Season 2, Episode 4: The Intersection of Faith and Race with Rev. Jeff Jaekley and Alie Flores

About This Episode

Host Connor Kenaston interviews Rev. Jeff Jaekley who serves as the Native American Representative on the MSJ Team for the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church. Towards the end of the episode you will hear Allie Flores in conversation with Kenneth Pruitt about the intersectionality of race and faith.

“Some of my identity has been shaped by the not-knowing. What I have come to realize is my dad was taught to be ashamed of his Native American heritage. He was of a generation, (and there is a whole generation of folks his age or around there) that was basically told that if they could pass for white it would be better for them.”

“The idea was, we need to take these children away from their Indian families and make good Americans out of them. A lot of times that meant taking away their heritage, their native identity, any religious or spiritual practices they may have picked up from their family, taking away from them their native languages. It has only been in the last 30-40 years that there has been a renaissance in teaching those languages because there were generations that never learned them.”

“Ninety-plus percent of our nuclear waste is placed on tribal lands. Which when you tie it into history goes into the fact that the lands that they were given to be their reservations space was land that no one else really wanted. So it’s not land that is necessarily conducive to growing crops or land renovation. So then these companies come in and say, 'We’ll give you lots of money to store this stuff on your land.' And whatever options do they have, you might say. But then there is also resilience to them.”


In This Episode

1:00 A Process of Discovery in Racial Identity
4:30 Native American Identity and Historical Shame
5:50 Loss of Culture through Government Programs
7:30 The Church and Manifest Destiny
8:30 Methodist Pastors Showing Solidarity
9:45 Continued Actions Against Tribes
10:30 Resilience Despite Hundreds of Years of Discrimination
15:00 Final Message
16:30 Allie Flores and Intersectionality as a Mexican American