These types of overt religious and divine interpretations scared historians away from studying missions. The situation changed in with the Royal Orders of New Discovery. American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Views Read Edit Fossil record. The final result, though, became a legacy of dictionaries, ethnographies, and cultural studies, some deeply flawed and others of which have become the means by which current Indian populations revitalize their culture. But one thing all tribes shared in common was that at some point they faced an encounter with white Christians.