Dr. Casey Church is the Director of Wiconi International, a contextual Indigenous ministry based in Vancouver, Washington. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology, a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies, and a Doctor of Intercultural Studies. Casey is a Pokagon Band Potawatomi member from southwest Michigan. His Potawatomi name is Ankwawango, which means “Hole in the Clouds.” He is of the Bear clan from his mother’s side (the late Mary Church-Pokagon, a Pokagon Band Potawatomi member), and the Crane clan from his father’s side (the late Leonard Church, Nottawasippi Huron Band). Casey, his wife Lora, and their five children have lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the past fifteen years.
Casey’s journey led him to study traditional spiritual teachings under his Anishinaabe elders. He investigated culturally-appropriate (contextual) approaches to Native evangelism at Fuller Theological Seminary. Casey and Lora pastored a Native church plant in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from 1996 to 2000. Their church was one of the first Native American contextualized congregations in the country. The Churches also directed Native Christian ministries in the Southwest. Casey is a frequent presenter at national and regional conferences on Native ministry and is often asked to be a consultant, teaching his approach to contextual adaptation of Native rituals and ceremonies. He works with the Brethren in Christ Overcomers Alcohol Treatment Program in Farmington, New Mexico, conducting Christian Sweat Lodge Ceremonies and providing guidance in contextual ministry methods.
He has served as a consultant and interim staff member for the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church’s Office of Native American and Indigenous Ministries. Casey is a board member for NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community (previously the North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies), a contributing writer for its academic journal, and workshop presenter at its symposiums.
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This event is presented by the UF American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program (AIIS) with support from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Anthropology Department, the Land Use and Environmental Conservation Unit (LUECI), and the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere (Rothman Endowment).
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