This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Native American Spiritual Beliefs Essay

2505 words - 10 pages

I have decided to discuss the topic of Spirituality in Native Americans. To address this topic, I will first discuss what knowledge I have gained about Native Americans. Then I will discuss how this knowledge will inform my practice with Native Americans. To conclude, I will talk about ethical issues, and dilemmas that a Social Worker might face working with Native American people.
In approaching this topic, I first realized that I need to look up some general information about Native Americans in the United States. According to the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), there are approximately 564 federally recognized tribes in the United States today (Who we are, n.d). This group does not include tribes that do not have federal recognition but are recognized at the state level.
Spirituality
Over the history of our country Native Americas have long since been oppressed in trying to practice their Native Religions freely, and openly. It wasn’t until the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA) of 1978, which “acknowledged the unique nature of Native spirituality” (Limb & Hodge, 2008, p. 618). This law stated that the policy of the United States would be to protect and preserve the right of Native Americans to believe and practice their traditional religions. This was the first major step in the United States history that sought to protect Native Americans and their rights to self-expression of spirituality.
Defining Native American Spirituality
Like many Americans I initially grouped all Native Americans into one melting pot. During the Haskell Indian Nations cultural day, on June 21,st 2010, the speakers talked about how different tribes are not the same; they have different beliefs, cultures, values, and history. Naturally, this would apply to spirituality and Native American religion as well. Limb & Hodge (2008) state that there is not a single definition or common understanding of Native American spirituality. It will vary from tribe to tribe, and person to person. Each tribal member could have a different take on spirituality. This applies to the rest of society as well, as each religion has a different perspective on religion and spirituality.
Garrouttee et al. (2009) discusses that even though the definition of Native American spirituality does not exist, there are several identifiable themes that emerge. The first thing that Garroutte et al. (2009) identifies is that spirits are often associated with animals, plants, and other things in the natural world. Another aspect is the Great Spirit, or father, which is equitable to God in the Judeo-Christian belief. The Great Spirit is more considered to be an omnipresent spirit or collectivity of spirits inhabiting the universe (Garroutte et al., 2009). To many Native American tribes, the material and spiritual realms are wound together and cannot be separated from the other (Limb & Hodge, 2008). To many Native American tribes, existence...

Find Another Essay On Native American Spiritual Beliefs

Native American Essay

964 words - 4 pages . Having to work in extreme conditions, being beaten, and exposure to diseases reduced the indian population significantly in a short amount of time. The Trail of Tears is also an example of the last ring on the latter of prejudice because it was ethnic cleansing. History has taken its toll on the Native American people. Native Americans have been subjected to physical, psychological, and spiritual abuse. Today many Native American’s face

Analysis of Inventing The Savage: The Social Construct of Native American Criminality by Luana Ross

1554 words - 7 pages invited to attend these meetings, they do not feel comfortable attending. This is because of their cultural and spiritual beliefs. Native American women would prefer a counselor who understood their beliefs and their culture. These examples are just two of the many examples Luana Ross gives in Inventing the Savage on how women of color (particularly Native Americans) are treated unfairly while in prison, but this unfair treatment occurs far

Amerindian Arguements and Actions

990 words - 4 pages The Native American chronicle is one of treachery and death. These Indians lived lives of concord and prosperity for centuries. However, their reign terminated with the arrival of European settlers in the 15th century. The arising onslaught of foreign colonists is considered by some to be the initiation of the “American Holocaust” (Native American Genocide). The immigrants did not share customs or spiritual views with the Native people, so they

Ethno Cultural Paper

902 words - 4 pages and because of that suffered many deaths. Unfortunately, only a small percentage survived those deadly disease and wars fought to keep their land. Cultural Factors Tsai and Alanis. (2004), The family structure varies from tribe to tribe including gender roles (pg. 2). Even though Native American culture is extremely diverse their core values and beliefs are tradition across many different tribal groups and regions. Most families are extended

Europeans and Native Americans In The New World

1081 words - 4 pages there were "educated" doctors that came from Europe during the colonial age. At first Europeans were skeptical of the medicine that the Native Americans used. Medicine men and women used new medical techniques that the Europeans never have seen before, they prayed to spirits and had ceremonies to heal some patients. Native American healers highly believed in spiritual healing that Europeans were not accustom to and did not believe in. However

