The following statement was crafted by the Rev. Leslie Scoopmire, Missioner for Indigenous Ministry Engagement, and the Rt. Rev. Deon Johnson, Bishop of the Diocese of Missouri. The Standing Committee approved the updated acknowledgement on September 22, 2022.
We encourage our parishes and ministries to use this text during their worship services and other public events.
HISTORICAL LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
FOR THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF MISSOURI
In humility, we recognize and acknowledge that we in the Diocese of Missouri worship and live on the traditional ancestral lands of the Osage Nation, the Illiniwek/Peoria Tribe, the O-Gah-Pah (Quapaw) Tribe, the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, and other First Peoples. We recognize our mutual dependence upon and benefit from this land; we proclaim our solidarity with and our debt to the Peoples who first claimed and improved this land as their home. We acknowledge our complicity in the process of colonization that dispossessed the First Peoples from their ancestral lands. We affirm our commitment to stand with indigenous communities today and henceforth as they seek justice and resist continued threats to their sovereignty and humanity.
We are also cognizant that the history of The Episcopal Church is intertwined with the history of colonialism and slavery in the United States. More than four centuries ago, the first Africans were brought to the Americas and enslaved. Two centuries ago, enslaved and indigenous persons contributed to the exploration of this state by Lewis and Clark. Our state’s history is entangled with both the Missouri Compromise making this state officially a slave state, and the cases of Scott v. Emerson that petitioned for Dred and Harriet Scott’s emancipation. We acknowledge the tragic legacy of slavery in our diocese, and the blood, sweat, and tears of enslaved people that soak the earth beneath our feet in Missouri. This legacy persists today as we continue to work towards racial justice, equity, liberation, and community, here in Missouri and across The Episcopal Church.
--lbs revised Sept. 22, 2022