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By Myke Johnson
Unsettling America backup/mirror link:
Wanting To Be Indian [PDF]
Many people are searching for a deeper spiritual engagement with the world, and feel a hunger unmet by the teachings and services of religious institutions. Some have begun to take an interest in Native American spiritual practices, and one can easily find workshops and lectures offering Indian rituals and ceremonies to non-Indian people. However, many Native people, including highly respected religious elders, have condemned such “borrowing.” They identify it as a form of cultural exploitation, gravely detrimental to the survival and well-being of Indigenous people.
In this paper, I will be discussing the ethical questions raised by White peoples’ exploration of the religious ceremonies and beliefs of American Indians.1 What is at work here which makes sincere spiritual searching an act of…
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