Updated: Sep 30, 2022
Photo source: “The Western Cree (Pakisimotan Wi Iniwak) Maski Piton's Band (Maskepetoon, Broken Arm) of Plains Cree Volume 2 - Post 1860, Appendicies”
— The location in this drawing of Chief Maskepetoon and the other man, is central Alberta, around Edmonton area.
On Sept 30, 2021 the Canadian government started a new national annual holiday, The Day of Truth and Reconciliation, a day that is meant to somehow appease the Indian people. But closer to reality, it is simply vote buying propaganda and a holiday for the federally’s only of course, at tax payer expense. This day and maybe tomorrow, Truth and Reconciliation is indeed available through the Lord Jesus Christ and “the word of reconciliation” which is the Word of God (2 Cor 5:17-21; Jn 8:31-36) and the Indian people (as likewise others) should repent of their wickedness, reject the lies and counterfeit Christianity of the Roman Catholic Church and seek to be Reconciled to their Creator through the Truth of His Word, like the famous Cree Chief Maskepetoon and Indian Joe and others were in the mid 19th century, and then they just might stop playing the victim card.
"For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)" (2 Corinthians 6:2b).
"Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:" (Isaiah 59:1)
"Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations. For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods." (1 Chronicles 16:23-25)
The following accounts are adapted from Stories from Indian Wigwams and Northern Campfires written by Egerton Ryerson Young, an itinerate preacher and missionary to the Cree Indians of Canada, especially to the people of Manitoba, from the late 1800s into the early 1900's. Stories From Indian Wigwams and Northern Campfires, is a fascinating and inspiring account of Young’s missionary chronicles with the Cree people and in this first particular story he recounts the missionary work of a co-labourer who worked amongst the Indians of Alberta.
The Power of God to Change the Heart of Chief Maskepetoon
“The following incident occurred years ago on the great plains of the Canadian Northwest, long before the waves of Anglo-Saxon civilization began to surge over those glorious fertile prairies which for so many generations were hid from the gaze of the outside busy world. Among the Indian tribes that roamed over those vast regions the Crees in those days were perhaps the most numerous and powerful. The terrible small-pox and other epidemic diseases had not entered in among them, mowing them down by thousands, leaving them, as they are to-day, but a shadow or a wreck of their former glory. The most powerful chief among this tribe was called Mask-e-pe-toon, or “Crooked Arm,” from the fact that one of his arms had been so hacked and wounded in his hand-to-hand conflicts with his neighbors, the Blackfeet Indians, that, in healing, the muscles had so contracted and stiffened that the arm remained crooked. He was a warlike chief, and his delight was in all the excitements of Indian conflicts, in cunning ambuscades, and, when successful, in the practice of unheard-of barbarities upon the captives of other tribes who fell into his hands. Very picturesque was the dress of many of these warriors of the plains. The quills of the eagle, which with them is considered the royal bird, formed the head-dress. Their shield was generally made of the tough leather of the neck of an old buffalo bull. The clothing, which was most elaborately ornamented and fringed, was made of the skins of the deer or moose, most beautifully tanned and prepared by the Indian women. Some of their horses were really magnificent animals, and marvelously trained for Indian warfare.
The Rev. Mr. Rundle, of the English Wesleyan Missionary Society, was the first missionary who at great personal risk visited the Cree tribes and faithfully declared the message of salvation to them. It was news indeed, and startled those wild prairie warriors; and the question went around among them, “Where did this little man come from with such strange tidings?” The conjurers were called upon to solve the question, and the answer was that he had come direct from heaven wrapped in a large piece of paper.
The Rev. James Evans, also . . . visited Mask-e-pe-toon and faithfully preached to him and his people. Some accepted the truth and became Christians, but Mask-e-pe-toon was too fond of war to quickly receive the message of peace.
A number of years later the Rev. George McDougall went out, in prosecution of his missionary work, to those mighty plains, on one of which in after years he so mysteriously died. That he might be more successful in his efforts to bring them to Christ, Mr. McDougall frequently left his own home, and for months together lived with these red men as they wandered over vast stretches of country, hunting the buffalo and other game. His custom was always to have religious service every evening where they camped for the night. . . . At these camp-fire services hymns were sung, prayers were offered, and God’s word was read and expounded.
