Research guide

Looking to do some research on this topic? Here are a few directions and helpful hints for research!

Take this guide with you when visiting a library to find books or articles on the subject.

Statement on Potentially Harmful Language

The SIMA Project aims to tell the full story of what has been said and done within the relationship between the evangelical church and Indigenous people in Alberta, in the spirit of truth and reconciliation. This means that certain material on this site relating to historical events and views may be distressing or triggering for some viewers. A National Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support to former Residential School students and their families. This 24-Hour Crisis Line can be accessed at: 1-866-925-4419.

The research guide summarizes Library of Congress terms and subject headings, and we have no control over the usage of these terms in libraries. The conversation on reforming LOC subject headings is being undertaken by libraries across Canada as we speak. However, the research guide reflects terminology as the library system currently uses it. Read more information on this conversation here.

The project team strives to be honest and transparent in their treatment of such material, while still remaining sensitive and inclusive. This is a difficult balance to strike, and we welcome feedback from viewers as to how such material can be phrased better. To provide such feedback, please email


Indigenous ministry, First Nations ministry, Indigenous Christianity, Christianity and Indigenous people. Try subbing in different terms: Indigenous, Aboriginal, Native, First Nations, Native American, Indian, Amerindian

Subject Headings

Top headings

  • Christianity and culture

  • Christianity and culture--North America

  • Indians of North America--Missions--Canada

  • Indians of North America--Missions--History

  • Indians of North America--Religion

  • Indians of North America--Canada--Religion

  • Indigenous people--Religion

  • Church work with Indians


  • Missions--History--20th century--Congresses.

  • Conversion--Christianity--History--20th century--Congresses.

  • Christianity and culture--History--20th century

  • Indians of North America--Missions

  • North America--Church history

  • Western Hemisphere--Church history

Missions philosophy

  • Missionaries

  • Mission--Theory

  • Mission--Biblical teaching

  • Indians--Missions

  • Christianity and other religions

  • Missions--Moral and ethical aspects

Decolonization of theology

  • Indians of North America--Colonization

  • Bible--Postcolonial criticism.

  • Decolonization--Western Hemisphere

  • Postcolonial theology

  • Liberation theology

Other useful but uncommon headings

  • Reconciliation--Religious aspects

  • Racism--Religious aspects--Christianity

  • Multiculturalism--Religious aspects--Christianity

  • Indians of North America--Social conditions

Prolific Authors to Look for


  • Richard Twiss - Specialty: Contextualization, decolonization of Christianity, evangelical

  • Randy Woodley - Specialty: Contextualization, decolonization of Christianity, evangelical

  • Cheryl Bear(-Barnetson) - Specialty: Contextualization, decolonization of Christianity, evangelical

  • Ray Aldred - Specialty: Contextualization, evangelical (Aldred hasn't published any books, but he has written articles and book chapters)


  • Steve Heinrichs - Specialty: Decolonization of Christianity, reconciliation, political activism, liberation theology, evangelical

  • Michael Andraos - Specialty: Catholicism, reconciliation, decolonization

Liberation theology & criticisms of Christianity

  • James Treat - Specialty: Liberation theology, political activism, liberal Christianity

  • George "Tink" Tinker - Specialty: Liberation theology, political theology, criticisms of Christianity, liberal Christianity

  • Deloria Vine - Specialty: Criticisms of Christianity, political activism, Indigenous spirituality, non-Christian

Library of Congress Browsing Guide

Unfortunately, there is no specific location for the topic of Indigenous expressions of Christianity in the Library of Congress classification system. Instead, books on this topic are typically shelved under either theology/Christianity (BR-BX) or Indigenous history (E77-99). Most books on Indigenous Christianity are shelved in E 98 M6, which is on the history of Christian missions to the "Indians of North America." As a result, this shelf houses books on both the historical and philosophical/theological aspects of Indigenous Christianity. Below is a full list of places where books on Indigenous ministry, on an Indigenous expression of Christianity, and on the relationship between the Church and Indigenous peoples in Canada, can be found.

  • BR-BT, BX - Christianity, The Bible, Doctrinal Theology, and Christian Denominations

      • Books relating to Indigenous Christianity will be found scattered throughout these shelves. For instance, Living in color : embracing God's passion for ethnic diversity is shelved under BR 115 C8 (Christianity in relation to special topics > Culture), and Christ is a Native American is shelved under BT 2015 (Christology > General special).

      • Shelf browsing will probably not be helpful, given the scatter across such a broad range. Search the catalogue for keywords instead.

  • BV 2000-3705 - Practical Theology > Missions

      • Books specifically about Christian missions to Indigenous people are found here. BV 2100 particularly seems to have books on missions to Canada's Indigenous peoples.

  • E75-99 - History of America > Indians of North America

      • Some books about the history of reconciliation and contextualization may be shelved here

  • E 98 M6 - History of America > Indians of North America > Other Topics, A-Z > Missions, General

      • This is where most books about Indigenous Christianity will be found, sometimes even if they do not have a historical aspect, although books with a historical focus will definitely be found here.

      • This section includes books on both American and Canadian Indigenous peoples.

  • FC 3231-3250 - Canadian history > The Prairie Provinces

      • Books about the history of Alberta can be found here. Most histories will contain some section on Indigenous-Settler relations in colonial Alberta.

      • A note about FC - The FC schedule is an independent Library Of Congress (LOC) schedule designed to fit the needs of Canadian libraries in housing books on Canadian history, an ability that was lacking in the regular LOC schedule. Click here to view the schedule.

      • Under the regular LOC schedule, "Indians of Alberta" would be found under F 78.A34. Under the FC schedule, All books on "Indians and Inuit of Canada" are shelved under E 77-99. Books on the Metis are shelved under FC 108-129.

Note: One book the was used in this project, Indigenous People and the Christian Faith: A New Way Forward, was shelved under GN 470.2, which is Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > Cultural traits, customs, and institutions > Intellectual life > Religion and ritual. Belief systems > General special. The book is not really historical, which would prevent to placement in E 98, nor is it truly theological, which would prevent to placement on the B shelves - the two locations where books on our topic are usually found. However, the book does tie together historical, theological, cultural, and philosophical elements as it addresses it's topic of Indigenous Christianity. Thus, it was placed on GN 470.2, a shelf on religious anthropology. This specific shelf spot may also be a good place to look for books on the topic of Indigenous Ministry/Indigenous Christianity.

For a pre-curated list of helpful books, see SIMA's Annotated Bibliography

A note on archives and research: This project was completed in 2020, and so archives were generally unavailable to us due to Covid-19 closures. If you are a researcher interested in looking into indigenous ministry, we would highly recommend you do primary source research at whatever archives are available to you. Our querying indicated that the private archives of the denominations we researched would have been very beneficial to us in our research, had we been able to access them.