Kaitlin Curtice is a Native American Christian author and speaker. As an enrolled member of the Potawatomi Citizen Band and someone who has grown up in the Christian faith, Kaitlin writes on the intersection of Indigenous spirituality, faith in everyday life, and the church.
Her first book, Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places, was published with Paraclete Press in 2017. It is a series of fifty essays and prayers focusing on finding the sacred in everyday life. Kaitlin is currently working on her second book with Brazos Press, set to come out in 2020. It has been named by Publisher’s Weekly as a Religion and Spirituality book to watch for.
Kaitlin has contributed to OnBeing, Religion News Service, USA Today and Sojourners, among others, and she was interviewed for the New Yorker on colonization within Christian missions. In 2018 she was featured in a documentary with CBS called “Race, Religion and Resistance,” speaking on the dangers of colonized Christianity.
Kaitlin travels around the country speaking on faith and justice within the church as it relates to Indigenous peoples. She has been a featured speaker at Why Christian, Evolving Faith, Wild Goose Festival, The Festival of Faith and Writing, and more.
She also occasionally writes at her blog, kaitlincurtice.com.
Posts By This Author
The Sacredness of the Earth as She Is
As we continue to enter deeper into the crisis of climate change, into the reality of human rights abuses and eruptions of violence happening not just here but all over the world, perhaps we need to take a different approach in our relationship to one another and our creature-relatives all over the earth.
Molly of Denali and the Power of Indigenous Representation
A few days ago, I gathered with my two Potawatomi sons on our couch to watch Molly of Denali, a cartoon that recently premiered on PBS starring a young girl named Molly who is an Alaska Native (specifically, Gwich’in/Koyukon/Dena’ina Athabascan). This show is the first of its kind in the history of the United States.
Why We Need Women to Lead Us
In some ways, that conversation continues to change as we work through issues of inequality. In a world in which the U.S. women’s team wins the World Cup, we still fight for equal pay, for recognition. In the church, it’s a constant uphill battle to get people to respect women as much as men, and while the conversation makes a lot of people uncomfortable, we are still having it. I wouldn’t know how to begin these conversations if I hadn’t encountered the leadership of women in the church.
A Crucial Piece Missing in the Democratic Presidential Debates
I watched both of the Democratic presidential debates over the last two nights, waiting to see if anything related to the invisibility of Indigenous peoples would somehow make its way into the conversation. I didn’t expect it to, of course; in a nation that does not even begin its events with a land acknowledgement (like Canada, Australia, and other nations do), why would we expect that the experiences of the original peoples of this land would come into a debate when each candidate only has a limited time to respond?
The Long Haul of Justice
As I was growing up in an evangelical church, one of my pastors’ favorite scriptures to use to wake up a congregation and remind us to keep going was the “run-the-race” scripture. In Hebrews 12, we are instructed to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” But I was never a runner — or, in fact, had any athletically inclined bone in my body — and I desperately needed a different metaphor, something that I felt would teach me to carry on my faith in a sustainable way.
In Collective Grief, What Does Our Humanity Require of Us?
We continually ask, as Christians, what it looks like to embody a Christ who is both risen and stoops down to rip his clothes in lament that things are not as they should be in this world. It is the Easter season, and yet, we mourn.
What Can Spring Teach Us About Our Own Healing?
Spring is here once again, and we are watching elements of nature in America slowly come alive as the last hints of winter melt away one day at a time. One of the most incredible things we can learn from the earth is the importance of seeing everything in cycles.
Decolonize Your Faith This Lent: A Reading List
This Lent, I urge you to:
- Create a book club.
- Gather with a few friends over coffee and talk through ideas of decolonization.
- Challenge yourself at home and in the workplace to fight toxic stereotypes.
- Re-educate yourself about the history of the United States and the church’s role in empire.
- Grieve, and don’t be afraid of what the wilderness might show you.
Books are always a great place to begin the journey.
Is The Work of Deconstruction Violent or Fruitful?
