Native American tribes from across the United States and Canada will meet in Washington, D.C., next Friday to offer forgiveness to a nation that has not asked for it.
Bigpond is a full-blood Euchee Indian and a fourth-generation Christian minister.
He said that by offering forgiveness to the United States for centuries of atrocities and broken promises, unified Native American people can begin a healing process that will affect not only them but the entire nation.
“We’re going to receive the prayer of forgiveness from a nation that never asked to be forgiven. We feel that is more powerful,” Bigpond said.
“This is an historic moment. It’s never been done in the United States.”
He said unforgiveness and bitterness toward the United States have hurt native people.
He said impetus for the All Tribes DC Event comes from a statement the Rev. Billy Graham made in March 1975 to some 100 Native American Christian leaders meeting in New Mexico.
According to Bigpond, Graham said: “The Native American is a sleeping giant. He is awakening. The original Americans could become the evangelist who will help win America for Christ.”
Bigpond said he and others gathered in the nation’s capital will offer this prayer, in part:
“We the people, the host people of this great nation and the original lovers of this land, stand united with one heart and mind to bring the power of forgiveness to bear. As the host people of Turtle Island (the Earth), we forgive every atrocity and broken covenant ever designed to destroy us as a race of people. We break every curse, and renounce every lie, purposed to decimate us as human beings. We forgive the government, the church, and the educational system for the use of residential schools that attempted to destroy our culture and silence our voice as people by stealing our language.
“We stand in the gap for those who are unable or unwilling to forgive, and call upon the master of life to forgive us for harboring unforgiveness, resentment, hatred, bitterness and rage; We repent of every curse spoken over America by our ancestors and we release the power of forgiveness to bring healing and the peace of Creator God to this land. ... not returning evil for the evil perpetuated against us, but on the contrary we choose to release a blessing, knowing that the father of us all has called us as his children to bless and not curse, that we may inherit a blessing.”
Tammy Russell, Bigpond’s daughter who works closely with him, said: “We feel once this forgiveness happens, there will be a great awakening. This is the time for the Native American sleeping giant to awaken. This is the beginning point.”