Around the Sacred Fire: Native Religious Activism in the Red Power Era

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Palgrave Macmillan, Jan 18, 2003 - History - 376 pages
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Around the Sacred Fire is a compelling cultural history of intertribal activism centered on the Indian Ecumenical Conference, an influential movement among native people in Canada and the U.S. during the Red Power era. Founded in 1969, the Conference began as an attempt at organizing grassroots spiritual leaders who were concerned about the conflict between tribal and Christian traditions throughout Indian country. By the mid-seventies thousands of people were gathering each summer in the foothills of the Rockies, where they participated in weeklong encampments promoting spiritual revitalization and religious self-determination.
Most historical overviews of native affairs in the sixties and seventies emphasize the prominence of the American Indian Movement and the impact of highly publicized confrontations such as the Northwest Coast fish-ins, the Alcatraz occupation, and events at Wounded Knee. The Indian Ecumenical Conference played a central role in stimulating cultural revival among native people, partly because Conference leaders strategized for social change in ways that differed from the militant groups. Drawing on archival records, published accounts, oral histories, and field research, James Treat has written the first comprehensive study of this important but overlooked effort at postcolonial interreligious dialogue.
 

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Around the sacred fire: native religious activism in the Red Power Era; a narrative map of the indian ecumenical conference

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Treat (Univ. of Oklahoma; editor, For This Land: Writings on Religion in America), who specializes in the modern history of Native American religion, here presents a detailed, scholarly study of ... Read full review

Contents

Chapter One Spiritual Revival for Indians
13
Chapter Two Disharmony and Religious Feuds
37
Chapter Three The Churches Must Listen
61
Chapter Four Ahout Saving the World
89
Conversations
109
Chapter Five Modern Indian Religious Life
123
Chapter Six These Hills and Mountains
173
Chapter Seven Dissatisfaction Evidenced hy Some
201
Chapter Eight This Sacred Event Interrupted
229
Chapter Nine To Implement Meaningful Change
257
Epilogue Teachings from This Fire
291
Acknowledgments
307
Index
373
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About the author (2003)

James Treat teaches in the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma. He is the editor of Native and Christian: Indigenous Voices on Religious Identity in the United States and Canada and For This Land: Writings on Religion in America.