Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples

We have moved! In September 2019, the Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples project (TRR) moved from operating under the Boulder Friends Meeting to become a part of the Friends Peace Team. Friends Peace Teams is a Spirit-led organization working to develop long-term relationships with communities in conflict around the world to create programs for peace building, healing, and reconciliation. More current information on our program can now be found at: Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples. We are very excited to become a part of this global organization, working towards common goals, and are thankful for the support of the Boulder Friends Meeting during our initial formation.

The following information will not be updated after August 2019. It provides information on the activities of TRR while working under the Boulder Friends Meeting. 

The Toward Right Relationship Project (TRR) offers the following presentations to schools, universities, churches, and civic organizations throughout the United States. Native and non-Native facilitators have given these presentations in some 200 communities by request. Click on the titles for more information about each presentation. To request presentations, please contact paulaRpalmer(at)gmail(dot)com.

1- “Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change – Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples”– for adults (PDF)

This 2-hour experiential workshop traces the historic and ongoing impacts of the Doctrine of Discovery, the 15th-century justification for European subjugation of non-Christian peoples. Our goal is to raise our level of knowledge and concern about these impacts, recognize them in ourselves and our institutions, and explore how we can begin to take actions toward right relationship with Native peoples.

2- “Re-Discovering America: Understanding Colonialization”– for middle and high school students (PDF) 

Through this 1-hour program, students symbolically experience the colonization of North America as the Native peoples and the European colonists experienced it. They hear the voices of Indigenous leaders and European popes, monarchs, presidents, generals, and Western historians as the story unfolds. The exercise is followed by a response period, when students share what they learned, how they feel, and what they think about the reality of Native peoples in our society today. Supplementary materials for teachers are provided.

3- “Two Rivers Film and Discussion”  for all (PDF) 

This 1-hour documentary film tells the story of a rural community in Washington state that undertook some significant actions toward reconciliation with the area’s Indigenous peoples. Following the film, a facilitated discussion will focus on your community: Who are the Native peoples who have lived and are now living on the land that you call home? How can you learn your region’s real history? What would right relationship with Native peoples look like in your community? What steps can you start taking in that direction?

4- “The Quaker Indian Boarding Schools: Facing our History and Ourselves”– for Churches (PDF) 

Native American organizations are asking all the churches to learn about their roles in the forced assimilation of Native children by means of Indian boarding schools. As Pendle Hill’s 2016 Cadbury Scholar, Paula Palmer researched the Quaker Indian Boarding Schools.  Watch a Video of a slide presentation on the Quaker Indian Boarding Schools, and an interview with Jerilyn DeCoteau, former chair of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition.

How you can support this work – click here

The Toward Right Relationship project collaborates with Native Americans and other organizations to create and/or support meaningful processes for truth, justice, reconciliation, and healing. The Boulder Meeting established a restricted fund to enable the Toward Right Relationship project to accept donations in support of this work. Funds are used for materials and supplies; travel to conferences and to facilitate workshops and offer trainings; publications; social media development and management; project administration; and project staff support. Learn more here and see link at bottom to make a tax-deductible donation.

Visit Toward Right Relationship on Facebook.


What's New - Check it Out!

See these three videos created by Lisa Graustein for New England Yearly Meeting, based on NEYM’s 2013 Minute repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery. Video #1 is an in-depth look at what the Doctrine of Discovery is and how it affects us all. Video #2 describes patterns of thought and characteristics of our society that stem from the Doctrine of Discovery. Video # 3 offers a spiritual practice to help  rid ourselves of obstacles that keep us out of right relationship with all Beings.

What can be done to heal the damage done to native communities by colonists, including Quakers? As Paula Palmer shares, telling the truth is the first step. Watch this video

See this inspiring 6-minute video of Right Relationship Boulder’s Indigenous Peoples Day event, “Welcome the Arapaho People Home”, October 7, 2018

Read or listen to Paula Palmer’s talk, “The Land Remembers” at Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church, Nov. 4, 2018.

Watch Paula Palmer’s “Quaker Truth Talk” delivered at the Friends General Conference Gathering, July 3, 2018, in Toledo, Ohio .

Read For Quakers who would like to share ideas, questions, and resources as we work toward right relationship with Native peoples in our communities and monthly and yearly meetings, click here to join a Google Group and start networking!

Doables These are some actions that can be important steps on the path toward building right relationship with Native Americans and all Indigenous Peoples. Please add your own ideas, and then do at least one of these actions soon.

To access information in the following sections, click on the +
Right Relationship Boulder - Do you live in the Boulder Valley? Join us!

