Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry: Conversations on Creation, Land Justice, and Life Together

2013, 360 pp
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How can North Americans come to terms with the lamentable clash between indigenous and settler cultures, spiritualities, and attitudes toward creation? Showcasing a variety of voices both traditional and Christian, native and non-native, Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry offers up alternative histories, radical theologies, and poetic, life-giving memories that can unsettle our souls and work toward reconciliation.

This book is intended for all who are interested in healing historical wounds of racism, stolen land, and cultural exploitation. Essays on land use, creation, history, and faith appear among poems and reflections by people across ethnic and religious divides. The writers do not always agree in fact, some are bound to raise readers' defences. But they represent the hard truths that we must hear before reconciliation can come.

“Let me tell you, this book has rocked my world. I feel overwhelmed and at a complete loss as to how to proceed as a white Christian "settler". In all my public education growing up in Ontario I was not informed of the true nature of Canada’s story as this book brings to light. It’s very disturbing and humbling. Even in my post secondary studies (in Mennonite institutions!) I cannot recall hearing Indigenous-settler issues being raised as a concern for the church to address, and I have not until this year thought of myself as a "settler". Your book leaves no room whatsoever for us colonizers to wiggle out of responsibility for a deep unhealed tragedy in this land. I look forward to meeting you soon, and hope to learn from yourself and others how to move out of the paralysis and into redemptive responses to this whole reality. Thank you for bringing us this book, I hope it will generate many significant steps toward understanding, respect and healing.” – Kevin Drudge, Winkler, MB

“Superb! For centuries our misunderstandings and conflicts have accumulated . . . In this book the issues are opened, offering information, insights, and resolutions that amaze our usual thinking. Read it carefully; with a prayer for understanding.” —Rudy Wiebe, novelist, co-author with Yvonne Johnson of Stolen Life: The Journey of a Cree Woman

“This invaluable collection calls us to decolonize theology and interrogate how the logics of settler colonialism have infused Christianity. At the same time, it refuses the temptation to replace one metanarrative with another.” —Andrea Smith, author of Native Americans and the Christian Right

“Steve Heinrichs has edited a courageous and urgent book. The voices that speak here sound from outside the theopolitical, social-economic domination system of our society. The book is an invitation to rethink both policy and attitude. Attention must be paid!” —Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"There is something ingenious – and inclusive – about this book. It communicates a difficult and complex subject in ways that challenge, engage, give pause and warm the heart, whether we come to the text as European settlers, or indigenous peoples. We encounter history, theology, poetry, sketches and reflections. We cannot leave this book without being unsettled, disturbed, even angry." - David Kupp, Professor of Pastoral Theology In Urban and International Development, Wycliffe College.

Also see the following reviews/references:

A required text for a 2015 Toronto School of Theology class.

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