The American Indian and Alaska Native Strategic Plan was adopted at the fifth biennial Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in Philadelphia, Penn., Aug. 18, 1997.
The American Indian and Alaska Native Strategic Plan points to the future. The plan articulates the relationship American Indians and Alaska Natives envision with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America over the next five years. Defined in the context of the following vision statement, this relationship is grounded in reconciliation and the mutual upbuilding of the saints. We share God’s mission of proclaiming the Gospel to all peoples.
American Indians and Alaska Natives are a people created by God, redeemed by Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. We give unique expression to our faith as we proclaim the Good News, share in the ministry of Word and Sacrament, participate in the mission of reconciliation with God and His creation, seek justice for all people, and celebrate diversity within Christ’s unifying love. In all of these ways we nurture American Indian and Alaska Native peoples, their congregations and communities, and the church.
To provide a context for this vision and the plan itself, this section describes the history of Lutheran ministries to American Indian and Alaska Native communities, summarizes current statistics on American Indian and Alaska Native ELCA members, and sets forth the four planning areas this document addresses. Throughout, the strategic plan uses the term American Indian and Alaska Native instead of Native American. The task force agreed that American Indian and Alaska Native represents more accurately the people to which the term refers, namely, Native people who are indigenous to this country or land. As one task force member said, “We are not all the same people.” The term American Indian and Alaska Native suggests that for each region, each tribe, even each congregation, uniqueness exists.
Download the ELCA's American Indian and Alaska Native Strategic Plan