As adults, if we get the chance to deconstruct our childhood faith, it can often be a traumatic process. Many of us share stories about working with a therapist to unpack trauma from the church, whether it is from the purity movement or the ongoing work of colonization. If you have spent much time on Twitter, you might find some of these conversations floating around, especially in ex-evangelical spaces. Many of us who grew up in the white evangelical church are asking questions about things like missions ideology, white supremacy in the church, toxic patriarchy and sexism, and violence against our LGBTQ friends.
Will the Church Honor Native American Kinship?
This week, conservative pundit Laura Ingraham announced that President Donald Trump would be hosting the young men from Covington Catholic who attended the March for Life, where they got into an altercation with participants in the Indigenous People’s March. It’s unclear whether the administration has extended an invite, but Trump has taken to Twitter to voice his support for the young men. He’s also made clear over the course of his presidency and campaign his disregard for the voices of Indigenous people — whether by slashing the size of Bears Ears National Monument, greenlighting pipelines that impact Native lands, or using racist and derogatory terms to instigate fights with Sen. Elizabeth Warren over claims to Native heritage.
The Voices of Indigenous People Continue to Be Silenced
The focus of the confrontation between Phillips and Nick Sandmann remained caught in the news, and people immediately raced the well-worn paths to their ideological camps. But missing from the narrative — and certainly from the new counter-narrative — are the Indigenous voices that have been silenced or villainized by the rise and power of white supremacy in America.
A Litany for Weeping
We try to make sense of hate,
try to trace the line
of white supremacy.
We see that though we’ve come so far,
it’s not so far that we’ve come.
So we breathe and remember:
For the Men Asking: 'What Can We Do?'
When I realized that I’m not alone in my fears for my own safety as a woman, and as an Indigenous woman, I began to notice everything. I watch interactions between men and women more closely. This hyper-awareness is leaving many of my friends on edge across America, women who have now seen a man like Kavanaugh lauded for his work while his victim is called a liar. We don’t trust the people on the streets, in elevators, or in our neighborhoods. We are paying attention.
Lessons in Grief
What could it possibly mean to us that an endangered species of orca whales hold a mourning period after losing their young? While mourning is a natural habit of many creatures, we should pay attention to Tahlequah’s process of grief. Perhaps if we observe the creatures we have been called to care for and learn from, we might learn something about what it means to be human.
Are White Christians Retraumatizing People for the Sake of Diversity?
This leaves people of color and indigenous peoples trying to decide if it's worth it to participate, if we can handle another conference, if we can possibly share our stories to a room willing to listen first and do the work later. It is an honor to share our stories, but there is a weight along with it. There is energy expelled from our hearts and bodies when we say this is my story, this is what my ancestors endured to give you America.
Prayer for Action
Teach us to be brave, we pray,
When we have no idea what it looks like.
What Kind of Faith Is Ahead of Us?
All over the place in American Christianity, we are asking what is appropriate, what will work and what will not work anymore, how women and people of color are to be treated, what is expected of our male leaders. We are re-wiring things and tearing some things down. We’re making room for a new kind of faith, detaching it from the fear-based faith we were taught as children.
No Room at the Church
As a mixed race person, who inhabits both whiteness and nativeness, both Christianity and other forms of spiritual identity, I am often in a state of questioning, on the margins wondering if I am really supposed to be in the church, or if I am truly allowed in with the history I carry with me.
When The Church Uses God’s Name to Oppress
When Europeans “founded” America, they took any land that wasn’t “Christian” and claimed it “for God” — which meant that they were given full reign by the church to decide who looked saved and who didn’t. The Doctrine of Discovery gave them full permission to oppress, and because of it, my own Potawatomi ancestors walked the Trail of Death from the Great Lakes region of the United States into Kansas and Oklahoma.
Dear Christian: Here’s Why You Can’t Give Up
At one time or another, we decided that the church is a body created to spiritually house and care for the world. But today in America, the word Christian has a lot of connotations to the average person. It’s confusing, and it brings up a lot of conversations about dividing lines and political parties and inclusion versus exclusion.