The feathers, the jewelry and the mighty buffalo began to disappear many sunsets ago, but the spirituality of Native peoples is so strong that it remains intact.

Chiefs, medicine priests, tribal elders and others intimate with ancient spirituality say that even though many Native peoples embrace Christianity and other religions, they still hold on to their traditional spiritual beliefs. Today, however, many also incorporate Native spirituality with European, African and Asian religions.

Many Native people, who do not like the term “Native American” because they are sovereign nations within a nation, are beginning to embrace spirituality off the reservations. In New York City, for example, Cherokee (Tsalagi) people actively have created traditional medicine lodges that fully embrace not only spirituality but ancient culture, as well.

“Our ancient traditions continue to be a part of our Christian faiths,” declared Michael Smith, pastor of the Shinnecock Presbyterian Church on Long Island, N.Y.

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