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‘We Don’t Need Your God’ — Tribe Halts Christian Missionary Work on South Dakota Reservation

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In an emergency meeting Tuesday July 26, the Oglala Sioux Tribal (OST) Council temporarily suspended all activity of Christian missions on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The OST passed an ordinance requiring all churches and religious organizations to complete a new form to request the right to conduct missionary work on the reservation. That form will be reviewed by the tribe’s executive committee.

The tribe also put a restriction on utilizing images, videos, and names of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and its citizens without a signed consent form from the OST executive committee.

The OST also called for an independent investigation of the Dream Center Missionary, to be conducted by a member of the tribe’s administration, Justin Pourier. The tribe wants to know how much the organization is earning in donations, where the funds come from, and how the funds are spent.  If it fails to comply with the investigation, it may be removed from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The nondenominational, non-profit Dream Center is alleged to be associated with Matthew Monfore, who was ordered by the tribe to leave the reservation on Friday, July 22, for the distribution of pamphlets that demonize Lakota culture.

Native News Online reported on Monday that the Jesus is King Mission, a baptist organization, was ordered to leave the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation after pamphlets were distributed that promoted that Jesus, not Tunkasila (a Lakota word for Creator), is the “true god.” It’s not the first time Jesus is King Mission distributed pamphlets that the Oglala Sioux Tribe says spreads hate. Four years ago, inmates at the local jail reported that the same pamphlets were distributed throughout the jail, said a councilman at Tuesday’s tribal council meeting.

The tribal council will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, August 10 to review the investigation.

“We all know that churches have always played a violent role in our communities and to our peoples,” said Tyler Star Comes Out,19, at Tuesday’s tribal council meeting. “Today, we come to you as youth and young adults with a main objective to decolonize our minds, hearts, spirits, space, land, and knowledge.”

“We take pride in our identities. We are Lakota and it’s time to return to our ways,” she continued. “We don’t want any more assimilation. We don’t need any more churches and we don’t need your god.”

Continue reading at Native News Online

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Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.


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