American Native Spirituality


Sachem Walkingfox


"Spirituality is not religion to American Natives.

Religion is not a Native concept, it is a non Native word,

with implications of things that often end badly,

like Holy wars in the name of individuals God's and so on.

Native people do not ask what religion another Native is,

because they already know the answer.

To Native people, spirituality is about the Creator, period~"



Learn more about the Carlisle Indian School

A beautiful prayer given to me on my first
trip to Wounded Knee many years ago.


An interesting look at the influence of animals

in American Native spirituality and ceremonies.

Animal Symbolism in
Plains Indian Sun Dance

This excellent web site explores many facets of the

Lakota culture, including religion and rituals.

Plan on spending some time here!

Dakota History and Culture

Your first stop in your quest for knowledge

of Lakota spirituality should be here.

A Declaration of War Against
Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality

A comprehensive collection of the Photographs

and Illustrations of James Mooney, 1891-1893.

The Ghost Dance

A beautiful page of reflections by American Indian Elder

Simon Pokagon, lending support to the conclusion

that religion is a very personal matter,

best left to each of us to choose for ourselves.

Indian superstitions and legends

This intriguing paper, written by John Barry Ryan,

Professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College,

looks at the various aspects of American Native Spirituality.

Listening to Native Americans:
Making Peace with the Past for the Future

Possibly the most important work ever

written about the Cherokee People.

Myths of the Cherokee by James Mooney

A thoughtful collection of stories written in 1916,

by Marie L. McLaughlin, drawing from her

lifetime of experiences with the Sioux people.

Myths and Legends of the Sioux

This essay is one of the most accurate and eloquent

written works that I have ever found on the Internet

attempting to define American Native Spirituality.

Native American Religion in Early America

Some of the many complexities of American

Native Spirituality are well addressed here.

Native American Spirituality

Originally published in 1907, this story is a tender and

poignant look at the Lakota by Charles Eastman.

Old Indian Days

This delightful illustrated collection by Zitkala-Za

was originally published in 1901 and

includes stories about Inktomi and Iya.

Old Indian Legends

Also at Sacred Texts:

Old Indian Legends

An unverified, provocative collection of comments

made by Seneca Red Jacket

concerning American Indian Spirituality.

Red Jacket defends Native American Religion

The American Indian tradition of smudging, is nicely

done by Elaine Lunham of Bay Mills Community College.


Zitkala-Sa wrote this warm and touching story in 1901.

The Soft-Hearted Sioux

A beautiful work, written by Charles Eastman,

from the published edition of 1911.

The Soul of the Indian

Also at Sacred Texts:

The Soul of an Indian

**An extremely frank description of the Sun Dance,**

the contents of this webpage may be difficult

for the young or very sensitive reader.

The Sun-Dance of the Sioux

An enlightening series of exchanges concerning

who is best fit to teach American Indian spirituality.

Teaching Native American Religions

An excellent effort from the University of Pennsylvania's

Museum exhibition, detailing American Native Medicines.

Traditional Healing and Western Medicine

A world class web site with a representative

for nearly each of the world's religions.

Virtual Religion Index


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Last edited November 13, 2022

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