One evening Mr. McDougall read as his lesson the story of the trial and death of the Lord Jesus. He dwelt particularly upon the prayer of the Savior for his murderers, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” and, well aware of the Indian spirit of revenge that was so prominent in the hearts of his hearers, he dwelt strongly upon it, and plainly told them that if they really expected forgiveness from the Great Spirit they must have the same mind that was in Christ, and forgive their enemies. Mask-e-pe-toon was observed to be deeply moved under the sermon, but nothing was said to him that evening. The next day, as the great company, consisting of many hundreds, was riding along over the beautiful prairies, an Indian chief rode quickly to the side of Mr. McDougall, and in quiet but excited tones asked him to fall back in the rear, as they did not wish him, the missionary, to witness the torture and killing of a man who was in that little band of Indians that was approaching them, although still so far away as to be almost indistinguishable to the eyes of a white man.
It seems that months before this Mask-e-pe-toon had sent his son across a mountain range or pass to bring from a sheltered valley a herd of horses which had there wintered. Very sublime and magnificent is some of the Rocky Mountain scenery. Travelers who have visited the Alps and other picturesque mountainous regions declare that some of the views in the Canadian “Rockies” are not excelled in any other part of the world. . . . Among the foot-hills of these mountains are many beautiful valleys, where the grass and herbage abound all the year, and it was in one of them that Mask-e-pe-toon had kept his reserved horses. He selected one of his warriors as his son’s comrade to aid him in the work. From what afterward was found out it seems that the man, having a chance to sell the horses, his cupidity was excited, and so he murdered the chief’s son, disposed of the horses, and hiding for the time his booty returned to the tribe with the plausible story that when they were coming across one of the dangerous passes in the mountains the young man lost his foothold and fell over one of the awful precipices, and was dashed to pieces, and that he alone was unable to manage the herd of horses, and so they had scattered on the plains.
Knowing nothing at the time to the contrary, Mask-e-pe-toon and his people were obliged to accept this story, improbable as it seemed. However, the truth came out after a while, for there had been, unknown to the murderer, witnesses of the tragedy. And now, for the first time since the truth had been revealed, the father was approaching the band in which was the murderer of his son. That the missionary might not see the dire vengeance that would be wreaked upon the culprit was the reason why this subordinate chief had requested Mr. McDougall to slacken his pace and fall into the rear of the crowd. Instead of doing so he quickened the speed of his horse and rode up to a position a little in the rear of the mighty chief, who, splendidly mounted, was leading the van of his warriors. On they galloped over the beautiful green sward, the missionary’s heart uplifted in prayer that the wrath of man might be turned to the praise of God.
When the two bands approached within a few hundred yards of each other the eagle eye of the old warrior chief detected the murderer, and, drawing his tomahawk from his belt, he rode up until he was face to face with the man who had done him the greatest injury that it was possible to inflict upon him. Mr. McDougall, who still kept near enough to hear and see all that transpired, says that Mask-e-pe-toon, with a voice tremulous with suppressed feeling, and yet with an admirable command over himself, looking the man in the face who had nearly broken his heart, thus sternly addressed him:
“You have murdered my boy, and you deserve to die. I picked you out as his trusted companion and gave you the post of honor as his comrade, and you have betrayed my trust and cruelly killed my only son. You have done me and the tribe the greatest injury possible for a man to do, for you have broken my heart and you have destroyed him who was to have succeeded me when I am not among the living. You deserve to die, and but for what I heard from the missionary last night at the campfire before this I would have buried this tomahawk in your brains. The missionary told us that if we expected the Great Spirit to forgive us we must forgive our enemies, even those who had done us the greatest wrong. You have been my worst enemy, and you deserve to die.”
Then, in a voice tremulous with deepest emotion, he added,
“As I hope the Great Spirit will forgive me I forgive you.”
Speaking up sternly, he added,
“But go immediately from among my people, and let me never see your face again.”
