This project aims to document and explore the dynamic interreligious encounters taking place today between Christianity and Crow Traditionalism (Sun Dance and Peyote) on Montana’s Crow Reservation. Informed by my own Native ministry experience and previous fieldwork among the Crow tribe, I pay particular attention to the creative ways that tribal members are crafting their own religious identities within the Christian-Crow milieu. My investigations will be rooted in extensive interviews with Crow religious practitioners who range from anti-Traditional Christians, to anti-Christian Traditionalists. My approach is largely phenomenological, anchored as it is in the perspectives and lived experiences of Crows themselves.
A book based on this fieldwork will address selected topics in the Christian-Crow encounter, including Christianity’s relationship with the Sun Dance Way, Peyote, Crow ancestors, tribal politics, and syncretism. Each chapter will also feature a case study designed for use in classrooms or small group discussions in local parishes. A video companion to the book (CD-ROM, or online) will highlight selected interview clips and footage of Crow Christian worship – from Pentecostal camp meetings, to Catholic Masses, to Jesus Only peyote meetings. I will be aided by a tribally enrolled Crow interpreter, a videographer, and two student research assistants.