1995: Teaching Native American Religions

Updated May 1, 1995 The following is a series of discussions concerning the teaching of Indian religions outside of their own cultural context. From: Ron Grimes, U Colorado Boulder (at the time) MX%”nn.chat@gnosys.svle.ma.us” 6-MAY-1993 18:51:48.40 Subj: Teach. Nat. Am. Rel. I am submitting this query simultaneously to two electronic discussion groups–one on religious studies, the other on Native American issues–to invite reflection on three questions: 1. Should or should not European Americans be teaching courses on Native American religions? 2. If we should not, why not, and what would be the results of our deferral? 3. If we should, how best can we proceed? I am giving much thought these days to the question of cultural imperialism, especially in two of its forms, namely, religious and academic imperialism. While on leave, I have been asked by the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, to teach […] Read More

Speaking out on the theft and abuse of spirituality

by: Shadi Rahimihttp://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096415443SAN FRANCISCO It was a strange sight, at least in East Los Angeles. While walking her dogs recently at Arroyo Seco Park, Marisol Crisostomo-Romo, 26, said she spotted a van with a tipi on it. Into it piled a group of white children clutching bows and arrows. They were members of the five-week-long Camp Shi’ini, ”a Native American-themed summer camp” that is named after ”a Native American word meaning ‘Summer People,”’ according to its Web site. The 60-year-old camp divides children into nine ”tribes” and offers activities ranging from horseback riding (in the tradition of the Navajo, Comanche and Eskimo, its Web site stated) and archery (Mohawk, Seminole and Blackfoot) to fishing (Zuni, Iroquois and Apache). Crisostomo-Romo, who is Pascua Yaqui, immediately wrote the camp a letter and e-mailed 422 people to do the same, beseeching all those ”offended and disgusted by cultural exploitation and mainstream society’s […] Read More