Then hastily pulling up his war-bonnet over his head his forced calmness gave way, and, quivering with the suppressed feelings that tore his heart, he bowed down over his horse’s neck and gave way to an agony of tears.
Talk not of grief till thou hast seen
The tears of warlike men.
Mask-e-pe-toon lived for years afterward the life of a devoted, consistent Christian. All his old warlike habits were given up, and, mastering the syllabic characters in which the Cree Bible is printed, the word of God became his solace and his joy. He spent the remainder of his days in doing good. Very earnest and thrilling were the addresses which he gave to his own people as he urged them to give up all their old sinful ways and become followers of that Savior who had so grandly saved him. Many listened to his words, and, like him, gave up their old warlike habits and settled down to quiet, peaceful lives. Anxious to benefit his old enemies, the Blackfeet, and to tell to them the story of the Savior’s love, he fearlessly and unarmed went among them with his Bible in his hand.
A blood-thirsty chief of that tribe saw him coming, and, remembering some of their fierce conflicts of other days, and perhaps having lost by Mask-e-pe-toon’s prowess some of his own relations in those conflicts, he seized his gun, and in defiance of all rules of humanity he coolly shot the converted Christian chieftain down.
Thus sadly fell Mask-e-pe-toon, a wondrous trophy of the cross, and one whose conversion did a vast amount of good, showing the power of the Gospel to change the hardest heart and to enable the warlike savage to conquer so thoroughly the besetting sin of the Indian character, even under the most extreme provocation, where very few indeed could have found fault if the price of blood had been exacted and the murderer summarily executed.” (Chapter 7, pp. 109-115).
Note by 20/20 editor. Though we do not find a specific mention (in this short narrative of which I am sure there is much more to then what we read) of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ in this testimony, we can ascertain based upon what we read that he was likely born again at some point on horse back or the night before, and then his testimony thereafter verifies that by forgiving an almost impossible situation. Only a permanently changed new heart could show such grace, mercy and forgiveness, knowing that he himself had been forgiven for much. I'm reminded of Eph 4:31-32,
"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
Chief Maskepetoon understood that Jesus Christ was Chief and not him, like the king of Nineveh (Jon 3:5-9).
Though the gospel that is presented in Young's book appears to be sound Biblical truth, the Wesleyan Methodists had serious issues with the doctrine of sanctification and the gospel in some cases as well. I mention these things to remain consistent to the truth of Scripture and with the concern as always to not be peddling any sort of corruption whether it be of the gospel or any other truth of Scripture. If you know more to this story, please feel free to fill me in.
For interests sake, the following historical info is found in the publication Historic Sites of Alberta:
A rustic sign on Highway No. 2 a short distance north of Hobbema, Alberta honours a prominent Cree chief who gave his life in trying to bring peace to the warring native tribes. The sign states: "Maskepetoon was a great chief of the Cree nation. He was a noted warrior and was feared by his enemies. But when the Methodist missionaries arrived in the mid-1800's he put aside the scalping knife and picked up the peace pipe. Henceforth he became a beloved peacemaker and friend of the missionaries. But civilization came too soon. In 1869, while attempting to make peace with the warlike Black-feet, the old leader was cruelly murdered by an enemy chief. So died Maskepetoon, the martyr of peace." (Hugh Dempsey, Historic Sites of Alberta, 1963, 6th Ed., p. 8).
