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Native American Spirituality

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Many followers of Native American spirituality, do not regard their spiritual beliefs and practices as a "religion" in the way in which many Christians do. Their beliefs and practices form a integral and seamless part of their very being.

Estimates of the numbers of Native North Americans at the time of the European arrival/invasion in what is now the United States and Canada vary between 1.2 to 12 million. By the end of the 19th century, the number of Native Americans had been reduced to 250,000.They were mainly exterminated through imported diseases, dislocation, slavery, mass murder, genocide, military conquest. Their suicide rates are greater than for any other racial or ethnic group in the UI.S. 1,4 Many of the survivors converted to Christianity. A resurgence of Aboriginal faiths is currently underway.

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A Hopi or Sioux creation story (Sources differ):

The Creator gathered all of Creation and said:
"I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it;
It is the realization that they create their own reality."
The eagle said: "Give it to me. I will take it to the moon."
The Creator said: "No. One day they will go there and find it."
The salmon said: "I will bury it at the bottom of the ocean."
The Creator said: "No, they will go there too."
The buffalo said: "I will bury it on the Great Plains."
The Creator said: "They will cut into the skin of the earth and find it even there."
Grandmother Mole, who lives in the breast of Mother Earth and who has no physical eyes but sees with spiritual eyes, said:
"Put it inside of them."
And the Creator said: "It is done."

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Topics covered in this section:

bulletNative American: Quotations, Introduction and origins
bulletThe LDS Restorationist movement's view of Native American origins
bulletDevelopment of Aboriginal culture. Adsorption of Native beliefs; Tribal recognition;

Beliefs and practices of Native American tribes:

bulletBooks and web sites dealing with Native American spirituality and culture

Reference used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. Guenter Lewy, "Were American Indians the Victims of Genocide?," History News Network, 2004-NOV-22, at:
  2. This legend is distributed throughout the Internet. The original source is unknown.
  3. For other texts of a truly amazing variety of Native American legends, see:
  4. "Suicide among Native Americans in the United States," Wikipedia, as on 2018-MAR-20, at:

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Copyright © 1995 to 2018 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update and review: 2018-JUN-11
Author: B.A. Robinson

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