Native American Faith in America
Few populations around the world have been as deeply affected by outside cultures as Native Americans. The wide variety of people who lived in America prior to Western migration possessed an equally wide variety of faith practices and beliefs. This book is about how those beliefs began, how they changed due to the influence of outside forces, and how Native Americans today are working to preserve their faiths. Tied deeply to the land and to nature, Native American faiths share some common traits. Native American Faith in America explores these basic beliefs, the "coming of the long knives," and the impact of Western expansion, along with the ways that Native Americans and their faiths were deeply changed by this new civilization on their land. As the years have passed, many Native American ways have come into the general culture, influencing everything from fashion and music to medicine and sports. The dominant American culture continues to affect the social lives of Native Americans, both on reservations and elsewhere, while the sacred sites of some tribes have been the source of great controversy. In the political world, Native Americans have been very active, and most of this political work, from the American Indian Movement to today's reservation casinos, is based in faith and belief. Finally, the book focuses on how Native Americans young and old are working to ensure that their faiths and beliefs do not die out as some of their languages and customs have.