The National Committee on Indian Work was established by Executive Council in 1969 after a position paper written by the Rev. Vine Deloria, Jr. (Standing Rock Sioux) titled More Real Involvement was presented to the December 1968 meeting of Executive Council and was assigned to an ad hoc committee for study. The crux of the paper stated "We seek the right, which we have in other areas of life, to devise and direct programs which will fit our basic needs [as] individuals and communities in the life and program of the Episcopal Church.”
The NCIW met for the first time in November 1969. It initially consisted of ten members elected by indigenous peoples of the Southwest, Northwest, Northern Plains, Great Lakes, and Alaska regions and five bishops selected because of the significant Indigenous population in their dioceses. The Committee was later reorganized to include fewer bishops and a higher proportion of Indigenous members.
Through various grants, the Committee was able to provide clergy training and community development projects such as the construction of an oil pipeline on an Alaskan reservation. Funding was also given to groups fighting for Indigenous fishing rights in the Pacific Northwest and to assist activists traveling to Washington, D.C. for the 1972 Trail of Broken Treaties protest march.
In 1991, with the passage of Resolution B002, the NCIW was officially subsumed into the newly created Episcopal Coalition for Indian Ministries (ECIM).
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
Minutes, correspondence, and financial records pertaining to meetings, conferences, and grants/proposals on regional and national levels comprise the bulk of the records of the National Committee on Indian Work (NCIW). Rounding out the collection are the charters and policies of the NCIW, as well as correspondence to/from prominent organizations including the American Indian Movement, the Navajo Area Mission, and the Trail of Broken Treaties. Of note is an original copy of the More Real Involvement position paper which sparked the formation of the NCIW.
National Committee on Indian Work Meetings, 1969-1980 Grants and Grant Proposals, 1969-1973 Organization Files, 1969-1979 Subject Files, 1973-1974
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Access to Episcopal Church records is governed by the Archives Public Access Policy. Research requests must be submitted in writing.
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