Religion as Peoplehood: Native Americans, the Environment, and the Sacred


Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs




I am writing a book exploring Native American religions through the lens of their engagement with contested sacred lands. Specifically, the book rethinks the definitional conundrum of Native "religion" with the possibilities of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and its talk of of peoplehood. Native traditions have been understood, in classrooms no less than in law, through ill-fitting modern Western categories: either the overly spiritualized discourse of "religion" or the secularized environmental discourse of "resources." This book takes shape amid a related public scholarship partnership with the Native American Rights Fund/Colorado Law joint effort to implementing UNDRIP in the United States. Through a series of clinics for the targeted professional publics most involved with the adjudication of sacred lands issues: lawyers, environmental consultants, public and tribal land managers, and environmental reporters, we aim to promote religious literacy on issues engaged more often as environmental or as a facet of climate reporting.