Nin kinigawabimin-niiso-icicahiya/cultural amalgamization: The transformation and expression of spirituality and identity in the Native American urban context /

Saved in:
Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Medrano, Jonathon A., author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2016
Description:1 electronic resource (395 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
URL for this record:
Hidden Bibliographic Details
Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: Raymond D. Fogelson; Eugene Raikhel Committee members: John D. Kelly; Ann T. Straus.
This item is not available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 77-12(E), Section: A.
Summary:Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Native Americans have undergone dramatic spiritual and identity vicissitudes and fundamental meaning and nature of community. These changes are a consequence of the impressive emigration from reservation to urban setting. Over the past 60 years, Chicago's Native American community has attempted to counter these challenging fluctuations, which were a consequence of forced assimilation policies and education through Federal Indian Boarding Schools and Federal Termination and Relocation Programs. Accordingly, the basis of this study is to illuminate the aspects of spirituality and identity, and how they are transformed and expressed in the urban setting. The examination does this by focusing on the spiritual and ritual experience, as demonstrated by individual and communal expressions of spirituality and identity, as well as the evolution of specific cultural constructs within the urban context.
This exploration, conducted in Chicago, suggests that those individuals who regularly participate in specific ceremonies and rituals not only experience a revived sense of community but also the reestablishment of generational ties. Of equal importance is the sense of improved physical and emotional wellbeing of participants who engage in such cultural constructs. This study contends that engagement with such constructs, and the transformation of spirituality and identity in an urban context, results in a novel phenomenon termed "cultural amalgamization." "Cultural amalgamization" can be described as an amalgamating process resulting in the reinterpretation and reinvention of traditions in concert with the adoption of new values. The end result is the transformation of Native American spirituality, identity, and community within urban contexts. Thus, this investigation explains the transformative process now underway in Chicago's Native American community as part of the novel phenomenon "cultural amalgamization" and how the ripple effect of the process positively impacts the community. In addition, this study provides an opportunity for a new narrative of contemporary, Urban Native American spirituality, identity and ceremony, and, most notably, from a community perspective.