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FISSURE: A Life Between Cultures


Recognition, Responsibility, Reconstruction, Reparation:
A Review of Native Americans, the Mainline Church, and the Quest for Interracial Justice

by Anna Redsand

A rectangular pit lined with dressed stones stands on a low hill in Toadlena, New Mexico, near the center of the Navajo Nation. The pit comprises the basement and foundation of what had, years earlier, been my missionary family’s home. The pit is half-filled with charred timbers, a bathtub, a sink, and the rusted remains of a coal furnace. Sometime after my family moved away, the house burned to the ground. Investigators said the fire was started intentionally. It wasn’t the first time. Two other houses we had lived in had fallen to arson, never while my family lived in them, but when missionaries who followed my father did. I have always wondered if these events were pained attempts to redress wrongs—cultural genocide aided and abetted by missionaries’ actions in a land that did not belong to us.

It was from this context and its many implications that, as I read David Phillips Hansen’s Native Americans, the Mainline Church, and the Quest for Interracial Justice, I flagged lines and paragraphs in the book until its text block looked like Read More 
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