From the prologue: "The Indian Ecumenical Conference began during the fall of 1969 as an experiment in grassroots organizing among native spiritual leaders. Conference founders believed the survival of native communities would hinge on transcending the antagonisms between tribal and Christian traditions--a problem as old as the European colonization of the Americas--and they hoped to cultivate religious self-determination among native people by facilitating dialogue, understanding, and cooperation between diverse tribal nations and spiritual persuasions."