Kristin Fitzgerald is in the final phase of her dissertation research among Lakota Christians in Rapid City, South Dakota. Her work recognizes that many urban Native Americans today participate in a number of typically Western institutions, such as their local churches, while also maintaining their claims to tribal heritage(s). Further, while missionaries historicaly attempted to variously replace or reform traditional customs and beliefs with those of Christianity, many denominations now celebrate multiculturalism, which has offered indigenous groups both opportunties and challenges in the Church. Fitzgerald's work proposes that Lakota congregants and clergy from two urban Lakota churches (Catholic & Episcopalian) in Rapid City, South Dakota, are trying out and standardizing new models of 'traditionally Lakota' practices and beliefs during rituals, activities, conversations, and life histories.
Kristin Fitzgerald, MA
Department of Sociology & Anthropology
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Omaha, NE 67178