The spatial dimension recognizes that peoples and lands are intimately interconnected, making tribal lands immediate and personal instead of distant and objective. In discussing the connection between tribal peoples and their lands, Vine Deloria, Jr. states that “every location within [each tribe’s] original homelands has a multitude of stories that recount the migrations, revelations, and particular historical incidents that cumulatively produced the tribe in its current condition.” American Indians, continued Deloria, “hold their lands—places—as having the highest possible meaning, and all their statements are made with this reference point in mind.” This suggests that evaluations should account for the interconnectedness between a community’s self-identity and its homelands, and keep in mind that a community’s traditional homelands extend far beyond its current reservation landholdings.

The two quotes are from Vine Deloria, Jr. (1994), God is Red: A Native View of Religion, pp. 122 & 62.  Golden, CO: Fulcrum.

Spatial Dimension

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