By Danielle Klotz
Friday, March 8, 2019

ELKHART, Indiana (Mennonite Mission Network) – In response to an invitation from the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition, Mennonite Mission Network, at the Mennonite Church USA offices in Elkhart, Indiana, will hold a prayer vigil on Wednesday, Mar. 13, from 9-9:30 a.m. This open-to-the-public vigil is to pray for the continuation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). ICWA specifies that when Native children are removed from the care of their families, they will be placed in the care of extended family members, families in their own tribe, or indigenous families from another tribe.

"The Indian Child Welfare Act was created to keep Indian children whole," said Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinault Indian Nation. Featured in an informational video from the National Indian Child Welfare Association, Sharp shared of her own experience as a mother of three adopted Native children and the pain that can result when such children are not connected to Native families.

ICWA, passed in 1978, was enacted due to the widespread forced removal of Native children from their families, and ensures that every effort is made to keep Native children with their family, their community, and their culture.

In October 2018, ICWA was struck down by a federal Texas court. Amicus briefs were filed by Jan. 16 and the only faith-based organization to file a brief was filed on behalf of the plaintiffs – those who want to strike down the Indian Child Welfare Act.

The Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition, a community of Anabaptist people of faith, has called faith communities and people of faith to stand in solidarity with Native people as the continued fight for their civil rights is manifested through the striking down of ICWA. Mennonite Mission Network is a supporting organization of the coalition.

Sarah Augustine, co-founder of the coalition and current steering committee leader, shared from her own experience, that her father was removed from his mother, extended family, tribe, and homeland when he was an infant. Never knowing his family, he was raised in a foster home 300 miles away under very harsh conditions. 

"The abuse and neglect he experienced as a foster child had a devastating impact on his life, and on my life as his daughter," said Augustine.

Oral arguments will be heard in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Mar. 13.  In preparation for this hearing, 325 tribal nations, 57 Native organizations, and 21 states joined the United States and four intervenor tribes by filing briefs to urge the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to uphold the Indian Child Welfare Act.   

"We do not have to let one vision of Christianity speak for the entire body of Christ," said Augustine. "We can choose to stand with indigenous peoples now for the protection of indigenous families and children."

To learn more, visit the National Indian Child Welfare Association's website at www.nicwa.org and the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition's website at www.dofdmenno.org

 

 

 

 

Star Trek and faith: a cosmology of reconciliationhttps://www.pjsn.org/blog/Star-Trek-and-faith-a-cosmology-of-reconciliationStar Trek and faith: a cosmology of reconciliationScience and Faith
Burkholder family acts as global mission ambassadors for sabbatical yearhttps://www.pjsn.org/news/Burkholder-family-acts-as-global-mission-ambassadors-for-sabbatical-yearBurkholder family acts as global mission ambassadors for sabbatical yearFamily global ambassadors
Mission worker in Ukraine joins learning tour event in Khortitsahttps://www.pjsn.org/news/Mission-worker-in-Ukraine-joins-learning-tour-event-in-KhortitsaMission worker in Ukraine joins learning tour event in KhortitsaKhortitsa, Ukraine
Mennonite Mission Network executive director search committee invites churchwide input and prayerhttps://www.pjsn.org/news/Mennonite-Mission-Network-Executive-Director--Search-Committee-Invites-Churchwide-Input-and-PrayerMennonite Mission Network executive director search committee invites churchwide input and prayerElkhart, Indiana
New Zealand’s prime minister, trees teach compassionate justicehttps://www.pjsn.org/blog/New-Zealand’s-prime-minister,-trees-teach-compassionate-justiceNew Zealand’s prime minister, trees teach compassionate justiceTrees
Church planters stoke gospel passions https://www.pjsn.org/news/Church-planters-stoke-passions-for-sharing-good-newsChurch planters stoke gospel passions Annual Sent conference 2019

 

 

https://www.pjsn.org/news/Coalition-calls-for-faith-communities-to-hold-prayer-vigils-in-support-of-the-Indian-Child-Welfare-Act

 Related

 

 

Mennonite Mission Network executive director search committee invites churchwide input and prayerhttps://www.pjsn.org/news/Mennonite-Mission-Network-Executive-Director--Search-Committee-Invites-Churchwide-Input-and-PrayerMennonite Mission Network executive director search committee invites churchwide input and prayer
Church planters stoke gospel passions https://www.pjsn.org/news/Church-planters-stoke-passions-for-sharing-good-newsChurch planters stoke gospel passions
From “Red Island” to “Peace Island”https://www.pjsn.org/news/From-Red-Island-to-Peace-IslandFrom “Red Island” to “Peace Island”
Women leaders spark a growing blaze of Sister Care ministries throughout Brazilhttps://www.pjsn.org/news/Women-leaders-spark-a-growing-blaze-of-Sister-Care-ministries-throughout-BrazilWomen leaders spark a growing blaze of Sister Care ministries throughout Brazil
Six MennoCon seminars you may not have attended (but you should have): 2019 Mennonite Church USA convention seminars call for hope, dialogue and reexaminationhttps://www.pjsn.org/news/Six-MennoCon-seminars-you-may-not-have-attended-(but-you-should-have)Six MennoCon seminars you may not have attended (but you should have): 2019 Mennonite Church USA convention seminars call for hope, dialogue and reexamination
Wind of the Spirit inspires coordinators of mission partnership in Ecuador https://www.pjsn.org/news/Wind-of-the-Spirit-inspires-coordinators-of-multinational-mission-in-EcuadorWind of the Spirit inspires coordinators of mission partnership in Ecuador
Fostering respectful relationships with indigenous peoplehttps://www.pjsn.org/news/Fostering-respectful-relationships-with-indigenous-peopleFostering respectful relationships with indigenous people
Anabaptist peace movement grows grassroots’ partnershipshttps://www.pjsn.org/news/Anabaptist-peace-movement-grows-grassroots’-partnershipsAnabaptist peace movement grows grassroots’ partnerships
Colombia mission workers evoke seminar responseshttps://www.pjsn.org/news/Colombia-mission-workers-evoke-seminar-responsesColombia mission workers evoke seminar responses
75 years of MVS bring peaceful service to a perplexing worldhttps://www.pjsn.org/news/75-years-of-MVS-bring-peaceful-service-to-a-perplexing-world75 years of MVS bring peaceful service to a perplexing world