The Bridge Building Team carries out its mission by:

  • Leading in the acknowledgement and repentance of the Synod’s complicity in the evils of colonialism in the Americas.

  • Leading the continuous and ongoing process of repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery.

  • Offering a statement of repentance and reconciliation to Native Nations.

  • Developing resources to help congregations and people understand and reduce the negative impact of the Doctrine of Discovery and its consequences for Native people in Northern Minnesota.

  • Encouraging the development of a renewed strategy for ministry and partnership with Native communities.

  • Working to ensure commitment to long-term stable funding of ELCA American Indian/Alaska Native ministries.

  • Promoting efforts with Native communities.

  • Increasing partnerships with and between congregations to accomplish the tasks listed above.

  • Providing learning opportunities through events like Blanket Exercises and workshops digitally or in person within congregations, youth groups, and the broader community.

The Bridge Building Team leads workshops that explore a variety of topics, including:

  • The Doctrine of Discovery

  • Lutheran History with American Indian and Alaska Native Peoples

  • Native Theology

  • America’s Native American Boarding School

  • Contextual Lodge Ministry

  • Understanding Implicit Bias

  • Treaties and Treaty Rights

  • Effects of Intergenerational Trauma on Public Health

  • The Missing Chapter (an interactive digital workshop that utilizes digital media to explore pieces often left out of historical narrative)

  • The Blanket Exercise (interactive experience that raises awareness of the nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in the United States.)