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Native Americans and the Christian Right

In Native Americans and the Christian Right, Andrea Smith moves social movement theory beyond simplistic understandings of social-justice activism as either right-wing or left-wing, and she urges a more open-minded approach to the role of religion in social movements. Smith examines the interplay of Biblical scripture, gender, and nationalism in Christian Right and Native American activism. In so doing, she rethinks the nature of political strategy and alliance-building for progressive purposes, highlighting the potential of unlikely alliances, partnerships that one of her Native activist interviewees calls "cowboys and Indians coalitions." She also complicates ideas about identity, resistance, accommodation, and acquiescence in relation to social-justice activism. Smith draws on archival research, interviews, and participation in Native struggles and Christian Right conferences and events. She considers American Indian activism within the Promise Keepers and new Charismatic movements.She explains that while evangelicals' understanding of the relationship between the Bible and the state may lead to reactionary positions on issues including homosexuality, civil rights, and abortion, it also supports a relatively progressive position on prison reform. Turning to evangelical and Native American feminisms, she reveals anti-violence organizing to be a galvanizing force within both communities, discusses theories of coalition politics among both evangelical and indigenous women, and considers Native women's visions of sovereignty and nationhood. She concludes with a reflection on the implications of her research for the field of Native American studies.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix Acknowledgments xxxvii Introduction: Why Rearticulation Matters 1 1. Set the Prisoners Free: The Christian Right and the Prison Industrial Complex 9 2. "The One Who Did Not Break His Promises": Native Nationalisms and the Christian Right 74 3. Without Apology": Native American and Evangelical Feminisms 115 4. Unlikely Allies: Rethinking Coalition Politics 200 5. Native Women and Sovereignty: Beyond the Nation-State 255 Conclusion 272 Appendix 1. A Brief Map of Christian Right and Native American Organizing 277 Appendix 2. Interviewees and Dates of Interviews 291 Bibliography 293 Index 351

Promotional Information

Details the surprising alliances between some Native American and conservative evangelical Christian activists

About the Author

Andrea Smith is Assistant Professor of American Culture and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is the author of Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide, the editor of The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, and a coeditor of Color of Violence: Violence Against Women of Color. She is a cofounder of the national activist organization INCITE! Women of Color against Violence.


"This is an amazing book that debunks many widely held beliefs about identity, Native activism, evangelical Christianity, sovereignty, and organizing. Andrea Smith's analysis flows from race, to gender, to class, to nation, to income, to sexuality, to religion, and back to race in such a way that crude approximations of ideology or other notions of identity or consciousness are laid to rest. She has written an energetic and complicated work that will become an instant classic in Native studies, ethnic studies, religion, and feminist and gender studies."--Ruth Wilson Gilmore, author of Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California "Not many scholars could even imagine bringing together Native women activists with the Christian Right, but Andrea Smith manages to do so with the sort of intellectual integrity that has become a hallmark of her work. Even when I disagree with her conclusions I can't help but get swept up in the sheer joy and hope of the journey she imagines."--Robert Warrior, author of The People and the Word: Reading Native Nonfiction

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