East Ohio Area Land Acknowledgement
“We, the people of the East Ohio Area of The United Methodist Church, wish to acknowledge that our communities have been built on lands that many Indigenous peoples once called home. We pay our respect to the Lenni-Lenape, Wyandotte, Shawnee, Seneca, Cayuga, Ojibwe, and Odawa peoples who lived in this area when settlers first arrived, and who were forced to relinquish their lands to the United States through a series of treaties, culminating in the Treaty of Greenville. We also honor those Lenni-Lenape who established the first Christian settlements in Ohio. We remember the 96 men, women, and children of their number who were martyred at Gnadenhutten by colonial militia during the American Revolution. Finally, we recognize the contributions of the Indigenous people, from many nations, who reside in northeast Ohio. We acknowledge our responsibility to pursue mutually healing relationships.”
A statement from the Rev. Dan Hawk and the Rev. David Hull-Frye on behalf of the EOC Native American Awareness Committee:
"The Multicultural Vitality Board, representing East Ohio Native American Awareness, celebrates two momentous announcements. First, on December 14, the Cleveland Indians Major League Baseball franchise announced that it will drop the Indian mascot after the 2021 season. The organization’s official statement reported that ‘hearing firsthand the stories and experiences of Native American people, we gained a deep understanding of how tribal communities feel about the team name and the detrimental effects it has on them.’ We view this as a significant step toward dismantling long-standing caricatures of Indigenous peoples and recognizing their dignity and contributions to our nation.
“Then, on December 17, President-elect Joe Biden appointed Rep. Deb Haaland as the first-ever Native American to head the Department of the Interior. For 245 years, government relations with our Indigenous nations have been executed from a position of strength and with the intent to control. Rep. Haaland’s appointment promises a shift to cultivating relationships of respect, mutuality, and conciliation. Both announcements are lights shining in the darkness and inspiring the hope that we can be guided by the better angels of our nature."
The Native American Awareness Committee of the East Ohio Conference supports the indigenous people of our country by working to stop discrimination, to foster the understanding of Native American heritage, and to develop and encourage Native American leadership. Native American themes provide unique insight into our understanding of incarnation as a God-given identity. Jesus was fully human and fully divine. Our spirit is connected to, not separate from, our body. We are participants in, not just consumers of, God’s creation.
The Native American Awareness Committee provides the following resources that seek to give voice to the issues concerning Native Americans.
The East Ohio Conference Office:
located in North Canton, OH,
near Akron-Canton Airport.
8800 Cleveland Ave. NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Local: (330) 499-3972
Toll Free: (800) 831-3972
Fax: (330) 499-3279
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
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