On reparations

Jul 24, 2020 by

The prevailing justice system of the United States (and many other countries) understands doing justice in terms of determining innocence or guilt and then applying appropriate punishment. In contrast,...

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Mennonites helped turn Paraguay into a mega beef producer — indigenous people may pay the price

Mar 30, 2020 by

The “new Panama Canal” — that’s how some are hailing a highway now under construction in South America that spans the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Bi-Oceanic Corridor cuts through...

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Indigenous believers in Ecuador seek Anabaptist identity

Mar 2, 2020 by and

Clever Mashiant and Sofia Gualinga, Shuar indigenous leaders in Ecuador’s Amazon region, asked mission workers Jane and Jerrell Ross Richer, “How can we become Mennonites?” The question arose after they...

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What if we never tried to set up a church?

Jan 27, 2020 by

I had a call from Santiago, Bolivia, a couple of evenings ago. We talked about current politics in Bolivia, after the tumultuous public upheaval following the October presidential elections. Evo Morales, the...

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A different kind of disaster

Sep 30, 2019 by

BRANTFORD, Ont. — For Tim­othy Khoo, meeting survivors of a residential school made history personal. “There are names and faces,” he said. “It’s not just textbook information now.” Khoo, 16,...

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You need Jesus, boy!

Aug 5, 2019 by

There is only one place in the world where I can walk into the local TV station and get instant coverage just by picking up the mic, smiling into the camera and announcing myself. That place is a First Nations...

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MCC, MDS promote healing with indigenous Canadians

Jun 17, 2019 by , and

BRANTFORD, Ont. — How do you repair a disaster 142 years in the making? For Mennonite Disaster Service Canada and Mennonite Central Committee, it will happen one desk, one table and one bench at a time. This...

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Land of the Kanza

Mar 4, 2019 by and

NORTH NEWTON, Kan. — Until a retired Mennonite pastor came along, Kanza tribal records indicated it had never happened before. No landowner had ever given something back to the Kanza people, also known as...

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Gospel of conquest

Mar 4, 2019 by

The gospel of conquest goes by many names: Manifest Destiny. White supremacy. American exceptionalism. Within the past several years, Mennonites have learned to know it as the Doctrine of Discovery. As we have...

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Love supreme, supreme danger

Feb 18, 2019 by

I’ve been catching up on the literature of Christian Peacemaker Teams. But today when I read their publications, I more often read the adjective “Christian” in reference to problematic nouns like...

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Drinking coffee with Canada’s National Mennonite Historical Society

Dec 3, 2018 by

Over the Nov. 15-17 weekend, I listened to no less than 30 academic presentations in a space of 2.5 days as Canada’s National Mennonite Historical Society hosted scholars and speakers for the annual...

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Some other ways to talk about Indians this Thanksgiving

Nov 19, 2018 by

Thanksgiving is almost upon us. How do you talk about it with your children? Many of us learned a story about Pilgrims and Indians sharing a happy meal of New World foods — turkey and cranberries and...

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Mennonites and empire

Sep 26, 2018 by

Every Mennonite in the small town of Goessel, Kan., knows the date 1874. It is emblazoned on the “Turkey Red Wheat Palace,” erected on the centennial of Mennonites’ migration to the Great Plains from...

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Arizona school to reopen with new name, mission

Aug 20, 2018 by and

Hopi Mission School has a new name and a new mission. The Mennonite Schools Council member in Kykotsmovi, Ariz., is seeking to turn over a new page after former superintendent Thane Epefanio pleaded guilty in...

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Longhurst: Will truth be told?

May 21, 2018 by

Since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established in 2008, Canada has been wrestling with the legacy of its residential school system for indigenous children. The topic has fueled discussion in the...

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Forgiveness for the third and fourth generations

Mar 29, 2018 by

A few years ago I learned that a Native American coffee shop was opening near my church. A native business other than a casino got my attention. I found this place to be one of the friendliest social gathering...

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King: Uncharted lands

Feb 12, 2018 by

There is a sculpture of Lewis, Clark and Sacagawea on a bluff above the Missouri River in Great Falls, Mont. As they point west, they seem to dream beyond the setting sun. They believe they’ll find lands...

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Washington Witness: Don’t Native Americans count?

Jan 1, 2018 by

In advocacy, statistics are often used to convey messages. We use them when speaking about levels of homelessness, unemployment, incarceration, obesity, violence and many other issues facing the 320 million...

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MCC’s Erica Littlewolf: ‘We are still alive. We really do exist.’

Oct 23, 2017 by and

NORTH NEWTON, Kan. — Though most people call her Erica Littlewolf, on the Northern Chey­enne reservation in Busby, Mont., she is known as Vonahé’e. Littlewolf is many things: An aspiring runner, an...

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Hopi school is left in disarray

Oct 9, 2017 by and

Disheveled classrooms and missing equipment are some of the challenges facing Mennonite Education Agency as it discerns how to get Hopi Mission School up and running again. Mennonite Church...

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‘Something like the grace of God’

May 1, 2017 by

Whenever I drive through the reserve, I’m always struck by how little seems to have changed over the past 30 years. I remember coming to play hockey here as a kid, remember how it seemed like a different...

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Honoring God with environmental justice

Apr 26, 2017 by

If you look at Mennonite Church USA’s “What We Believe” section on its website, you will see these two priorities: stewardship and undoing racism. I believe that these two principles translate across...

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Showalter: Want renewal? Pray

Apr 10, 2017 by

In the 1640s, a few English nonconformists and Puritans who had migrated to the New World began to share the gospel with Native Americans around them. In 1646, Pastor John Eliot began to lead his Indian...

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Longhurst: Genesis 1 or 3?

Feb 13, 2017 by

Are we on the verge of a spiritual renewal in North America — a renewal that might save our planet? That’s the question that comes to me after reading about the pipeline protest at the Standing Rock Sioux...

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Who owns the land?

Feb 13, 2017 by

The last sentence in “Hopi School Administrator Expelled from Reservation” (Jan. 16) quoted Karen Pennington, an attorney for the Hopi tribal council, about the land on which the Hopi Mission School...

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