North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies
NAIITS is a Non-sectarian organization dedicated to:
- encouraging the Native North American community to develop and to articulate Native North American perspectives on theology and practice
- encouraging the development and implementation of Native North American learning styles and world views through encouraging the development of a body of written work that addresses biblical, theological, and ethical issues from Native North American perspectives in concert with those of other ethnicities who would speak into this context
- seeking to facilitate the creation of a written theological foundation for a) the visioning of new paradigms to reach Native North Americans and other Indigenous peoples with the Good News of Jesus; and, b) the contextualization of the Good News in Native communities
- seeking to develop theological partnerships with other cultural communities of faith which will ensure the voice of Jesus is heard in all ways and will ensure biblical orthodoxy in all things
- genuine dialogue with the historical traditions of Christianity and values the written and living resources encompassed in these traditions
Our goal is to develop and instruct from a body of theology and biblical teaching that resonates with the culture and traditions of Native North Americans. For generations, Native North Americans have believed Christian faith required them to become like Euro North Americans. Many still do! They lived the false dichotomy of belief that a fulfilled relationship with the Creator required rejection of their own culture and the adoption of another. In best case scenarios Native North Americans struggle to embrace “God” in the Christianity of a secularized western culture. In the worst case, they have rejected “God” in the person of Jesus because of western Christianity’s perceived cultural requirements.
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We are dedicated to the development of
increased theological capacity
in the Aboriginal community
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NAIITS believes our Creator has called us to operate beyond these historic boundaries, committing to a partnership of visionary, like-minded organizations to achieve its educational goals. Partnerships with theological institutions throughout Canada and the United States provide a solid foundation for impacting Indigenous peoples.
Also critical to laying new tracks and building new bridges are renewed relationships with denominational leaders. NAIITS works in partnership with denominational leadership in the task of preparing their leaders for the many expressions of the future Native church.
Positive working relationships among emerging Native North American theologians are also critical to developing a body of material from which to address issues of concern in this new era of expanded potential. NAIITS facilitates critical opportunities for this to occur.
Many Native North Americans are members of churches that neither understand Indigenous history and culture nor celebrate the traditions important to most Native North Americans. So, the challenges to these new opportunities begins with refocused biblical theology expressed specifically with this in mind.
Through our symposiums, training programs, journal and partnerships, NAIITS facilitates and encourages the unique theological perspectives of Native North Americans, furthering the development of a growing set of diverse materials on:
NAIITS was born in response to the inability of the Christian evangelical church to include Native North Americans in a manner that affirmed who their Creator has shaped them to be. NAIITS personnel believe Native followers of Jesus have something to contribute to the wider community of faith in terms of theology, most particularly to the Native community. More info
Our desire is to see men and women journey down the road of a living heart relationship with Jesus in a transformative way – one which does not require the rejection of their Creator-given social and cultural identity. More info
The board of NAIITS is intentionally international as the name suggests. Meet the Board