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In spring 2013, grants of $500–$1,000 were made available to Unitarian Universalist congregations, groups, and organizations to be used for projects that teach about, repudiate, and mitigate the current-day effects of the Doctrine of Discovery.

The goal of these seed grants is to move our association forward in acting upon the 2012 General Assembly resolution to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery, work with partners to mitigate the legal, cultural, environmental, and economic effects of colonization, and embrace and advocate for the full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. 

The selection committee was impressed by the variety and depth of the proposals received, and believe it is an indication that congregations are taking seriously the commitment made in the General Assembly resolution.

Seed grants were awarded to the following congregations for their projects:

  • Unitarian Universalist Community Church, Augusta, ME
    Youth will attend and perform service at a Native American culture camp hosted by the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, a multigenerational project which will raise awareness and build and strengthen relationships.
  • Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth, MN
    Take advantage of community resources and congregational contacts to build a partnership with the people of the Fond du Lac band of Anishinabe and addressing local issues of concern to all, with plans for speakers, religious education curriculum, and publicity.
  • First Unitarian Church of Honolulu, HI
    Provide advocacy training for congregants and training and internships for Kanenuiakea partners to preserve and secure access to traditional Hawaiian sacred sites.
  • First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, MN
    Take advantage of community resources and congregational contacts to educate the congregation and build a partnership with United Nations of Indian Tribes for Education (UNITE), a student organization at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College. The project will include speakers, discussion groups, and advertising, and the partnership will include collaborating on a long-term justice-making project.
  • First Unitarian Society of Schenectady, NY
    Continue the congregation’s support of the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign by providing support for a presentation by Jake Edwards of the Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs at the Russell Sage speakers forum and for raising awareness of his presentation as well as preserving it to make it more broadly available.
  • All Souls Church Unitarian Universalist, Sioux Falls, SD
    Build upon the congregation’s work in support for the Native American inmates at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in their quest to remain connected to their culture and spiritual practice and as well as efforts to educate and raise awareness in the community. Project will include children’s and adult religious education, justice-making activity planning, an artist’s reception, and publicity.
  • Unitarian Church of Staten Island, NY
    Offset costs of an educational lecture series on the enduring impact of the Doctrine of Discovery and how to assist the advancement of the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights as part of the “Honoring and Healing” campaign.
  • Unitarian Society of New Haven, CT
    Take advantage of community resources to educate the congregation about the Doctrine of Discovery and begin to build a partnership with the Mashantucket Pequot.  
  • Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, Bellingham, WA
    Offset costs of implementing the curriculum "A Closer Look: Native Americans in Our Community," sponsored by Honorworks, the congregation’s partner organization. The curriculum will facilitate knowledge, healing, and relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous people in Whatcom County.                                                                           

These grants were made possible through a generous donor. You too can make a donation to help sustain this important ministry!

You can also learn more about how your congregation or group can study, discuss, and take action on the Doctrine of Discovery resolution.

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