Learn about the current movement to change the celebration of Columbus Day to a celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Thank you to all who attended our conversation. We discussed this press release calling for the change.
Other suggested reading:
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
This document will give you background and perspective from the American Indian Center.
Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem: How Religion Drove the Voyages that Led to America by Carol Delaney
A great back-to-school project for kids and teens (and it’s not all online!)
Please help us honor the true native languages of this land by learning and sharing nature words of local Native American Chicagoans. Here’s how!
- Watch this short video about why language preservation is important: https://theways.org/story/living-language
- Visit the St. John’s garden (next to 3857 N Kostner Ave). Write down the words for the things you see that you want to learn the names of i.e. dirt, grass, rabbit, tree, robin, flower, worm etc.
- Choose a language you wish to learn. We recommend the starred * languages because you can look up the word and hear how it is pronounced. You may want to choose a language that is your own heritage or a neighbor’s. For instance, the Ho-Chunk nation has an office near St. John’s on Milwaukee Avenue. Here is a list of the 15 largest groups of Native American people living in the Chicagoland area:
|Language||Link||Color of ribbon|
|Ho Chunk||https://glosbe.com/en/win||light green|
|* Ojibwe||https://ojibwe.lib.umn.edu/browse/english||light yellow|
|Choose your own!||http://www.native-languages.org/|
- Write the Native word you learned in permanent marker on the colored ribbon indicated. If the word is something that moves (like a rabbit), tie the ribbon to a picture of it (which you draw or photograph or print). If you are a St. John’s member there is roll of ribbon in your Sunday School in a bag. If you need ribbon please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will deliver some to you!
- Go back to the garden and tie the ribbon to the thing (tree, flower, wood etc) and bring some sticks to tie on the ribbons and put in the ground (rabbit, butterfly, wind).
- Practice saying the words!
Thursday, August 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Join us to discuss the book White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.
Reading this Atlantic Monthly article that gives a critique of the book will help us discuss what Black authors are saying about this book by a White author.
Here is a link to the reading guide: https://www.beacon.org/assets/pdfs/whitefragilityreadingguide.pdf
Here are the questions we will discuss.
Join us on Thursday, August 20 at 7:30 pm via Zoom:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82264014704 Meeting ID: 822 6401 4704
By phone: 312.626.6799 Meeting ID: 998 6450 0270#
Book Discussion Thursday, July 30 at 7:30 p.m.
In this New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Oluo offers a hard hitting but user friendly examination of race in America. She offers a contemporary take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement and more.
All are welcome to join!
We will host this event through Zoom.
You can RSVP to email@example.com to get the zoom link.
A reading list from St. John’s Episcopal Church
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
- So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- Waking up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin Diangelo
- Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
- Birth of A White Nation by Jacqueline Battalora
- Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God by Kelly Brown Douglas
- Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
- The 1619 Project published the New York Times
Chicago is the traditional homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: The Odawa, Ojibwe and Potawatomi Nations. Many other Tribes like the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Sac and Fox also called this area home. Located at the intersection of several great waterways, the land naturally became a site of travel and healing for many Tribes. American Indians continue to call this area home and now Chicago is home to the sixth largest Urban American Indian community that still practices their heritage, traditions and care for the land and waterways. Today, Chicago continues to be a place that calls many people from diverse backgrounds to live and gather here. Despite the many changes the city has experienced, both our American Indian and the St. John’s Episcopal Church community see the importance of the land and this place that has always been a city home to many diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
If you would like to express your appreciation for this sacred ground please make a donation to the COVID response or cultural programming of the Chicago American Indian Community Collaborative.
Since the beginning of antiracism work at St John’s we have been especially concerned with our history as a predominately white congregation in northwestern Chicago. How might have previous generations at St John’s unjustly taken advantage of their privileged status? We immediately learned that St John’s was gifted with ownership of land that had been forcibly and unjustly taken from indigenous people living in the Chicago area.
Accordingly, we developed a land acknowledgement plaque affirming that the church’s land was previously home to many different Native Americans. The plague has been installed in the front walkway on Kostner Avenue. The plaque dedication, however, was not able to happen due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our revised plan is to present a series of virtual events from now through the dedication event some time in 2021. Some of the possible opportunities which need your leadership and support include the following:
- Update the St John website to include resources and links about Native American people
- Support the development of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Chicago
- Organize installation of art by a Native American artist or artists in the church garden
- Plan and facilitate education and cultural events for adults and for children
- Sponsor one session of Sacred Ground, a film-based dialogue series on race and faith developed by the Episcopal Church. Session 3 is “Whose Land? Exploring Indigenous History”
- Develop other ways to include Native American perspectives during our regular worship services
- Promote, participate in, and help fund public events sponsored by Native American organizations
- Identify and invite indigenous leaders to speak at St John’s
- With guidance from indigenous people design the plaque dedication event (2021)
To assist with the Sacred Ground events, please contact Andria Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are working to develop and obtain more antiracism education resources for our child and youth group education.
Another opportunity is to attend “How Do We Talk To Our Children About Race” Virtual training sponsored by All Saints Episcopal Church – Fall dates to be determined.
To help out with this gathering education resources or for more information on the virtual training, please contact Courtney Hug at email@example.com .