InterFaith Calendar: American Indian
This excerpted content is from previous Connections InterFaith calendars
© 2005-2008 Chicago Center for Cultural Connections
The religious beliefs and systems of American Indian people are as diverse as their representative nations, having risen from individual histories, languages and lands. One finds great diversity among these belief systems which tend to be oral, non-institutional and non-proselytizing — a way of life to be practiced to maintain proper balance with the spiritual world and all creation.
There is no single American Indian religion. However, there are common elements in Native religions.They all teach of a supreme being or "Great Mystery." American Indians do not worship spirits, animals, or the earth as gods. All of these things are revered because they are signs of the Great Mystery. "All things are related."
Humanity is a partner of nature, not above it. Religious knowledge is oral taught by elders; also it comes from the present or departed spirits of living things. A sense of humor is valued. It teaches us humility and perspective about our place in the universe.