Salvation of Another Chief, Indian Joe and Some Other Brief Accounts
“Missionary work among the Indians, like that in all lands, has its hours of sadness and discouragement as well as of hope and rejoicing. We look back with thankfulness that it was not only our privilege to go forth weeping, bearing the precious seed, but that in addition the Master of the harvest gave us the joy of the reapers. It was our great happiness to see “many a sheaf both ripe and golden” gathered in. The work was one of peculiar hardships to both Mrs. Young and myself, but the conversion of scores of souls every year amply repaid us for the sufferings and anxieties of that life so isolated and lonely as it must necessarily be in mission fields so far from civilization. Many encouraging incidents were constantly occurring to cheer the hearts of the lonely toilers and to stimulate them to labor on in the blessed work. It is a joy to record some of these trophies won not only through our own feeble instrumentality, but also through the loving, consecrated efforts of our loved brother missionaries. One of these dear brethren, writing, says:
“A young Indian who was very sick had his friends bring him twenty-five miles to the home of the missionary. He wept when he came into his presence, and said he wanted to learn about Jesus before he died. He said, ‘I am very wicked, and I want to get a new heart.’ When urged to pray he replied, ‘I can’t pray; I don’t know how.’ The faithful missionary, with a conscious sense of the nearness and infinite compassion of the Divine One, earnestly pointed him to the Lamb of God. Next day, when the missionary called upon him, the poor sick man, holding out his hand, exclaimed with rapture, ‘Jesus has heard my prayer and made my heart good. Now pray for wife also.’ He began from that time to recover from his sickness, and a few days later his wife also accepted Christ as her Saviour, and now both are rejoicing in Jesus.”
[Editors side note on the above account: though the usage of "accept Christ as Saviour" is misused and corrupted today, purveyed on the back of a repentant-less and Lord-less gospel (something I cover here), I do not believe this to be the case here as we can see how he deals with this man's sins and the man clearly already has a repentant heart and understands that Jesus Christ is Lord, and furthermore, these essential elements of the gospel are present again in the next account.]
A beautiful story is told by one of our earlier Indian missionaries of a proud and powerful chief who, under the preaching of the Gospel, became deeply convicted of sin. Trembling under a sense of his guilt, he came to the missionary and offered him his much-prized belt of wampum to have his load of guilt removed. When told that the Lord Jesus did not want this offering he went away very sad and depressed in spirit. Soon after he returned and offered his gun and favorite dog. “These are not what Christ wants,” said the missionary. Again he went away sorrowful, but after a time he returned and offered his wigwam and family. The faithful missionary, who saw the struggle that was going on in his heart, refused for his Master even these, saying that “the Saviour could not accept even these as a sacrifice for sin.” The poor convicted, half -despairing Indian then threw himself down upon the ground, and, lifting up his tearful eyes, exclaimed, “Here, Lord, I can do no more. Please take poor Indian too.” The answer of peace and pardon was not long in coming.
Many more delightful instances could be given of the Gospel’s power to save. We give more fully in detail the story of the conversion of Joe. It has been made a blessing to many. We trust the placing it here on record will cause it to be a stimulus and blessing to many more. How true it is that it is not always that the greatest results for God are obtained when the surroundings are most favorable! The crowded, enthusiastic audience does not always yield the greatest number of converts. How often has it been seen by the faithful minister or devoted Sunday-school teacher that their work seemed specially owned of God when under difficulties and discouragements they sacrificed self and personal comfort to be in their place and do their duty!
Many can look back to some cold, wet Sunday or other apparently very unfavorable time, from the human stand-point, when, because they were in their place, precious immortal souls were then influenced by the truth and heartily, believingly accepted Christ as their personal, conscious Saviour. Little did I dream, as I stood up before the little company on that Dakota prairie and preached that short, simple sermon, that it was to be one of the successful sermons of my life.
The last Sunday we spent on the prairies on one of my missionary journeys was the hottest day of which I have any recollection. The fierce sun seemed to beat down upon us with tropical heat, and we all felt more or less prostrated by it. We had been traveling with our horses for nearly thirty days over those wonderful fertile meadows, and as became us, as a party of missionaries, we rested on Sunday, and in rotation held religious service. When we reached this hot Sunday the good minister whose turn it was to officiate was so prostrated by the heat that he declared it was impossible for him to preach. I had conducted the service the previous Sunday, and had the good excuse that it was not my turn. The other good divines also had their excuses, and so it really seemed as though the day would pass by and no service be held. So I volunteered to take the work rather than that it should be neglected. This being announced, the different members of our company, with a few exceptions, gathered round the front of my canvas-covered wagon and seated themselves as comfortably as they could in the prairie grass, improvising sun-shades where they were not the fortunate possessors of umbrellas.
