The Land is not Empty

An excerpt of Rev. TJ Smith’s response to Sarah Augustine’s book The Land is not Empty: Following Jesus in Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery. This is re-posted from the book forum hosted by Anabaptist Witness.

As I work with younger First Nation and First Alaskan, my hope and prayer is for them to know they are wonderfully made as they are. I think of a young First Alaskan who asked me with tears rolling down her face, “You mean it is okay to follow God and speak my language, live my culture?” To help them understand that the community where they come from is more important than the idea of “conformed individuality.”

To think of the next generation of you Indigenous leaders that will be free from; you are invisible, you are nothing more than a merciless savage, to you are my daughter or son who I created…. How freeing and empowering could that be for them, for the generations to come? How do we, can we help free them from the bondage that we have carried?

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