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A “Native American Church” Without Native Americans

Authenticity, appropriation, good intentions, and profiteering

Do non-indigenous people have a right to perform or practice indigenous rituals? There’s no single answer, as Native Americans are not a monolithic group with a single opinion on the matter. Sierra Crane Murdoch reports on a group of religious organizations that purportedly offer “authentic” ceremonies—run by people with dubious claims to indigenous heritage—and give their participants peyote, a medicinal plant considered a sacrament by many Native Americans.

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October 2021

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