Sacred Relationship with Vance Blackfox

In this interview, Cherokee citizen and Lutheran theologian, Vance Blackfox, illuminates some of the gaps in today's understandings of Native American spiritual practices.

This episode of the AllCreation podcast, part 1 of our series exploring the Native American sense of "Sacred Relationship," was actually recorded during the interviews for our prior issue. Vance Blackfox, a citizen of the Cherokee nation and a breakthrough Lutheran theologian and minister, explained during that interview that the annihilation and relocation of Native American peoples during the colonization of North America didn't just tragically and traumatically affect Native American lives -- it destroyed sacred practices. Here, Vance shines a light on some of the gaps in the common understanding of Native American spirituality and relationship with our "non-human relatives." The Native American tragedy is not just about lives lost and lands lost, but also the loss of sacred relationships and ceremony.

About Vance
Vance Blackfox is Desk Director for American Indian Alaska Native Tribal Nations for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Indigenous Theologian and Coordinating Team Member for the ELCA’s Theological Round Table, creator and producer of the Vine Deloria Jr. Theological Symposium hosted at Lutheran School of Theology, founder/director of Other+Wise, and Indigenous Theologian for the Faith-Based Initiative for the City of San Antonio. He is also guest editor for our "Sacred Relationship" collection, Fall 2021.

Selected Quotes
"We are dependent upon everything in creation and yet none of the non-human relatives are dependent on us."

"We weren’t worshiping the tree, or the land, or the plants, or the animals, or the waters -- we were giving thanks to and honoring the tree, or the plants, or the animals, or the water."

"Everyone says we have to give thanks to Jesus because he sacrificed himself for sins and our salvation… What is the difference between understanding that and understanding that we need to say thank you to the water for giving us life. We have to have water to survive, and this river is full of fish."

"We are dependent upon our non-human relatives for understanding how we are in relationship with Creator." 

“Grace is also something that can be understood from our pre-existence here in this land.”

Listen to our prior interviews with Vance here (part 1) and here (part 2).
Check out Vance's numerous contributions to the AllCreation website here
@BioIntegrity Partnerships