ELL: New Tribes

Jon Reyhner Jon.Reyhner at NAU.EDU
Thu Sep 23 04:56:45 UTC 1999

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 Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 20:56:45 -0800
 From: Jon Reyhner <Jon.Reyhner at NAU.EDU>
 Subject: ELL: New Tribes
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  The April 1996 (Vol. 24, No. 2) of Missiology: An International Review
  is a special issue on Missionaries, Anthropologists, and Human Rights.
  One of the articles by Allyn MacLean Stearman (Professor of Anthropology
  at the University of Central Florida, Orlando) is titled "Better Fed
  Than Dead: The Yaqui of Bolivia and the New Tribes Mission: A 30-Year
  Retrospective." She is not completely favorable to their efforts but
  concludes "For the present, at least, New Tribes missionaries continue
  to provide the Yaqui with the only dependable organizational support
  committed to defending their basic human right to exist. There are also
  strong indictions that the mission personnel currently present at the
  Chimore are working with the Yuqui to develop their future with little
  of the former paternalist pressure to conform to mission standards" (p.
  224). New tribes is simply identified in the article as a "Protestant
  missionary organization."

  I worked for a year as a tribal school administrator on an American
  Indian reservation in the United States that had an active Wyliffe
  missionary who was translating the Bible into the tribal language. He
  was acting with the permission of the tribe and as far as I could see
  was adhering to the agreement he had with the tribe.

  Missionaries working at the invitation of a tribe in my view should be
  no more criticised than anyone else working with the tribe (as I was as
  an employee of the tribally controlled school). This particular
  missionary was very helpful to the tribal school by transcribing secular
  tribal language material at no cost  for the school's bilingual program.

  Jon Reyhner, Associate Professor
  Northern Arizona University

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