Mark Charles will present “Reconciling an Unknown History,” with a focus on the Doctrine of Discovery, on Tuesday, Nov. 4, at 6 p.m. at Hope College in the Maas Center auditorium in conjunction with national Native American Heritage Month.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
The presentation will provide greater awareness of the doctrine, which originated in Europe more than 500 years ago as a means of justifying taking lands from indigenous peoples, and how it has been used throughout history. It will also discuss how God’s people and the church can begin to become untangled from the doctrine and better live lives of biblical reconciliation.
Charles is a speaker, writer, and consultant from Fort Defiance, Arizona, located on the Navajo Reservation. The son of an American woman of Dutch heritage and a Navajo man, Charles seeks to understand the complexities of American history regarding race, culture, and faith in order to help forge a path of healing and reconciliation for the nation. He partners with numerous organizations to assist them in respectfully approaching, including, and working with native communities.
He consults as a resource development specialist for Indigenous worship through Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. He is the primary investigator in a study conducted by Brigham Young University on the Navajo perception of time. He serves as a board member for Christian Community Development Association and the Christian Reformed Church of North America. He developed and coordinates the Global Discipleship Network project through Christian Reformed World Missions.
Currently, Charles is leading a project to host a public reading of the 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 3326) in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. He noted that he is doing so because the bill contains an “Apology to the native peoples of the United States” and was not publicized by the White House or by Congress.
The presentation is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Education at Hope with the college’s Ethnic Studies Minor, Encounters with Cultures course program and Department of Religion.
The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave. on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.