Greetings WAC Community,
Thanks to God for God gives us the victory. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know your labor is not in vain.
– I Corinthians 15:57-58
An article in Thursday’s Wind River News starts out, “Tuesday was a historic day for the Northern Arapaho Tribal Historic Preservation Office.” The Department of the Army announced that repatriation to the Arapaho Tribe and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe for the remains of their children who had died while in the renowned boarding school in the late 1800’s in Carlisle School where thousands of children died from abuse and loneliness after being forcibly removed from their families and communities in order “to kill the Indian, but save the man.” The struggle to regain custody of the remains has lasted more than 130 years. The details and timeline for the return has yet to be worked out.
While we can regret the past that led to such an atrocity by the federal government driven by racism of the worst kind, we can give thanks for this victory. Thanks to all of you who signed onto that petition that I forwarded to you for your signatures a few days ago! We, along with the many others who signed it helped make a difference. It is another step toward addressing racism in this nation.
If you want to learn more about the historic trauma for Native Americans and current institutional racism and its effects and explore what can be done to address it, there is a wonderful opportunity to do just that on Tuesday, June 7, 9 am to 2 pm in Riverton at Central Wyoming College being sponsored by the Wyoming Multicultural Health Office. See the flyer for details. I have the opportunity to co-facilitate this workshop called Embracing Cultural Diversity. If only the federal government in the 1800’s would have seen the value of embracing cultural diversity, what a different story it would have been for Native Americans!!!
But are we there yet?
Institutional racism is still exists. Just recently some folks from my church and I were visiting over coffee. We were talking politics (yes, religion and politics) when one asked if it would be possible for another “Hitler” to come into power. I wish I could say, “No way!” But with some of the rhetoric I hear, I must wonder. We cannot deny that racism that can be fueled with fear still exists.
There is no cost to attend the Embracing Cultural Diversity workshop that includes lunch. The team that is putting together this workshop is itself diverse and is interactive to allow us all to learn from each other. Advance registration is necessary. You may register here.
Another victory this week on Thursday! I testified at the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee meeting in Douglas. I was the only one who testified at the hearing about the negative impact on the poor would be by re-instating a sales tax on food. Others testified on behalf of the retailers, the counties and the municipalities from their perspectives. Without the voice of the Wyoming Association of Churches, often the poor would have no voice. Thanks to all of you who emailed the Committee in response to last week’s call to action! Thankfully, no one of the 14-member committee even moved to consider a sales tax on food any further!
The Wyoming Association of Churches is the only faith-based statewide ecumenical voice for the poor and the vulnerable in Wyoming. Together, we make a difference. We helped remove the sales tax from food and we are helping to keep it off. We are standing with Native Americans demanding that their heritage and culture be respected.
But to do our work, we need financial support. To contribute, click here. Or mail your contribution to WAC, PO Box 1473, Laramie, WY 82073.
Fear not. Be bold. Do justice.