Among the members of our party were two Sioux Indians, who had induced our leader, the Rev. George McDougall, to permit them to join our band. Their wish was to leave their own country and to go and join the Indians on the great plains of the Saskatchewan. And perhaps it was felt best by them to get away, ere a worse evil should befall them; for doubtless they had been seriously mixed up, or implicated in the terrible Sioux Indian war which had raged a short time before, in which hundreds of whites had lost their lives and a large region of country had been desolated. With but one of these Indians we have to do. The only name by which he was known to us was that of Joe. He was a wild-looking fellow, and yet had quite a knowledge of the English language, which doubtless he had picked up in the frontier settlements in times of peace or when he was employed as a guide by hunting-parties on the plains. But he hated the white man’s religion, and generally spent Sundays strolling off with his gun on a shooting excursion.
This hot Sunday, however, Joe felt the heat so oppressive that he stretched himself out on the grass on his back, and, with his old hat over his face, tried to sleep. The spot he had selected for his resting-place was only a few yards in front of my wagon, and doubtless he had taken this position from the fact that as I had taken charge of the service the previous Sunday it would be held this day somewhere else, and so he would not be troubled with it. When I stood up to begin Joe partly got up, as though he would depart, but whether it was the prostrating heat or not he dropped down again on the grass, and looked up at me with his glittering coal-black eyes with any thing but friendliness. As I saw him remaining there for the first time at one of the public services the thought came, “Now, may be this is the only opportunity of saying any thing that will reach Joe.” So I lifted up my heart and prayed, “Lord, give me a message for the poor Indian warrior and hunter that will reach his heart. Help me to deliver the message with such simplicity and plainness that, even with his little knowledge of English, he may understand it.” And with that thought or wish uppermost in my mind I conducted the whole service, and preached the divine word. The service closed as usual, and each did his best to comfortably and restfully pass the remaining hours of the sweltering, oppressive day.
A few days after, our long trip across the prairie was ended. The Territories of Minnesota and Dakota had been crossed, and then, after entering into British territory at Pembina, we traveled on through the French half-breed settlement, until we reached the quaint, old-fashioned, mediæval fortress of Fort Garry. Strangely out of place did it seem to us. As we first looked up at its massive walls and turrets and bastions it seemed as though some freak of nature or magic wand had suddenly transported it from some old historic European nation and dropped it down amid the luxuriant grasses and brilliant flowers of this wild prairie country. For more than a month we had been traveling through the wild, unsettled prairies. For many days we had left behind us all vestiges of civilization. No newspapers or letters had we seen for weeks. The “sound of the church-going bell” or the busy hum of civilized industry had never broken the stillness of those solitudes. The last Anglo-Saxon settler’s cabin was hundreds of miles behind us, and now, after being slowly ferried across the Red River of the North, as we climb up the river’s bank we are suddenly confronted by massive castellated stone walls, round towers, turrets, port-holes, cannons, and piles of balls! Strangely out of place as it seemed at first, there comes a feeling of regret in these later years that it could not have been allowed to remain, but the “land craze” came, and its site at so much per foot was too much for mere sentiment, and so the old historic Fort Garry had to go down, leaving scarce a wreck behind.
Here our party broke up. Revs. George McDougall and Peter Campbell, with their families, Messrs. Sniders, the teachers, and several others, whites and Indians, pushed on still farther west, a distance of over twelve hundred miles. The Rev. George Young remained in the little settlement that was springing up around Fort Garry to open our first mission for settlers speaking the English language.
After a few days’ delay Mrs. Young and I started off on our journey for our home, four hundred miles directly north. Many were our dangers and startling were some of our adventures, but after a couple of weeks of weary toil we safely reached our humble home in our Indian mission field.
But we must now go back to the party that we saw start off on their twelve-hundred-mile trip. Their first stopping place would be Edmonton, on the great North Saskatchewan River. A few days after they had left Fort Garry, while Joe and one of the young gentlemen, a Mr. Snider, who was going out as a mission teacher, were walking along the trail, Joe began asking some strange questions.
“Mr. Snider,” said he.
