Remembering Richard Twiss

UrbanFaith honors the legacy of Richard Twiss, a prophetic Christian voice for social justice, racial reconciliation, and indigenous leadership.

Richard Twiss, co-founder and President of Wiconi International, (1954- 2013) (Photo courtesy of Wiconi International)

Last Saturday, Richard Twiss, the noted Native American leader, died at the age of 58 due to complications resulting from a heart attack.  He was a member of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate from the Rosebud Lakota Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Amongst other things, Twiss was well known for being the President and co-founder (along with his wife Katherine) of Wiconi International, an innovative ministry which seeks to work “for the well-being of our Native people by advancing cultural formation, indigenous education, spiritual awareness and social justice connected to the teachings and life of Jesus, through an indigenous worldview framework”.

Twiss modeled a healthy integration of Christianity and culture; he once remarked that, “walking the way of Jesus has meant embracing my Native American heritage”. A gentle-hearted and uncompromising truthteller, he identified America’s original sins of racism and Native American genocide in order to establish reconciliation built on justice and dignity for all who bear God’s image.

Uncle Richard, as his close friends called him, exhibited profound courage by calling us “to the Creator’s great powwow, around the throne of the nonviolent Lamb, in whose reign every nation and tribe and people and language are present, protected, and celebrated”.

UrbanFaith honors the legacy of Richard Twiss and we invite you to pray with and for his family as they mourn his passing.

About the author, Andrew Wilkes

Andrew Wilkes is the editor of UrbanFaith. He serves as an affiliate minister at the Greater Allen Cathedral of New York and works at Habitat for Humanity – New York City as the Faith and Community Relations associate. An alum of Princeton Theological Seminary and Hampton University, his writing has been featured in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and Sojourners Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @andrewjwilkes.

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