Dear Great White Spirit, God of All Peoples,

American children of my generation heard stories of brave pioneers who traveled through uncharted territory in Conestoga wagons, across deserts and through mountain passes and forests to make passable trails, and establish safe camps and fortresses
in the "New World."

Encounters with bears, wolves, scorpions
and snakes could prove fatal, especially
for the children and babies in these wagon trains.

Sometimes included in the companies were hardy priests, eager to establish mission outposts in Your name. Danger lurked however, from heathen savages who could appear with whooping war cries and weapons at any time.

At dusk the hardy travelers drew their wagons
into a tight circle with night-watchers
and rifles at the ready for defense against the "Indian" marauders, who, we learned
in school, often attacked with flaming arrows, ruthlessly killing the innocent pioneers, their women, and their children.

Not clearly explained, Dear Lord, was
the reality that these interloping Europeans were trespassing on territories long inhabited by many, many tribes of the native American people. The intruding "pioneers" laid violent false claims to the land.

The "white men" then set up forts,
from which, with firearms imported
for the purpose, they embarked on raids against t
he indigenous people whose ancestors - nomads and farmers - had lived across
all of this land in several hundred tribes for uncounted ages.

Ultimately, as You know, Lord,
tens of thousands of their people having been killed, the defeated and demoralized Native Americans were herded onto "reservations," where many still live today, sometimes
in poverty.

There is no "going back" now, Jesus,
but I pray You, God of all peoples,
to forgive my ancestors for the cruelty
and injustice that they wrought, and I pray for the souls of all the Native Americans
who were killed, and all who to this day still suffer in any way from the violence visited upon their forebears.

May we all find peace with You
in the afterlife, our transgressions forgiven, Great Spirit and Great God
of all races and creatures. This I pray,




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