Do North American citizens have a respectful awareness of the "religous" aspect of Native Spirituality?

When Europeans first arrived on North American soil, they "***"umed that we were a heathan (someone who has no religion) society. Do you think that those families and their descendants still hold that assumption? Aside from the obvious racial discrimination, and aside from the thought of converting anyone, do you think people in general understand that "Indians" are a god-fearing, peace loving nation? Also, if you comment or answer, please also bear in mind that I understand people are people, and we each make our own choices.

I'm looking for general "world view" kind of answers - with substance!


Yes Hate Boy - I believe in Jesus, God, and I read the bible, I see no harm in learning the goodness others learn!

21 Answers

  • carole
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think there are those who do still believe that native americans and blacks are sort of savages. Some think Asians are too. Some think that Irish Catholics are sub human - and in various parts of Asia even the most reasonable person can be stirred to words of hatred for a fellow country man from the wrong part of the country.

    Fortunately there are lots of other people who understand that none of these things are true - the vast majority of folks I meet at any rate. I find people embracing the concepts of tolerance and unity every day. Our strength in diversity shows more clearly each day. Many of us understand that each culture is, as you say, a god-fearing, peace loving nation - and we celebrate that in ways a different as each of our languages, looks and cultures.


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I don't think most North American citizens care about anything more important that who made it to the final round of American Idol.

    There are those rare individuals who have taken it upon themselves to learn something about the beliefs of the native americans. I would say that those who have taken it upon themselves to learn about native ways and beliefs are few and far between. I think your average North American citizen reads at a 3rd grade level, could care less about religion or politics and really doesn't care about anything other than themselves.

    Even then, they don't care about themselves enough to try and correct their own heathanistic behavior.

    It is true, however, that the natives of this land were far more in touch with nature. Many tribes even had different beliefs. Some worshipped seasons, some worshipped water/wind/fire/earth..., but most had much more complex belief structures than what the original invading cultures could even imagine.

    It was an incredibly different time though. It must have been very strange to have been a pilgrim and come into contact with what you would naturally assume were savages. Nomadic tribes that lived off the land and followed herds of animals. Coming from a society where dressing properly was a sign of stature as much as fashion and seeing people in breech-cloths running around with roughly fashioned tools and bows with arrows would be hard to imagine that these "savages" were capable of having well-developed belief structures.

    On the other side of the coin, I cannot imagine how miserable it had to have been to be a native american and see these herds of animals with which you had developed a deep appreciation being slaughtered for sport by people from moving trains who just left the carcasses of the dead pile up on the prairie. Or to have all of your land taken and being forced to live on a reservation as the only hope of hanging on to your tribal being.

    I will say, I think the outcome would have been much different had a native american of any tribe developed the first compound bow. I'd probably have grown up speaking Cheyenne.

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't think there is a general respect and awareness of Native spirituality. The reason why is because Natives are still fighting for their religious rights. We just only got the Native American Freedom of Religion Act passed in 93 and it's still not being upheld. We shouldn't have even had to get that passed, under the first amendment we should have equal religious protection.

    Native people still don't have access to traditional sites, Native people have to fight to hold regular ceremonies, Cultural ignorance persists about those ceremonies, fake shamans who claim to be medicine men or closely related steal bits and peices of Native culture and charge others to learn it, there is a huge battle still to allow Native prisoners religious rights, and the list goes on and on. I mean look at the Black Hills. That is a sacred site. And what exists upon it? Mt. Rushmore. Those mountains were sacred and they were used to put White American presidents on it. People still go see Mt. Rushmore not thinking twice about the history of it, how they are disrespecting a people.

    I mean a picture of presidents vs. a sacred site... come on.

