Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1778 (02:12)
Prior to the 1930s in America, Indian religious freedom was suppressed, and many religions were driven to extinction. President Jimmy Carter signed a law banning all suppression of Indian religious practices.
Indian Nations Today (02:04)
Of the 300 remaining Native American religions practiced in the U.S. today, Most tribal religions are "place-based," that is they are dependent upon particular locations for specific ceremonies. Indian nations are sovereign under the U.S. Constitution.
Native American Ceremonies (04:32)
Native religions are passed down through oral tradition. Native American populations were nearly extinct until anthropologists took interest in them in the 1880s. Ceremonies required a great deal of preparation outwardly and inwardly.
Native American Religions: Sacred Beings (03:36)
Almost all tribal nations have a concept of a supreme being, and some include associated sacred beings or "helpers." Respect for Nature is essential to nearly all Native American instruction.
Native American Religions: Balance and Harmony (02:57)
Native American religions turn on balance and harmony. One tries to achieve compatibility with one's surroundings and with other people, and in doing so, reach understandings. Native Americans are charged to "Walk gently on the earth."
Native Americans: Reconciling the Past with the Present (03:04)
Native Americans have endured persecution, the theft of their land and resources, and then the progressive destruction of Nature. Tribal traditions give instructions to men and women about how to treat each other and how to treat Nature.
Native American Predicts Coming of White Men (03:19)
Cheyenne prophet Sweet Medicine foretold of "hairy faced people" putting lines all over the earth--highways, railroads, etc. He predicted it would damage the earth and "turn night into day" because of the "gold rock."
Future for Native Americans (02:50)
Native Americans contemplate moving forward without creating more damage, and making a better world for their grandchildren. Today's Native Americans have wisdom about the earth that non-Indians should learn from and respect.
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