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 new book NATIVE (available May 2020) is about identity, soul-searching, and being on the never-ending journey of finding ourselves and finding God. As both a citizen of the Potawatomi Nation and a Christian, Kaitlin Curtice offers a unique perspective on these topics. In this book, she shows how reconnecting with her identity both informs and challenges her faith. 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 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
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.
What Trump’s Proposed Food Stamps Cuts Mean for Families
This week the Trump administration released a new idea for domestic food aid. They want to send boxes to people who are recipients SNAP/food stamps, while slashing about half of what they can use via Electronic Benefit Transfer cards at grocery stores.
Men Respond to John Piper: Meet the Women Who Have Led Me
The conversation around women in Christian leadership erupted recently, after well-known complementarian pastor and writer John Piper published a piece at Desiring God in which he claimed that because women aren’t fit to preach, they aren’t fit to teach and train men in seminary. After seeing the argument, I put out a call on Twitter to the men of the Christian faith to name the women who have led and theologically shaped them throughout their lives.
50 Years After MLK, Will We Stand for Hope?
The relationship between a Southern Baptist black man and a Jewish mystic can teach us a lot today about how to work across divides, and how to become one in the face of hatred and racism.
This Advent, Listen to Those Who Feel Unwelcome in the Church
This Christmas season, we need to remember that Jesus was not white. And in solidarity with that truth, we need to make space in our Advent season for the church to openly lament that American Christianity has often stood on the side of the oppressor and not on the side of the oppressed.
A Prayer for Thanksgiving Week
Sometimes we don’t know what to pray,
or how to talk to you about fixing what’s broken.
We pray in generalities, that you’ll
“be with us, guide us, restore us”
but sometimes, that’s not the tangible need
we really want to name.
Why Didn't We Hear About Jason Pero?
The situation is complex, and there is not one answer. But it is the role of the church to listen to the oppressed. And when we cry out for justice, there should be an immediate response, toward Jason’s family and toward Native American tribes who have suffered for so long in America.
What if ‘Enough’ Really Meant Enough?
Yesterday, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said in a statement, “Mister President, I rise today to say: enough.”
I wonder what it might mean if we said that and really meant it.
As human beings.