PC(USA) leaders issue apology to Native Americans, Alaska natives, and native Hawaiians
Feb. 9, 2017
By Jasmine Clark
Development and Communications Assistant, Presbyterian Historical Society
Manager of Design and Multimedia, Office of the General Assembly
Some of the historic wrongs done by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) against America’s native peoples are being made right this week as top leaders of the denomination issue a formal apology for harms inflicted.
The Reverend J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, and the Reverend Gradye Parsons, former Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, traveled to the northernmost city in the United States—Utqiagvik (Barrow), Alaska—to apologize to Native Americans, Alaska natives, and native Hawaiians.
The apology comes as the result of action by the 222nd General Assembly (2016), which directs “that the PC(USA) and its members apologize to United States citizens of Native American ancestry, both those within and beyond our denomination. We offer this apology especially to those who were and are part of ‘stolen generations’ during the Indian-assimilation movement, namely former students of Indian boarding schools, their families, and their communities” (Minutes, 2016, Part I, p. 711 of the electronic file). Read more on the PC(USA) News site.
- The Kivgiq Renewal and Healing Event 2017 Facebook page, set up by the Utqiagvik Presbyterian Church office staff. This page has many resources that you may wish to see: https://www.facebook.com/KivgiqRenewalHealing/
- The apology given by Rev. Gradye Parsons in English, and translated by Rev. James Nageak into Iñupiaq. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=tshc5mwli6o
- The news release from the PC(USA) on the apology that included the full apology. Randy Hobson, who was in Utqiaġvik from the PC(USA) Office of Communications did a great job putting this together. The link is http://www.pcusa.org/news/2017/2/9/pcusa-leaders-issue-apology-native-americans-alask/
- PC(USA) Stated Clerk, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson's very hope-filled statement given as a further response to the apology to the Iñupiaq people gathered on the first day of Kivgiq: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smPLz60pkJw&feature=share
- The Proclamation of Forgiveness offered by North Slope Borough Mayor, Harry S. Brower, Jr. can be found in in the day 3, Part 3 recording of the Kivgiq event. I hope we can get permission to pull the mayor's segment out of this, long video for future reference. However, you can find it easily at about an hour (Precisely, at 1:02:00 ) into this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=tshc5mwli6