Indigenous Affairs Committee
Contact Indigenous Affairs Committee by email at [email protected].
The Indigenous Affairs Committee of New York Yearly Meeting was established in the late 1700s. When Friends first arrived in North America, they had a history of dealing fairly with the Native peoples and of respecting their cultures and traditions. Friends later fell into the common European way of thinking, which enforced teaching Native peoples European ways and compelled them to adopt European methods of livelihood and culture. Native American children were forcibly removed from their families and taken to boarding schools designed to “kill the Indian, save the man.” Friends, appalled by some of the harsh measures used in these schools, offered to take over the administration of many of them. Although the schools were then run in a more humane manner, the mission remained the same: to eliminate the traditions, culture, language, religion, and dress of the Native peoples.
Today, the Indigenous Affairs Committee recognizes Friends’ association with this shameful part of our past. We extend the hand of friendship to the Haudenosaunee and other Nations within the New York Yearly Meeting geographic area, and work to support Native efforts without setting conditions for our support. We also work to combat the racism that is so pervasive in United States culture. We are acutely aware that the United States is a country established by means of genocide: the systematic elimination of the Native peoples and their cultures.
The racial justice issues faced by Native Americans, while sharing some aspects faced by other people of color, have unique characteristics. The Indigenous Affairs Committee is dedicated to becoming educated about these concerns, to taking action to confront them wherever possible, and to educating others so that they may also take action.
Standing Rock Sioux Against the Dakota Access Pipeline (2016)
- Statement of support for the Standing Rock Sioux in their protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- Press release distributed with the statement of support, September 7, 2016.
- Written and distributed in collaboration with NYYM Earthcare Working Group.
The Doctrine of Discovery
Visit our Doctrine of Discovery web page
- Letter to Pople Francis asking him to rescind the papal bulls that established the Doctorine of Discovery (2015)
- New York Yearly Meeting's minute on the Doctrine of Discovery (2012)
- What Is the Doctrine of Discovery? Why Should It Be Repudiated? (fact sheet)
- Website dedicated to the Doctrine of Discovery
- “Christian ‘doctrine’ fueled dehumanization”
Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign
- Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign website
- Reports of two NYYM Friends who participated in the Two Row Wampum Renewal enactment, paddling down the Hudson from Albany to NYC: Buffy Curtis and Liseli Haines
- "The Iroquois Are Not Giving Up," article in The Atlantic.
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
- Cover Letter from IAC regarding IAC Minute
- IAC Minute on the Doctrine of Discovery
- The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- The Declaration in PDF
- Canadian Yearly Meeting minute on the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Study Excerpts from The Never Broken Treaty?
- Recommended Reading on First Nations Relations
- Quaker Indian Boarding Schools
- Questionnaire for Monthly Meetings
- "Genocide is the Word"—Charles "Chuck" Trimble, Oglala Lakota
- "Thanksgiving Myth Creates Fairytale Land of Theft, Betrayal, Genocide"—Sarah Sunshine Manning, Shoshone-Paiute, Chippewa-Cree