Wounded Knee Massacre
December 29, 1890
Be FOR Native Americans
To BE FOR NATIVE AMERICANS is to develop a heart for Native people and an awareness of the destructive and demoralizing activities perpetrated against them from Columbus’ arrival in the “new world” up until the current time. It is the hope of this website that those who read these pages will BE FOR NATIVE AMERICANS. To BE FOR NATIVE AMERICANS means developing a willingness to listen to the hurts, the hopes, the concerns, and areas of desired help expressed by Native people.
To learn more about Native history click on the “resource” tab above and go to section 5 of the Training Manual. We also highly recommend Dee Brown’s book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
BEFORE Native Americans
Each Native nation and tribe has its own traditional form of spiritual worship. These date back thousands of years. However, the One Creator, the God of the Bible, existed before all cultures, before humanity, and before creation. The story of the corruption of humanity and the Creator’s desire to redeem and restore humanity is the story of the Bible. BEFORE NATIVE AMERICANS existed, the One True God was. His claim on Native people and all people is exclusive. The Creator existed before the creation of humans, before the fall of humanity, before the rise of cultures, and before the rise of worship of other gods and spirits. The One True God seeks relationship and demands exclusive worship. The Creator is BEFORE NATIVE AMERICANS and before the rise of all divergent spiritual beliefs that worship the lesser spirits and the beings of creation. BEFORE NATIVE AMERICANS existed the spiritual claim to exclusivity by the Creator existed. The Creator existed before all, made all, owns all, and desires all to be in a spiritually exclusive and personal relationship with Himself.
Because Native spirituality differs from tribe to tribe, if you want to learn more you will need to seek books on the particular tribe or nation you are interested in. It is also important to know the Bible well. Boundary Lines by the Native American Association of the Christian & Missionary Alliance is an important read on the subject as is Naci Degrassi’s Muddy Waters. Richard Twiss was a highly controversial Native Christian author. His book, One Church Many Tribes is also controversial but worth reading after you gain some insight into the spiritual practices of the particular tribe you are seeking to minister among.
Before Native Americans
Native Americans have a different perspective than mainstream Americans. Because each Native nation and tribe has a unique culture, each also has a unique perspective that differs from other tribes. Each Native nation has a unique perspective on the world, the events that take place, and their own particular world. BEFORE each NATIVE AMERICAN nation is a different situation, a different set of tools to work with, and different primary concerns.
To learn more about Native perspectives click on the “resource” tab above and read sections 4, 6, 7, and 9 of the Training Manual. We highly recommend The Whiteman’s Gospel by Craig Smith and Native American Voices by Blair Schlepp – both Native Christians. We also recommend Foreign to Familiar by Sarah Lanier as a good book for understanding varying cultural perspectives. For insight into non-Christian Native perspectives consider reading Vine Deloria’s Custer Died for Your Sins and God is Red as well as John Mohawk’s Thinking in Indian.