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Category: A Series of Reflections on the 2020 Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute

This series of posts contain reflections on my experience at the 2020 Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute, a radical Christian conference focused on decolonization and restorative solidarity. I attended with three other Jews with whom I engage in indigenous solidarity work.

BKI.3 A Christian Theological Basis for Restorative Solidarity with Indigenous People

Each morning at the 2020 Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute, Ched Meyers led a Bible study that framed our analytical discourse around settler colonialism. On Tuesday, he offered “Naboth’s nahala: Tale of Two Queens (An Archetypal Parable of Settler Colonialism).” The story of Naboth’s vineyard (I Kings 21:1-24), in short, is this: King Ahab really wants Naboth’s nahala (property or inheritance) – a vineyard. He desires this “property” so much that when Naboth is…

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BKI.1 — What is the Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute?

I recently attended a conference called the Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute. The BKI, as it is called, was held on unceded Chumash territory in what is colonially called the Ventura River watershed of California. The leadership of this conference was comprised of local indigenous tribal chairpeople and educators, more geographically dispersed indigenous elders and leaders (Cree, Dene/Laguna Pueblo, Wakka Wakka, Oglala Lakota, Nadleh Whut’en), and Christian leaders Elaine Enns and Ched Meyers. The…

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BKI.2 — Rights vs. Responsibilities

At the BKI, facilitator and educator Dr. Jonathan Cordero (Chumash/Ohlone) said, “White people talk about their rights a lot, but not so much about their responsibilities.” Indeed, I myself often adopt a mentality of “I’m entitled to x ” — low-cost health care, being in a place at whatever time is convenient for me, filling up with organic peanut butter in the bulk section but labeling it as conventional, flying on airplanes,…

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