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Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,119 ratings  ·  213 reviews
Native is about identity, soul-searching, and being on the never-ending journey of finding ourselves and finding God. As both a member 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 Native American roots both informs and challenges her Christian faith.

Drawing on the na
Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 5th 2020 by Brazos Press
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 ·  1,119 ratings  ·  213 reviews

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Richard Propes
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
We're only two months into the year 2020, but I'm ready to proclaim Kaitlin Curtice's "Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God" to be one of the best books of the year.

Having had the opportunity to check out an advanced review copy of "Native" during the exact same week that Curtice found herself on the receiving end of negative feedback from a group of conservative students at Baylor University where she'd been a guest speaker, I worried less about being offended by the material and
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
I really loved this book in theory, but in practice, not so much. I want to hear different voices, their experiences, challenges, etc with life and faith. This book felt like a stream of consciousness that was cathartic but hard to follow. I wanted history, experience, growth, a way forward, but that was not this book.
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. The second half of this book is very, very strong. Curtice weaves together her own story as a white-coded Potawatomi woman learning about her identity in adulthood with the stories of others to preach powerfully on the erasure of Indigenous cultures in America and in the Christian church. She struggles with being a Christian when that religion as an institution has historically marginalized both her own people and many other groups, and it is in reconnecting with traditional understan ...more
Mindy Christianson
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
“It is heartbreaking when the table of God is not set for all the people of God.” - Kaitlin Curtice

In this book, Curtice somehow manages to write poetically and peacefully about subjects that are anything but- white supremacy, colonization, and more. I found myself drawn to the words and cadence - she is a gifted writer with important things to say. May those that need to hear them read this book.
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. A necessary voice in the climate of American Christianity. This piece is storytelling infused with important exposure to Indigenous voices and the greater Indigenous experience within America. Highly recommend.

"Because the Indigenous story has been buried under the white story, it will take a lot of work to uncover it. It will take more than Indigenous peoples to do the work-- it will take all people. Decolonization does not mean we go back to the beginning, but it means we fix what is bro
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Favorite quotes:

"As I learn more about my own story, I am realizing that the bloodline of God is connected to everything, no matter how it was first created in the beginning."

“If all the world is a commodity, how poor we grow. When all the world is a gift in motion, how wealthy we become.”

"As humans, we are simply asked to walk in the mystery of our identities one day at a time, one step at a time, one question at a time. We are simply asked to know and be known with the whole of creation and ou
Cristine Braddy
Aug 16, 2020 rated it liked it
I really hate rating books that fall in the memoirist category. I love listening to Kaitlin Curtice and following her on social media. Some of this book gave me some insight and some of it fell flat for me. I’m glad I read it, there are several quotes that I will take with me and ponder.
Probably 3.5 stars

I'm glad I read this since Curtice is voicing her experience as a white-coded Indigenous woman who grew up in white Southern Baptist culture. She takes the reader along on her journey of finding her way back to her roots and embracing the fullness of her identity. Her writing style was not my favorite--it's fairly poetic and meandering--but it was an interesting read and an important one. I'm glad she is joining her voice with others who are leading seekers to a fuller, richer
Jen Yokel
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
"The sacred thing about being human is that no matter how hard we try to get rid of them, our stories are our stories."

Quarantimes are reading times, and I just finished an early copy of #NativeBook. Whew, I will be thinking about it for a bit. Kaitlin writes frankly and poetically about the intersections of her Indigenous identity and Christian faith, while also exploring themes of caring for creation, politics, colonization, and decentering whiteness. There's a lot to take in, but it's a jour
Meaghan Lee
Sep 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, spirituology
Fantastic dialogue and call to decolonize the church. Too many quotes and what felt like name dropping that took away from her great storytelling.
Bobbi Salkeld
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Take time to listen to people you likely never have tell you about God. I promise. It’s good for you.
Mackensie Colleen
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was beautiful and much needed.
I underlined a lot of passages in this book. It's a beautiful and challenging piece of writing, and it really should be required reading for American Christians especially. ...more
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think this is an important book because the author has an important perspective as an Indigenous woman, one who grew up within a white church that basically erased her Indigenous identity. It's so important for the Christian church and community to hear this, in her own words, and face it. Without listening to voices like Curtice's, the white church has little hope of being truly good news for all.

