle Indian School
A Story of Survival
The Wampanoag and the English A Thanksgiving Lesson Plan Booklet from a Native American Perspective produced by the OKC public schools system.
Access this valuable curriculum here.
Litany for "A Day of Remembrance for Our Children"
Rev. Michael Johnson of Penn DE Conference wrote and shared a litany during the gathering of “A Day of Remembrance for Our Children.”
Chebon Speaks Out
Rev. Chebon Kernell, Native American Comprehensive Plan’s executive director, calls for Christian and Ecumenical communities to take action in light of the recent findings of remains believed to be Indigenous children at boarding schools. Watch here and please share.
Please find the Baltimore Washington Conference Native American Ministries webinar with presentations by Casey Church and Ragghi Rain. To view the video, please click here and supportive documents at the bwcumc.org/nam.
NEJNAMC on Statement of Full Inclusion (2.22.21)
The United Methodist Church Northeastern Jurisdiction Native American Ministries Committee announces official position on full inclusion of LGBTQIAS2+ persons. Read story here
Indigenous People’s Day
Indigenous People’s Day, the second Monday of October, was first recognized in 2017 in Newark. It has since been recognized by Princeton in 2019. For a liturgy to be used that day, click here.
Raising Awareness for Abducted Women
To learn more about MMIWG and the REDress Project, read a recent blog here.
Biden Names Mohegan Tribe Member To Be First Native American U.S. Treasurer
Lynn Malerba of the Mohegan Tribe in Connecticut has been picked to be the U.S. Treasurer, which oversees the U.S. Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Created back in the days of the Continental Congress, the post is older than the Treasury Department, where it is now housed.
Move over, Andrew Jackson — you’re going to have to share the face of the $20 bill with a Native American woman soon.
What’s in a Name? What It Means to Decolonize a Natural Feature.
THERE ARE HUNDREDS UPON hundreds of them—by one count, more than 800. They are mountains, valleys, creeks, lakes, and other physical landmarks with one thing in common: They all have the word squaw in their name.
Last November, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo, vowed to change that. Secretary Haaland announced the creation of a formal process to review and replace derogatory place-names. She also officially classified the term sq*** as offensive and created a federal task force to find replacement names. “Racist terms have no place in our vernacular or on our federal lands,” Haaland said. “Our nation’s lands and waters should be places to celebrate the outdoors and our shared cultural heritage—not to perpetuate the legacies of oppression.”
Two Catawba Nation Matriarchs will bring an Ancestor Home from Carlisle Next Week.
Twenty years after they first spotted the name of a relative on a tombstone at one of the nation’s most infamous Indian Boarding Schools, two Catawba Nation tribal members are preparing to finally bring him home. Full story here.
UMNews Features NAIC’s Call for Action
Native American International Caucus – After mass grave found, groups urge action
WASHINGTON — After the bones of 215 children were found at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Canada, Native American United Methodists are urging a closer look at Methodist-run schools. The Native American International Caucus asks bishops to commit time and money to the investigation. The executive committee of the Northeastern Jurisdiction Native Americans Ministries Committee also has issued a letter of solidarity with the caucus. Read June 14, 2021, story here.
Deb Haaland Addresses the Crisis of Violence Against Indigenous Women
To read a recent article in Mother Jones, click here.
Voter Suppression in Indian Country
To view a recent video from EPAUMC CoNAM regarding the history of voter suppression in the Native American communities, click here.
CoNAM Letter to Deb Haaland (3.22.21)
Please read the letter sent to Deb Haaland in celebration of her new appointment here.