Greensky Hill Native American Methodist Church: the role of language in group identity

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Language and Societies

Greensky Hill Native American Methodist Church: the role of language in group identity

Kat Slocum

Greensky Hill Church, situated in Northern Michigan (45°19′42″N, 85°11′5″W), is a blended church of Native American Christians and White Christians. Incorporated in church services are both the English and the Anishnaabemowin language – a Native American language from the Algonquin language family. This study asks how Greensky Hill Church became bilingual and situates it within the larger narrative of the nation. The utilization of historic documents contributions to the understanding of the history of the church, its founder, and its unique balance of Methodist and Native American ideologies that are incorporated through language. More broadly, this research seeks to understand language choices as strategies that forge allegiances and form group identity. For the purposes of this study, an in-depth analysis of the regional and national history is necessary. It is with this historic…

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