Native - Indigenous Interest

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By Megan Murdock Krischke

Increasingly, InterVarsity students and staff are becoming aware of the Native people on their campuses and in their communities.  I hope this story, and the ideas that follow, will give you concrete steps you can take to build relationships of respect, honor and trust with Native people. 

The last thing I want to do is perpetuate a stereotype. Every now and then I meet someone who still thinks Native Americans have a “special connection” with the earth—that they can talk to animals or put their ear to the ground and hear a herd of buffalo coming from ten miles away.

For 500 years, Native people have been told that in order to follow and worship Jesus, they must learn how to act, speak, think, and pray like the White man does. For them, assimilation certainly appears to be central to the Gospel message of the missionaries. But is assimilation a core part of our religion?

After hearing more than one pastor say, “We cannot experience the fullness of revival without the native Hawaiian people of this land,” Hawaiian campus staff member Moani Sitch felt God inspire her with a vision that would stimulate the reconciliation between Christians and native Hawaiians. Her vision became Ho‘olohe Pono, an experience based on the Hawaiian phrase that means to listen carefully, well, and rightly.

 

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