Right Relationship with Indigenous Peoples: Resources for Engagement

At New England Friends' Annual Sessions in 2020 and 2021, we engaged with our need to work in a more focused and intentional way towards right relationship with Indigenous Peoples in our region.

In 2020, Friends approved forwarding a Letter of Apology to Native Americans as well as a set of recommendations for further action to local meetings for reflection.

At Sessions in 2021, the Apology was approved by New England Friends. The approved version of the Apology is in the downloads section below.

Please note: Distribution of the Apology to regional Indigenous communities is being shepherded by the Right Relationship Resource Group and we request that individuals do not independently take on distribution. If you have questions, updates on how your meeting is engaging, or if you are interested in being part of a delegation, please contact [email protected].

Also in the downloads section below, you will find resources to support you and your meeting in engagement and next steps as we move towards right relationship as individuals and local worshipping communities. 

A small group of Friends have been appointed to shepherd and support this initiative. To be connected with them, please send an emailAs meetings share back how they are engaging with this work, we will share what we have heard here so that it can serve as a source of inspiration and fruitful connection.

The Right Relationship Resource Group (RRRG) encourages Friends to support Indigenous-led initiatives working for repair, justice, and healing.

At the local level, you are encouraged to learn more about what the Native Tribes and Nations in your region are doing and the places in which they are asking for support.

Regionally, the following organization works cross-tribally to promote Indigenous issues and concerns:

United American Indians of the New England


The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition

The Native Land Conservancy

Quakers in parternship with Native leadership:

Friends Committee on National Legislation Native American Advocacy Program

To view an expanded shared resource list, maintained by the Resource Group, click here.

Scroll down the page for links to more resources and events.

File Downloads

Clerk's Message

An October 2021 letter from the Yearly Meeting presiding clerk, Bruce Neumann, with further information and guidance about the Apology

2022 Sessions Minute re Indian Boarding Schools
Letter of Apology to Native Americans

This letter was written on behalf of Friends in New England in 2020 and was approved at our annual Sessions in August 2021

Right Relationship Resource Sheet

Resource list for meetings and individuals seeking to increase their understanding of Indigenous experiences (especially in our region), the relationship between Quakers and Indigenous Peoples, and possibilities for engagement and advocacy. 

Recommendations for Monthly Meetings

Suggested next steps for monthly meetings seeking to move towards right relationship with Native Americans

Template for Listening Session on Apology to Native Americans

This template, created by Andy Grant (Mt Toby), offers a structure and prompts for a worship sharing-based listening session for seasoning the Letter of Apology at your meeting

Sample Land Acknowledgement from Portland Friends

The text of a land acknowledgment created by Portland Friends

Sample Land Acknowledgement from Cambridge Friends
Walking with Our Wabanaki Neighbors

A description of and links to a recording of an October 2021 workshop

Alternative Ways to Observe Thanksgiving

Portland Friends suggest just ways to observe Thanksgiving, counteracting popular myths and honoring Indigenous ways.

Featured Videos: Voices on Right Relationship

Many Friends find videos are a useful way to learn more about Quakers and Indigenous Peoples and what Right Relationship involves.

The first video below was recorded on October 18, 2020, as part of an interfaith and inter-community effort to listen to Indigenous voices and take meaningful steps towards repairing relationships with Native peoples of our region.

The second video below was recorded on October 24, 2020, as part of Vassalboro Quarter (ME) Friends' "Day of Learning" on Friends' engagement with Native Americans locally.

The third video was recorded on November 22, 2020, as part of an event titled "Looking Deeply at Thanksgiving," a conversation featuring Indigenous and Quaker voices on the difficult truths of Thanksgiving and what a Thanksgiving built on justice and right relationship might look like. 

400 Years: Truth and Healing for the Next Seven Generations
Vassalboro Quarterly Meeting: Native Americans and Quakers in Maine
Looking Deeply at Thanksgiving

Questions? Didn't find what you were looking for?

Email the Friends shepherding this work to begin a conversation.