    That is my two cents as a Native woman.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think as a society, no. The type of spirituality practiced by the original native American was so far from what they knew, they assumed it was devil worship, and not a beautiful and natural way at approaching divinity. And it came at a time when the unenlightened European populace associated different with evil. In some ways that still holds true. Modern Christians for the most part still believe that any way that is not theirs is wrong and should not go unpunished. To the less fundamentalistic, the traditional customs of the Native Americans can appear hokey. They don't understand symbolism so to them it seems barbaric. It's a shame too. What's become of such a proud people and their way of life.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think that many Americans are aware of the fact that Native American have a wealth of spiritual knowledge to share. As a black American I often wonder if the children of the families that enslaved my people during the same time they were attempting to wipe out your people feel any responsibility for the great financial wealth and cultural benefits that they inherited. I think they understand i just don't think they are "aware".

    They understand because they think it's "cool" to know such stuff about the past but not because they think amends should be made. I think it helps them feel less alone when someone makes fun of their beliefs of looks but I don't think it has helped any of them become more socially responsible.

    I think their basic take on it is: Hey that's how my Grand Pa looked at life, not me! I didn't do any of that stuff so why should I do anything to heal the wounds my forefathers "may have" inflicted, then they go to Starbuck's. A sad statement to make but unfortunately close to the truth....

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The Indigenous people of this land lived in harmony with Creator and all was honored and used and consumed without forcing nature and the animals into extinction. The Natives did not worship they honored the spirit that was of nature the animals and humans.

    This way of life began to implode when people from other lands arrived that worshiped the all mighty dollar. The truth behind this statement is the impending doom listed as global warming. Hell to these people consisted of a devil figure that tortured his flock that arrived for stealing, killing and using their God in vain.

    I wonder how that works into the way these lands were stolen by killing in the name of converting these Native peoples that would not abandon their Creator. The Native people of this land had no spiritual concept of hell; they understood that life continued on into the spirit world forever more.

    The only difference is the mask of change that provides races of people to believe their God is different. In the moment of eternity God is of all peoples for he is the Spiritual Creator. Creator has and will continue to be respected and honored in all circles that are of him and his eternal direction.

    I feel the air that Creator breathed

    I know of the ancestors beliefs

    The ones closer to Creator then I

    And here we are in the 21st Century

    Source(s): Living in the 21st Century
  • 1 decade ago

    There are very few native americans left who have survived the genocide perpetrated on them by the north american governments with their spiritual culture in tact, both in the u.s. states and in canada.

    For a truly heart breaking look at what was done to the native americans, read this book by Ward Churchill:

    i think general thought in the states is that what happened to the "indians" is inconsequential. i am not of european or indian descent enough to really "count", so when i say that i would support a revolution by the native americans to take back their country and the profits made since its domination, i am usually told in no uncertain terms that the idea is preposterous and i am being ignorant to want something that would not be in my best interest in any way. Selfishness is looked at by most in my country as the "american" way, always seemingly easily justified by most.

    my personal opinion - america is destined to fall if for no other reason on the basis that the european settlers destroyed another civilization to serve there own purposes. for lack of a better term, it's just bad karma.

  • 1 decade ago

    Generally speaking I would say no, they don't. Most citizens, at least here in the USA, don't have much awareness outside of their own narrow little worldview, let alone a respectful awareness. It's unfortunate. I have read quite a bit on Native American Spirituality and have respect and admiration for it.

  • Erika
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    The Bible is the info of Christianity. interior of sight individuals weren't presented to the bible till 1800's. there have been societies, kit deal holders, extremely some products to hold your prolonged family contributors and ideology collectively. No Bible to returned that way of existence. Catholics and Mormons got here and created their very own "instruction manual" for his or her faith. you additionally can "religiously" brush your enamel each and every morning. the way, the actuality and the sunshine. The Lord.

  • 1 decade ago

    i dont think anyone really cares. i mean, people talk all the time about september 11th, but never about the millions of indians the settlers killed. the indians being murdered was worse than september 11th, and the reason its not as infamous as that is the fact that our "founding fathers" did it. thats a double standard if i've ever seen it. people always say that muslims kill for their religion, but ignore how many people have been slaughtered by christians in the name of god.

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