Religion and Healing in Native America

1565 words - 7 pages Native American healing is a general term that combines faith, spirituality, herbal medication, and rites. These healing beliefs and practices are used to care for people with medical and emotional conditions. Granting to the Native Americans, medicine is more about healing the person because they believe that illness arises from spiritual problems. Native American healing might not be capable to heal cancer, but can bear some worthwhile

Christianization among Native Americans

2143 words - 9 pages colonizers. An example of this is in the Latino culture where catholic saints and tribal African deities are worshipped as the same entity. In this essay, I will argue that, how European Colonizers eradicated the Native American worldview and forcibly converted them to their own beliefs was unjust. I will also argue that spiritual hybridity is a better solution than eradicating other peoples’ beliefs. During the European expedition in America, they

Substance Abuse among Native Americans

2607 words - 10 pages far from the arid, treeless reservations. Although tribes vacillate with regard to the use of alcohol and drugs, substance dependence is one of the principal sources of health problems facing Native Americans. As the graph below shows, there is a disparity in abuse. How did this substance abuse become a part of the Native American society? The myth of drunken wild “injuns” on the loose more than likely promoted the ethereal beliefs surrounding

Health Care Provider and Faith Diversity

1300 words - 5 pages faith which are the Buddhism, Christian, and Native American and also the healing practice of each faith. Spiritual Perspective of Healing by Buddhism The Buddhism faith is centered on the understanding that Buddha’s superior role is to teach on the workings of the mind, and contemplation so that the truthfulness, righteousness and the efficacy of the ideal in which one develops faith. It is rooted in rational intellectual comprehension

The Role of Native American Women

1053 words - 4 pages tribe, and were expected to continue the spiritual ways of Native American life. The women's strongest source of power was to bear children, a power centered around the menstrual cycle. A girl's first period marked an occasion for her seclusion to a tepee with other menstruating women to separate them from the rest of the tribe. The first period also was marked as very significant, because during the time, her dreams held special significance for

John Fire Lame Deer - The essay tells the life of this native american person

604 words - 2 pages John Fire Lame Deer is a Native American who has been raised in two completely different worlds. One being a world of animistic beliefs tightly binding Native American communities and the other being the capitalistic world of the European-American. John Fire Lame Deer participated in a popular rite of passage among Native American tribes known as the vision quest allowing him his first glimpse of the spirit world. By looking at John Fire Lame

Similar Essays

Spiritual Beliefs And Customs Of Native American Tribes

643 words - 3 pages Many Native American tribes share different spiritual and cultural views on the aspect of life. Belief in God and the things he created depend on what tribe you belong to. Tribes like the Onondaga and the Modoc have several stories that inform us regarding their religious customs and beliefs. The origin myths were written to point out the beliefs among tribes. “The Earth on Turtle’s Back” and “When Grizzlies Walked Upright” provides us with

Beliefs And Morals Of The Native American Indians Research The Native Americans Focusing On Their Religious Rites And Practices. Include A Section On Moral Values

765 words - 3 pages the Indians because any disrespect is seen as being just as bad as killing a member of your tribe; one of the ultimate sins.These communal roles are common across most Native American tribes which allow them to live in neighboring regions of land in relative peace and mutual respect for one another's life morals.Made SacrificesThe Native American Indians do not practice sacrifice to either their leaders or gods. They consider all things sacred

Native American Vs. European Way Of Life

582 words - 2 pages Americans practiced polytheism and were led by shamans. The Pueblo people, who performed elaborate dances hoping to bring rainfall to their land, are an excellent example of Native American beliefs. Retaining sometimes-conflicting views towards social, political, economic, and spiritual practices, Native Americans and Europeans can, therefore, be considered two distinct cultures. Both cultures were taken with one another’s practices regarding land

The Relationship Between Native American And Modern Medicine, As Explained "Native American Medicine"

639 words - 3 pages The article "Native American Medicine," adapted from article appearing in Paraplegia News, June 2004 for academic purposes, explains that the Native American Medicine, it's beliefs, its origin, and what its difficulties from its appearing until now. While the article appears to be objective, offering the relationship between Native American medicine and Western modern medicine, in the end of the article seem to show more differences to give