Abington Quarterly Meeting in session endorsed Abington Monthly Meeting’s Minute of Reconciliation and agreed that it should be made available to all members of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Abington Quarterly Meeting and Abington Monthly Meeting have also created a list of resources for friends who would like to learn more. You can find these resources at the end of the article.
Minute of Reconciliation
Those gathered for the Discernment for Unity session on May 4, 2021 carefully considered the rewording of our minute and came to unity on the wording below.
After considerable reflection and discernment, Abington Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) believes that if we are to truly uphold our Testimony of Equality, Equity and Justice and honor the legacy of Quaker abolitionists and equal-rights activists such as Benjamin Lay and Lucretia Mott, we must also acknowledge and take active steps to redress the evils they fought against. We wish to engage in racial reconciliation and healing through acknowledging, apologizing, and atoning for wrongs our Meeting has committed in the past that influence the present. We acknowledge that the land our meetinghouse and school currently occupy was once home for the Lenni-Lenape. We also acknowledge that early members of our Meeting were members of the white settler population which benefited from the takeover of land and from the violence committed against Indigenous Peoples as a result of such actions as the Doctrine of Discovery, the Walking Purchase and Quaker Indian Boarding Schools. We acknowledge that some early members of our Meeting were enslavers and that the enslavement of Africans contributed to the accumulated wealth we have today. We apologize for these truths not being fully acknowledged by us sooner and because these actions have contributed to the physical and emotional trauma still being experienced today. We wish to atone for these past oppressions and injustices in the hope of bringing healing through retrospective justice to African Americans and Indigenous Peoples. To this end, we have set up the Bothwell Reparations Fund to which members and attenders may contribute. Also, we will continue with our deeper education to better understand and seek a renewed and ongoing right relationship.
- Questions about boarding schools? Check out the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition’s site for more info and resources. The particular page linked here is about churches specifically, but feel free to look at the rest of the site from there. Wanda is attending their day-long Healing Summit on November 18.
- From the Coalition of Natives and Allies focused on ridding our nation of Native-based mascots, there is a listing of resources available for more general education on Indigenous peoples as well.
- Two articles from the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia written by professors.
- Facts on Native American History
- How Do We Actually Honor Native Americans
- Two Important Videos: Pendle Hill held a Truth & Reconciliation Healing Conference in 2018. Two powerful videos from that conference are available. The first is the Keynote Speaker, Mark Charles, on the Doctrine of Discovery (2 hrs and 8 m). The second is Dr. Denise Lajimodiere on Indian Boarding Schools & Historical Trauma (1 hr and 19 m.).
- Check out this action taken by British Quakers.
- New York Yearly Meeting (2017): “Doctrine of Discovery Factsheet.”
- Boulder Friends Meeting (2016): “Toward a Right Relationship with America’s Native Peoples.”
- Western Friend (2015): “Interview with Paula Palmer, Quaker leader working to right the relationships between non-Natives and Natives.”
- Friends General Conference: “Dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery.”