Reconciliation Between Two Communities

Reconciliation Between Two Communities

The Amish have had a tumultuous past as a religious and ethnic minority in rural Pennsylvania, especially in Lancaster County which has the highest population of Mennonites. The Amish have always been peaceful, as part of their dedication to pacifism as part of their religious doctrine. However, that does not mean they are completely innocent in past crimes.

The Native American tribes of Pennsylvania were systematically mistreated, discriminated against, and had land taken from them. This dark past, however, has seen a shining future in the gathering of these two groups to make amends for past damages. The Amish, while nonviolent, still accepted lands stolen by the governmental and non-governmental forces.

The two groups met in a reconstructed longhouse as a symbolic gesture. In the past, these longhouses were meant for community discussions and meetings as the center of Native American society. The meeting was described as emotional for the two sides, who met in the middle as two different, yet similar, tightly-knit communities. The two groups exchanged gifts and promises for further contact between communities in an effort to increase outreach.

In the same meeting, Native American tribes also apologized to each other for past atrocities during the wars of the past. This reconciliation is an uplifting moment that helps to heal a dark past between the all groups involved. The representatives of each respective group hopes to continue to move passed the past.