Michael McNally

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Scholars of Indigenous religious traditions are keenly aware of how difficult it is to lead our students into the fluid dynamics of oral religions within the conventional structures of text-based academic inquiry and classroom learning. This pedagogical struggle is surely related to the search for words nimble enough to interpret Indigenous traditions in a scholarly interpretive idiom that more properly belongs to the study of "religions" and/or "cultures." As Ines Talamantez has put it in various public contexts, "Native communities have their own theories of culture," their own sovereign ways of knowing, teaching, and learning traditions, and scholars have seen it increasingly as our task to indigenize the language that religious studies brings to Native lifeways.