The resolution addressed a May 2022 report released by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which documents “that the United States maliciously targeted Native American, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiian children as part of a diabolical plan to dispossess these people groups from their native lands by forced assimilation through the establishment of mandatory boarding school.”
“If you read that report, it’s painful and it hurts in ways that run very deep for me,” Keahbone said, going on to share that his grandfather was horribly mistreated in one such boarding school but who also later became a code talker for the United States military.
“He did it, not for who America was at that time, but for who he believed it could be,” Keahbone said.
RELATED: Department of Interior Releases First Report Detailing US Indian Boarding Schools
Keahbone expressed that evangelism among indigenous people groups in America is often hampered by atrocities that have been perpetrated against previous generations within these communities, sowing distrust and suspicion not only in the church, but in the Christian faith itself. Keahbone indicated that he hopes this resolution will be a starting point for building a bridge moving forward.
Condemning the United States’ dispossession of indigenous people groups, the resolution resolved “that we declare the atrocities done against these people in the name of religious ‘conversions’ as reprehensible, betraying the Great Commission and our efforts to reach all nations with the gospel.”
RELATED: First Pope, Now US Churches Face Boarding-School Reckoning
“[This resolution] will open doors for us for sharing the gospel that I think will yield plenty of fruit, and I’m excited for that,” Keahbone said.