Native American religions consist of a set of basic attitudes that relate people to their natural surroundings. Ceremonies that include stories, songs, chants, magic formulas, and prayers are intended to help the faithful focus on the essential, yet often ignored, things in life, such as the forces of nature, natural resources, and birth and death. ""Native American Religions, Third Edition"" presents the history of the Native American religions, starting from their roots as tribal religions, and then details the detrimental effects of European colonization, the annihilation of the Native Americans that threatened the religions, and their sudden restoration in the 20th century. The coverage includes ethical and religious principles that guide believers to living a harmonious and balanced life; the influence of geography and nature on Native American beliefs; ceremonies and rituals that are an intrinsic part of the lives of tribe members; the relationship between Native American religions and Christianity; the death of Sitting Bull and the Wounded Knee Massacre; and, a shift from the age of 'Vanishing Americans' to the struggle to lobby for Native American rights.
Paula R. Hartz was a teacher and a textbook editor, and specialized in writing nonfiction and educational materials for elementary and secondary school students. She wrote the latest editions of Baha'i Faith, Daoism, Shinto, and Zoroastrianism, all from Chelsea House's World Religions set.