One Small Step Toward Reparations

Janet Kroeker and Katerina Friesen, members of Mennonite congregations that have studied and lamented the impacts of the Doctrine of Discovery, created an addendum to the purchase agreement of a house one of them is selling and the other buying. We encourage others looking to buy or sell homes to be in conversation with local tribal nations about reparations from the sale of the home, and to feel free to adapt this language for the land where they live:
“We, the undersigned, recognize that the house we are buying/ selling is on the traditional territory of various Yokuts tribal nations. Furthermore, we recognize that the rights of ownership of the house we are buying/ selling were gained under the right of “discovery,” and subsequent broken treaties, land theft, and genocidal policies by Spain, Mexico, the United States, and California governments.
“As Anabaptists, our shared faith in a God of healing and justice and our study of the Doctrine of Discovery compel us to enter into an agreement as the buyer and seller to jointly pledge a total of 1% of the purchase price of the property toward reparations. This joint 1% of the purchase price amounts to ___ from the buyer and ___ from the seller, to be sent upon closing to a Yokuts tribal nation and used as they determine. We acknowledge that this amount is small in light of the harms done under settler colonialism, and so we commit to continue to seek healing and justice with Indigenous Peoples.”