Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA, has announced the launch of the ELCA’s Truth and Healing Movement. The focus of the initiative is to increase the church’s understanding of the impacts of colonization on Indigenous people in past generations and in the present.

“We must be in better, right and healthy relationships with the Indigenous people of Turtle Island,” Eaton said. “As we know, the truth and our knowing and embracing it, is the first step toward healing for all of us.”

In 2016 the ELCA Churchwide Assembly adopted the Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery. Following this action, Eaton commissioned a task force to lead the work outlined in the repudiation. The task force also developed “A Declaration of the ELCA to American Indian and Alaska Native People,” which confesses the church’s complicity in the oppression and genocide of Indigenous people and recommits the ELCA to the work of repudiation.

The ELCA’s Truth & Healing Movement will enlist and empower members to become involved in the areas of focus started by the task force: development of appropriate settler narrative from a Lutheran perspective; encouraging the ritual practice of land acknowledgment; understanding Lutheran participation in Indian boarding schools; and support for communities impacted by murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. The movement will also offer ways to participate in the national Truth and Healing Movement.

Read the full statement. And watch Eaton’s announcement.

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