Join Right Relationship Boulder    We are Native and non-Native people working with local governments and organizations to help all Boulder Valley residents learn about the Native peoples who lived here historically and those who live here today. Right Relationship Boulder – Overview Help us raise funds to Welcome the Arapaho People Home Boulder Weekly: Arapaho, local civic leaders meet to discuss ‘welcoming’ back native community Visit Right Relationship Boulder on Facebook. Boulder Colorado Indigenous Peoples’ Day Resolution Lafayette Colorado Indigenous Peoples’ Day Resolution     After traveling to Oklahoma to visit the Southern Arapaho tribal leaders, and to the Wind River Indian Reservation to visit the Northern Arapaho, Paula Palmer, Ava Hamilton (Arapaho), and Jerilyn DeCoteau (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) presented the following report and PowerPoint presentation to the City of Boulder’s Human Relations Commission.  Right Relationship Boulder’s report to Human Relations Commission Dec 11, 2017 Powerpoint Slide Presentation Recommended: Watch the documentary film, “Two Rivers,” and host a discussion in your community. What would right relationship with Native Peoples look like? How can you start taking steps in that direction?  Want to hear the Arapaho language and learn some words in it? The Northern Arapaho are teaching it with an app​ that can be accessed at the Google or Apple store. It’s free of charge, and you only have to make sure you have enough storage on your android device or smart phone. Just type in Arapaho and the Arapaho flag icon appears. Click on it and install.

See this inspiring 6-minute video of Right Relationship Boulder’s Indigenous Peoples Day event, “Welcome the Arapaho People Home”, October 7, 2018

For your calendars: Upcoming Programs For more information about these public programs and to register to attend, please contact paulaRpalmer(at)gmail(dot)com

Following are programs offered by Toward Right Relationship. For those living in the Boulder, Colorado, area, check the Right Relationship Boulder FaceBook page for listings of upcoming events in the area.

No currently scheduled programs

Quaker Indian Boarding Schools - How Friends can learn about this history and support healing in Native communities

Research on Quaker Indian Day Schools and Boarding Schools image

During her tenure as Pendle Hill’s 2015 Cadbury Scholar, Toward Right Relationship project director Paula Palmer conducted research on the role Quakers played in conceptualizing, promoting, and carrying out the forced assimilation policies of the last two centuries. This policy was succinctly expressed by Merrill E. Gates in 1891:

“We are going to conquer the Indians by a standing army of school teachers.”

boardingschooldvdThe Toward Right Relationship Project has produced a Video, which includes two presentations: 

1- “The Indian Boarding Schools and Pathways to Healing” an interview with Jerilyn DeCoteau, chair, National National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition  (10 minutes)

2- “The Quaker Indian Boarding Schools: Facing our History and Ourselves” a slide presentation by Paula Palmer (56 minutes)

If you would like to receive a DVD of this video, please send a check for $18 (to cover costs of reproduction, postage and handling) to “Boulder Friends Meeting,” and in the memo line write “DVD.” Mail your check to:
Paula Palmer
1603 Cottonwood Dr., Unit N
Louisville CO 80027. 

Read Paula Palmer’s article, “The Quaker Indian Boarding Schools: Facing our History and Ourselves,” in
Friends Journal.

Listen to an interview with Paula Palmer about the Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples workshops and her research on the Quaker Indian Boarding Schools, on Northern Spirit Radio.

Field Research Travelogue Sept 2015

“First Light” is a 13-minute video about Maine’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which concluded that Maine’s child welfare system committed cultural genocide against the Wabanaki people. The Wabanaki people are engaged in healing processes.See:

Links to Related Resources and Websites
Indigenous Peoples Conference on Processes for Reconciliation  — World Council of Churches

Friends General Conference – Dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery in your Meeting

A Participant’s Response to the Toward Right Relationship Workshop, by Emily Jacobi

Proclamation of the Continental Commission of the Great Turtle Island, Abya Yala Sept 24, 2015

A new documentary film, “The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code” is available from Dakota 38 Plus 2 Productions. See:

United Nations Holds Holy See Accountable for Racist Doctrines

“For Indigenous Nations to Live, Colonial Mentalities Must Die Envisioning a just future beyond the Indian Act starts with recognizing that the root of the problem we are facing is not one of laws or policies, of funding disparities or even of governmental capacities at any level. In this short article, First Nations writer Taiaiake Alfred states concisely and precisely how Settler people must change ourselves and our institutions in order for Native peoples to survive and thrive. The parallels between his Canadian context and the US are obvious. 

Please Support this Work with a Tax-Deductible Donation

To make an online donation, go to Friends Peace Teams and select Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples.

To donate by mail, make a check payable to Friends Peace Teams – TRR and “TRR” should be written on the memo line. Send check to Friends Peace Teams – TRR, 1001 Park Ave., St. Louis MO 63104.


Friends Committee on National Legislation(FCNL)