“Well, Joe, what is it,” was the reply.
“Didn’t that young missionary tell lies when he preached that sermon that hot Sunday?”
“Why, no, Joe; he told the truth.”
“But did he not tell a big lie when he said the Great Spirit loved every body, white man and Indian alike?”
“No, Joe; God is no respecter of persons.”
“But did he not tell a great big lie when he said the Great Spirit gave his Son Jesus Christ to die for the Indian as well as for the white man?”
“No,” was the answer of the pious young teacher; “Jesus, the Son of God, died for all mankind.”
“But—but did he not tell a great big one when he said that the Great Spirit had prepared a fine place for all, Indians and whites, if they would be good and love him?”
“No, Joe; that is all true, and the best thing you can do is to accept it and believe it.” Other conversations were held with the Indian, and he said at last, “Well, if I could believe all that that young minister said that hot Sunday was true I would become a Christian.”
When they reached the far-off mission station Joe, instead of going to the plains and joining the wild, warlike, horse-stealing bands, settled down at the Christian village. He was thoughtful and interested, and by and by became a decided and thorough Christian man. His life was so changed that all who met him were conscious of the fact. No one seeing him then would ever have imagined he had had such a history and that he had ever been guilty of such crimes as were imputed to him.
Some years later, Mr. Snider has since fully entered the ministry and is a valued and useful minister. One day somebody came in and told him that there was a poor dying man outside from the Indian wigwams, who wanted to see him and had a message to leave with him. Mr. Snider’s sympathetic heart was at once interested, and he hurried out. He went down the path, and just as he was getting over the fence he saw the dying man. His first thought was that the man was dead; but seeing there was still life in him, he said,
“Are you the man who sent for me?”
“O, yes, Mr. Snider, I sent for you. I could not die until I left with you a message. They told me you had come, and I was so glad.”
“Who are you?” said Mr. Snider, for so terribly had the small-pox seized him that the missionary had not been able to recognize him.
“I am Joe,” said the dying man.
“O, Joe, is this you? I am very sorry. Can I do any thing for you? Can I bring you a drink of water or help you back to the wigwam?”
“No,” said the poor fellow, “but I want to leave a message with you. I cannot see you, but I can see Jesus, and I shall soon be with him.”
“Why, of course I will take your message, Joe. What is it?”
“Well, Mr. Snider, if you ever see that missionary who preached that sermon that hot Sunday will you please tell him for me that that sermon made me a Christian. You remember I thought he was telling lies, but you told me it was all true, and now I have found it to be so. You know I have tried to live right and have given Him my heart, and now I cannot see you, but I see Jesus and shall soon be with him.”
And thus he talked, and soon after he died in sweet and simple faith in that Saviour who would light up his pathway through the valley of the shadow of death, though his bodily eyes had gone through the fell disease.
Years passed away ere I heard of Joe’s message to me and of his happy, triumphant death, and that he looked back to that simple, plain talk on the beautiful verse, the sixteenth of the third of St. John’s gospel, as the time when the good resolution to be a Christian first entered his heart.
Doubtless very much was owing to the faithful words which were uttered by Mr. Snider and others. Still there was a time of seed-sowing, and it seemed to have been that day, apparently the most unlikely when any permanent good would be done.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." (Psalm 23:4-6)
(Excerpt from Stories From Indian Wigwams and Northern Campfires, LT edition)
The forgiveness that chief Maskepetoon was able to exercise came out of the forgiveness that he himself had experienced from the Lord God Almighty—possibly just preceding what would transpire in forgiving his enemy, while on horseback—all because of His precious Son the Lord Jesus Christ and His bloody sacrifice at the cross of Calvary.
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)
The wonderful salvation that these Indian warriors experienced is available to all.
Have you been forgiven and freed from your sin for ever by the Lord Jesus Christ?
In John 8:31-32, 34-36, the Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed:
“If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. . . . Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
A helpful companion book that exposes the darkness present in Indian spirituality is Muddy Waters: an insider’s view of North American Native Spirituality authored by Nanci Des Gerlaise, a Christian Cree First Nations Indian from northern Alberta.