Native Americans practice some of America's most spiritually profound, historically resilient, and ethically demanding religions. Joel Martin draws his narrative from folk stories, rituals, and even landscapes to trace the development of Native American religion from ancient burial mounds, through interactions with European conquerors and missionaries, and on to the modern-day rebirth of ancient rites and beliefs. The book depicts the major cornerstones of American Indian history and religion - the vast movements for pan-Indian renewal, the formation of the Native American Church in 1919, the passage of the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act of 1990, and key political actions involving sacred sites in the 1980s and '90s. Martin explores the close links between religion and Native American culture and history. Legendary chiefs like Osceola and Tecumseh led their tribes in resistance movements against the European invaders, inspired by prophets like the Shawnee Tenskwatawa and the Mohawk Coocoochee. Catharine Brown, herself a convert, founded a school for Cherokee women and converted dozens of her people to Christianity.
Their stories, along with those of dozens of other men and women - from noblewarriors to celebrated authors - are masterfully woven into this vivid, wide-ranging survey of Native American history and religion.