Statement to the Numu

Big Pine Paiute June 2013 083The following statement is directed specifically to the Numu People of the Owens Valley region – also known as the Owens Valley Paiute and Shoshone:

At YWAM Bishop, we recognize that there has been 150 years of tragic and devistating history committed by the European settlers that came to the Owens Valley. We also recognize that the Numu continue to live with the devestating concequences of this history, and that there are injustices that continue in this present day.

Though we believe that some settlers and many Christians were repulsed by these wrongs, we also recognize that the majority did little enough to prevent them, and that today, their descendents and other newer settlers live off the bounty of this tragedy. We also recognize that many settlers, believing themselves to be Christians, and believing themselves to be acting in a warped understanding of justice, committed many of these wrongs. We believe that Jesus, the Bible, and therefore TRUE Christianity, stand in opposition to these horrific wrongs, and we believe that Jesus and the Bible instead teach that we are to walk as loving neighbors who care about justice, kindness, and relationship, regardless of our differences.

150 years is far too long to ignore these things, and we desire to see true change come to the Native Community, the Christian Community, and all the communities of the Owens Valley and beyond.

In the spring of 2012, YWAM Bishop did protocol before our immediate neighbors, the Bishop Paiute Tribal Council, where we introduced ourselves, recognized these wrongs, honored the tribe, and requested to begin a relationship with them. The Tribe honored our request, and we have since worked to develop this relationship through friendships and serving the tribe where we are able. We desire to develop friendships with the other tribes and Native Peoples found in the Eastern Sierra Region, and to encourage all non-native people to do the same.

We believe the Creator made the Numu with great care and purpose, and that he intends to heal and restore them as individuals, and as a culture and nation. We believe the Numu are important to him, important to us, and that Creator wants to use them in his great story of restoration in this world. We need the Numu, and we are sorry that some of us who are non-native Christians are only now beginning to recognize this. We humbly request permission to be a friend of the Numu.