1. Event
  2. Native Americans

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day: The Long Arc of FCNL Advocacy

Watch the Recording

Columbus Day overlooks a painful colonial history and minimizes the important contributions made by Indigenous peoples throughout this continent’s history. That’s why FCNL has chosen to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead.

Following Indigenous Peoples' Day on Oct. 14th, we came together on Oct. 23 to discuss the importance of the holiday and highlight FCNL’s history of witness on Native American concerns.

We heard from lobbyists Lacina Onco (Shinnecock/Kiowa) and Kerri Colfer (Tlingit), and former FCNL staffer Ruth Flower, about the past, present, and future of FCNL’s advocacy on Native American policy.If you weren't able to join, you can watch the recording here.

You can take your own steps to advocate in solidarity with Native Americans by contacting your senators and urging them to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (H.R.1585) with strong provisions to expand tribal jurisdiction.

In addition, you can sign up for our Native American Legislative Update (NALU) to receive a monthly account of what is going on in Indian Country and our work on Native American policy.

Finally, Ruth Flower invites Friends to visit the website decolonizingQuakers.org where there are many important tools and resources for Meetings to utilize.

We are grateful for your partnership in this important work.


Lacina Tangnaqudo Onco

  • Congressional Advocate, Native American Advocacy Program

Lacina Tangnaqudo Onco managed the Native American Advocacy program from 2017-2019. In that capacity she lobbied on legislation that affects Native communities and built connections between tribes, tribal organizations, and non-Indian allies, particularly among a wide range of faith groups, to ensure tribal needs were addressed.

Kerri Colfer

  • Congressional Advocate, Native American Advocacy Program

Kerri manages the Native American Advocacy Program, lobbying on legislation that affects Native communities.

Ruth Flower

  • Annual Meeting 2018 Keynote Speaker, Consultant, Native American Policy

Ruth’s work with FCNL began in 1981, when she joined the staff to lobby on domestic issues. After a decade with the American Association of University Professors, she rejoined the staff in 2006 to lead FCNL’s domestic lobbying team. Her leadership on lobbying and in coalitions has spanned issues from health care and federal budget priorities to immigration and the death penalty. In 2016, the Coalition on Human Needs honored Ruth at its Human Needs Hero Reception. Most recently, Ruth has worked with FCNL to launch the Native American Congressional Advocacy program.

Witnessing in Solidarity with the First Americans

Since 1976, FCNL’s Native American advocacy program has worked to restore and improve U.S. relations with Native nations so that our country honors the promises made in hundreds of treaties with these groups.

FCNL provides information to congressional offices and to national faith groups about the continuing struggles of Native people, and advocates in support of the resilient and inventive solutions proposed by tribal governments and Native American organizations.

A focus of our current work is addressing the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls through expanded tribal provisions in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Legislative Ask Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act with Strong Provisions for Native Women 

Congress must reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) with strong provisions protecting Native communities.