Benefit Concert March 18 for Native Youth, Elders to Travel to the Vatican

Join First Universalist Church and Veterans for Peace for a Benefit Concert to raise money for a trip of 12 First-Nation youth and elders to visit the Vatican to discuss the historical and inter-generational trauma resulting from the Doctrine of Discovery.

The event is Sunday, March 18, at the First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Ave. S., Minneapolis. Food and a silent auction will be included. Doors open at 1:00 p.m.

Tickets: $20 in advance (www.youthtothevatican.eventbrite.com); $25 at the door.

The event features artists: Dorene Day Waubanewquay; Max Gail; Prudence Johnson; Thomas LaBlanc; Larry Long, Joe Savage; Keith Secola; Mitch Walking Elk; and First Nation Youth Story-Tellers.

The Indigenous Youth Ceremonial Mentoring Society helped organize the trip, and Society members will accompany the urban native youth — ages 8-18 — and elders to Italy to ask Pope Francis to rescind the centuries-old “Doctrine of Discovery.”

The Doctrine of Discovery refers to to the religious and legal justification used by Europe’s colonial powers to claim lands occupied by indigenous peoples, seize their property and forcibly convert or enslave them. The Doctrine has its roots in 15th century papal edicts granting Spain and Portugal permission to seize foreign lands as long as no baptized Christians had a prior claim. The “Discovery Doctrine” was put into U.S. law through a series of 19th Century Supreme Court decisions. It still applies today.

A number of mainline Christian denominations have repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery. There are ongoing efforts by indigenous peoples to get the Catholic Church to repudiate the Doctrine, too.

The fundraiser is co-Sponsored by Veterans for Peace, The Environmental Justice and Racial Teams of First Universalist Church, and American Roots Revue.

The Indigenous Youth Ceremonial Mentoring Society of St. Paul is a program designed to teach a small select group of Native urban youth who attend school in the St. Paul School district traditional Native ceremonial life ways through once-a-week cultural sessions, language classes and actual participation in ceremonies. The five-year-old Society program is part of the Guadalupe Alternative Programs, funded by the St. Paul Children’s Collaborative. (More here.)

Facebook event here.

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