My favorite parts, and most engaging parts, where the descriptions of memories, such as childhood
Malinda Fugate
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Every time I read something written by Kaitlin Curtice, I learn. Not only did I learn more about her perspective as an Indigenous person, but the book also explores the role of faith communities in seeking justice and honoring our fellow brothers and sisters from all identities. The value of community, a respect for the earth, our need for stories, and other big, necessary ideas spill forth from these pages.
Becky Brown
Dec 03, 2020 rated it liked it
I really struggled with the structure of this book, since I usually need an explanation more than an exploration. I did like the author's definitions of identity and the presentation of an unfinished process.

If it's the first time you've read about identity or colonialism this might not be the best starting point because it presupposes familiarity with and acceptance of those concepts.

It did prompt me to want to learn more about indigenous history and religious practice. The author provides good
Ryan Motter
Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars, but I’ll round up for the sake of Goodreads’ system! First off, publishing a book during a Pandemic is so overwhelming and Kaitlin Curtice has done it with such grace and efficiency. I have seen this book promoted everywhere I’ve turned, and it’s great to see the hard work that’s gone into promotion.

Kaitlin Curtice’s book has poetry, preaching and wisdom strewn throughout it, and her passion clearly comes forward again and again throughout the book. I enjoyed many of her stories and
Robert D. Cornwall
I live in Michigan, the original home of the Potawatomi people. I grew up in southern Oregon, the home of the Klamaths and the Modocs. My step-grandfather was part Choctaw. I also wrote an article many years ago that explored the biography of one of the early white residents of Oregon, the son of a reservation agent and himself an agent of the Klamath reservation. I'm a historian so I know the story of the Trail of Tears. I also grew up watching Westerns on TV. I can say that I've had some intro ...more
Justin Wiggins
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This amazing book written by Kaitlin B. Curtice about what it means for her to be both a Potawatomi Native American and a Christian, was fascinating, sobering, healing, encouraging, and spiritually nourishing.
Reading this book made me even more thankful for the Iroqua heritage on the Paternal side of my family, and the Celtic Scots-Irish McArthur on my Mother's side. It has been very meaningful for me to connect with friends through social media that I have met in person who are also Iroqua. The
Jessica Kantrowitz
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had to read Native slowly for two reasons, one because it challenged me to think, and two because it challenged me to BE. From her rich imagery, to her depth of research, to her choice of subject and verb tense (we are asking, we are learning, we are having conversations) Kaitlin Curtice reinforces the idea of journeying. She speaks of trauma and tragedy almost unimaginable, yet draws us back again and again to that active work of healing ourselves, our country, and the earth. And somehow, wit ...more
Dan Salerno
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Kaitlin Curtice has written a beautifully honest book.

From the very beginning of NATIVE: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God, she makes her intent clear. "We have to remember that physical places are spiritual places. We cannot disconnect the physical from the spiritual, because the spiritual is all around us."

Her deep respect for Creation undergirds everything she writes about in NATIVE. So is a desire to engage oppressed peoples. Curtice quotes Lisa Dougan, "Lasting change comes most as
Maggie Ayau
This book had me standing, sitting, squatting, the works. I feel so grateful for the words Curtice shares and the stories she lifts up from Indigenous writers, activists, and spiritual leaders. The entire bibliography is on my to-read list.

Curtice relates her own stories as a Potawatomi woman seeking belonging: not just belonging by way of assimilation into a white Christian worldview, but an incarnated spiritual belonging to both herself and her people.

