Religion In Chippewa

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Nicole L. Gilley Professor Janakos English 2 May 21, 2008 Chippewa and Religion. Admittedly I knew nothing of the Chippewa tribe prior to reading Tracks, being part Native American myself, I only knew of my heritage, that heritage being Chickasaw. I’ve heard stories from my maternal grandmother, who helped raise me, about what she felt like being born and raised on a reservation up until the death of her mother, and afterwards what it was like to move and become accustomed to live as an African American child. I remember hearing stories, of many illnesses many which claimed most Native American’s lives, including the life of my maternal Great-Grandmother during that time. After reading Tracks, I became interested in the history…show more content…
Many Native American’s of the time, like Nanapush and Fleur were wary of Catholics and any form of Christianity, and didn’t feel as if they needed to be “saved”. Native Americans have always had the own beliefs and faith, in which the Christians and Catholics alike have disagreed with. This ranges from Native American burial practices to how they pray. Historically, the church and its missionaries worked with the government in the “civilizing” of the Native American people, as they were viewed by the church and Government as heathens and savages. One method the Government used to “civilize” the Native American people was by encouraging them to abandon all of their hunting practices, and begin farming, and agriculture, in hopes of getting them to participate in the benefits of the Government, as stated in a confidential letter to congress by Thomas Jefferson, in…show more content…
Despite the many efforts of others who strived to “civilize” Native American’s, by treaties and the like, it is because of people such as the character Nanapush, the Chippewa tribe is one of three largest tribes in the nation and have maintained their spiritual practices, such as the sweatlogde, which ironically is not mentioned in this book, though in my research seems to be a huge part of most tribal practices. Louise Erdrich’s seems to focus on the theme of magic, which I can not say that I quite understand, though there are aspects of the book that cannot be explained, and given the nature of the tribes spirituality, I would rather assume that the unexplainable was a result of the faith and not
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