April 22, 2022 announcement of the Truth & Healing Council

Most attempts to engage in Truth & Healing work fail.  The South African 1995 The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is probably the most successful of listening to the truth of killing, sorrow,  and torture and responding with, to an extent, reparative work that may lead to reconciliation.  Others, like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and Maine’s Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission have done well listening to Truth stories, but have limited success in responding with action that might lead to reconciliation.  In most all cases, truth work is applauded and owned as good work by governments and institutions.  However, the hard work of action and reparation is lost when the cameras are turned off and the media goes away.  The hard work of healing means systemic and institutional change of which neither wants.

Center for Indigenous Ministries (DOC) (CIM) recognizes the difficulty of engaging action that might lead to reconciliation.  Governmental and institutional failure to engage in the meaningful work of healing after Truth telling has occurred because the line between Truth and Healing is not a straight one.  Rather, the work between Truth and Healing is messy, full of challenges, and requires at long intervals of work and action.  CIM recognizes there are at least three stages between truth telling and reconciliation.  First, Reparative work must be done to prepare mindsets and institutional governance for change.  Once reparative work is well along in changing minds (but before completed), second, institutional Reparations begin.  Reparations are substantial institutional changes in governance, restitution, and finances.   When reparative work and reparations have occurred for some time, then the work of  Restoration begins.  Restorative work brings about right relationship to that which was once natural and created  After years, if not generations, of reparative work, reparations, and restorative work, Reconciliation can then begin.

A word on Reparations.  Reparations are surely brought about by first engaging in reparative work.  However, that is not to say reparations are to wait.  Rather, it is to say our ancestors—the cloud of witnesses—have long been doing reparative work.  Thus, there are those acts of reparation that should be done today!  Below are a few thoughts on reparative work that can begin and reparations that can be made now.

Reparative Work

  • Colleges:  All Disciple related colleges (Barton College, Bethany College, Chapman University, Columbia College, Culver-Stockton College, Drake University, Drury University, Eureka College, Hiram College, Jarvis College, University of Lynchburg, Midway University, Texas Christian University, Tougaloo College Transylvania University, William Woods University) have benefited from the generational wealth they acquired from Indigenous removal and the land on which their institutions reside.  Additionally, these institution have benefited from the wealth of their constituents and alum who also benefited from the generational wealth accrued from Indigenous removal.

Colleges must review their financial legacies in light of generational Indigenous injustice.  Colleges must have an Indigenous presence (located outside and not accountable to their institutional structure) to guide the work of reallocating legacy wealth.

  • Disciple affiliated Seminaries (Brite Divinity School, Christian Theological Seminary, Disciples Divinity House of the University of Chicago, Disciples Divinity House at Vanderbilt University, Disciples Seminary Foundation, Lexington Theological Seminary, Phillips Theological Seminary have benefited from generational wealth due to occupation of Indigenous land.  Each has the capability and obligation to reallocate annual funds and/or a percentage of the annual budget to Indigenous work under the management of Indigenous guidance who are not accountable to their institutional structure
  • Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Affiliates, e.g., Disciples Church Extension Fund, Christian Church Foundation, National Benevolent Association, Christian Board of Publication, Pension Fund have long accrued wealth by working within a US national construct which has provided wealth to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  They shall begin a formal process of review of that history to begin reordering wealth and power towards Indigenous healing within and without the church.  They shall have an Indigenous voice to which they are accountable to engage this work.  This voice shall not be accountable to the institution as say an employee is.  Rather the voice must be from outside their respective institution (e.g. Center for Indigenous Ministries (DOC)).  Though the voice is to be compensated by their respective institutions.


  1. United Christian Missionary Society (Trustees and Officers)
    • Ten (10) percent of annual endowment shall go to Indigenous Ministries—Currently Yakama Christian Mission (YCM) and then to YCM’s successor organization.
    • Current receivers of UCMS giving (Disciples Home Missions and Global Ministries) shall publicly support the transfer of funds.
  2. General Board of the Christian Church shall present Center for Indigenous Ministries to the 2023 General Assembly for recognition as a General Ministry.
  3. Northern Lights Region, in recognition of 100 years of Yakama “boarding” and “church home” work, shall redirect the monies of the Turner Lecture Endowment to be exclusively used for Indigenous Justice work.  This work shall be guided by Indigenous people or the Center of Indigenous Ministries.
  4. Disciples Home Missions Board and President shall work with Center for Indigenous Ministries to have CIM become YCM’s successor organization.  This work shall be completed by the 2023 Spring Equinox.
  5. Bethany College shall provide ten (10) full-ride scholarships for Indigenous young adults.  This is to be administered by the college; each scholarship requiring approval by CIM.
    • Bethany College shall fund and tenure an Instructor/Professor on Indigenous Justice.
  6. Bushnell University shall continue to manage the 1929 Flint Endowment Fund with all monies going to Indigenous Justice.
    • Bushnell College shall fund and tenure an Instructor/Professor on Indigenous Justice.