Curtice is one of the leading voices in d
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Books have such incredible power. We grow up thinking that everyone is like we are- that the others believe like we do, hold the same values that we do, have the same world view that we do.

It's beautifully jarring, then, when we read a book that allows us to- for a moment- put on the lenses of the other. Author Kaitlyn Curtis doesn't condemn whiteness. Instead she decentralizes whiteness- forces us to acknowledge that there are ways to commune with the Creator beyond the ways taught by the colo
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was an honest and vulnerable journey into what it is like being an Indigenous woman in America. Curtice’s pain and hurt from Christian churches and circles was saddening to read, but important to hear about. I particularly appreciated her insight into how colonialist mindsets make their way into primarily white churches. I identify with different theological values than Kaitlin, but I think that makes this piece even more important to read. We have to listen to the voices of Indigenous ...more
Kieran Grubb
Jan 11, 2021 rated it liked it
This was an interesting book. I was reminded once again of the sins committed by the colonial white Church in God's name, for which I must continue to repent and make right. The challenges and accusations were just and true.

There was a lot of talk about culture and how it shouldn't be erased by church which I totally agree with, however, I cannot agree with the amalgamation of the God of the Bible and other deities. The Bible tells us that there is one God and that is what I believe.

I hope and
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
One of the benefits of the present age is a recognition of the value of different voices and the need to hear the perspective from groups historically marginalized and/or oppressed. This theme is also present in Christianity. Many good works have been written by people of color who profess Jesus as Lord and providing their particular perspective on the faith and its heritage.

The present author continues in that theme as a woman of white and Potawatomian ancestry. This work speaks to her journey
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A good glimpse into the author’s figuring out her spirituality—which is shaped by both native spirituality and American Christianity. It inspired me to learn more about indigenous history in the U.S., so that was great. The book could have been better organized, but overall some good pieces of story and wisdom.
M Moore
Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was a deeply spiritual read for me. Curtice's perspective as a Christian white-coded Indigenous woman who grew up in the Southern Baptist church is so unique. I found myself in awe of how she wove her memories, her experiences and her discoveries about herself and her ancestry into a story that is so much more than a memoir. This book is dense - as in it is rich with wisdom and profound observations. I highly recommend reading Native and taking the time to truly absorb its importance.
My boo
Jonathan Puddle
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and at times painful for me to read, Native opened my heart and spirit to some of the ways I have been complicit in white supremacist behaviour, at the expense of the humanity of those around me, and of my own humanity. Kaitlin is a much needed voice. Highly recommended.
Faith Williams
Curtice's prose is poetic and meandering. This book solidly joins the ranks of Sarah Bessey, Rachel Held Evans, and other women of the church, with the unique and crucial intersectionality that Curtice brings as an Indigenous woman. ...more
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Kaitlin Curtice is a Native American Christian author, speaker and worship leader. 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 Native American spirituality, mystic faith in everyday life, and the church. She is an author with Paraclete Press and her recently released book is Glory Happening: Finding ...more

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4 likes · 2 comments
“After moving to Georgia and serving at this church as the interim worship leader, I was suddenly struck with the reality that if I fight the effects of assimilation in my life, if I speak from my Potawatomi self instead of the whiteness I’ve been trained and taught to live through, the church will increasingly see me as a threat. They will get uncomfortable, and they will question my faith, because it doesn’t look like the faith shaped by the forefathers of the church. In essence, the church wants what is white in me, but not what is Native in me.” 4 likes
“I’m wondering how, for all these years, the church has gotten away with so many oppressive acts toward women, Indigenous peoples, Black people, other people of color, disabled people, immigrants, those who journey with depression or anxiety, those who grieve, and those who are gender nonbinary, transgender, or queer. Can we go to church and be angry? Can we go to church and be furious? Can we go to church and ask questions? Can we go to church and fight against what we believe is wrong within it?


Those of us who are angry cannot wait for the church to give us permission, because white supremacy will never give the oppressed permission to be angry.”
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