Responses to the Statement:
War Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality

The following are responses to the statment concerning the exploitation of Lakota ceremonies. Anyone is free to submit a response to this statement provided you include explicit permission to post the statement to the internet. Each response must be individually processed by the web masters so please be patient if this process takes a little time. We ask that people be respectful in their responses and address the issues and not individual persons.

Due to the size of the responses I have divided them into smaller sections. You may read the most recent responses below in reverse chronlogy (newest to oldest).



   It's private  

Courtesy of ChangeDetection


From: Jenna Hoag
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2008

      Thank you for putting this Declaration on the interent for all to see.
You have permission to post my comment, but please do not post my email
address.  Thank you.

      Although I am not of Lakota decent, I share many of the same beliefs as
the Lakota people.  Reading this Declaration makes me ashamed that some of
my friends see themselves as New Agers who follow Native American
believes.  I, myself, do follow some of the Lakota beliefs and I wish to
be part of their rituals, but I also respect thier lifestyles and I know
that most likely, I would not be accepted into these rituals.  I pray for
the exploitation of the culture I hold near to my heart to stop soon.

Wise Trials,
Jenna Hoag

From: Creamin Mycoffee
Sent: Saturday, September 05, 2009

You have my permission to post this on your forum and anyone else can post this wherever they like too. I am happy to share my feelings on this subject. And i dont charge for it either.

I have a statement to make on behalf of several groups of people that are being exploited. But before I do I want u all to understand my story.

I was a 60s sweep adoptee, adopted out of the notorious Catholic CHarities baby mill organization that still holds my identity hostage, because they took me away from a bi racially married couple, myself and my brother. My father was a "breed", my mother white. I do not know if we were on or off the reservation. I was separated from my brother, becasue the white famlily didnt want them just me. My adopted "mother", and i use the term loosely did not want to change diapers. I was almost 2 and potty trained. My adoption was not final until i was a little over three years old.

THankfully my adopted mother hated my heritage, and also disliked me enough and was cruel enough to offer plenty of clues and statements that would allow me to make sense of my looks, and my heritage finally at the age of 47. My records are still closed to me, but i have narrowed down my search to the Metis of Canada, or the Eastern Southern tribes of the US.

I had stood out from my parents, very opbviousely my entire life. I was caramel colored, with a white undertonme, and wild hair that my mother spent hours trying to "tame". My hair was shot with red, so i do not have the pure black silken hair, but my face is undeniably First Nations, to put it in a PC way. THe sickest think about this whole situation, is thart everyone knew the truth but no one would tell me. I would awsk all the time why do i look like this why am i different? When she was in a generous mood she would say becasue i was "special", when she was in a cruel mood she would say "just be grtateful you were lucky you were adopted u could still be at the orphanage".

One day when i came home from surfung, my mother realized just how dark i had gotten(They lived on the southern california coast), and how wild my hair was. I stand at almost 6 feet today, but back then i was about 5 nine and i towered over her. (I am a woman by the way). It was then she very unceremousiousely blurted out. that i was a godamn savage, and belonged with the savages and getr the hell out of her house. I was 13 years old. I did.

I lived life on the streets, and eventually lived with a freind who was Native Hawaiinan. I eventually moved to Hawaii. I have lived there for over 30 years. It took more than 20 years to learn the old ways of the Hawaiians, and to be accepted. On the small island i lived on, i learned the ways, and was allowed to teach by virtue of my being relatged through my children, who are Native Hawaiin. I raised them alone, as their gfathers would not accept them becasue they were from a non Hawaiian mother, who looked white. (Now figure THAT one out)

ANyways,  about 10 years ago, a pow wow would come to our island The second year, we saw WIlma Mankiller. I had to meet this woman. SHe took one look at me and said...Hey You, and a warrior too. You better start fighting becasue the time is now.

WOW. If u never heard or met or spoke to this woman you really have missed out. Anyways she inspired me. I kept coming back to powwow, but i didnt participate. Eventually i was asked to participate,  to my total shock and surprise. I did, but i was reluctant becasue i dont know who i belong to. THey have asked me many times to sit on the board but i dont. ANyways, i have tried out different regalia, trying to see what seems to be a good fit for me, I spend one time a year meeting everyone, getting to know everyone. We know all know each other, and i am accepted, and i feel they are a family to me. But their traditions are not my traditions. I try becasue i love the drum, and i love to dance i dance the old lafy traditional (haha) but i feel like I shouldnt. But these people, they encourage me to dance, and so i go and dance. Every year they ask how my search is going every year i tell them i still dont know. THey keep telling me dont worry, that i belong, and its all ok.

To make a long story even longer, as an hanaid or adopted "hawaiian", by the way that is a specific cultural term to the poeple over there, and doesnt just mean ogh someone took me in and was nice to me. I have been living in the same conditions, (ie outer islands, poverty, rural), and in their homes from the age of 17 until 30 years of age. I was taught well. I took kcare of the children, i fished, and farmed, and lived, and gave birth to their families children . I followed the protocols and behaved myself, and did not speak about what i knew.

In the meantimne all of these other white hippie caucasions were coming over with their new age crap and trying to get information from my adopted family. I would run them out. and yell at them and threaten to beat them up if they didnt get off the property I could see them for what they were. Traying to steal the older kupuna mana(power,energy), and suck them of it like phsychic vampires, then take the knowlege as their own and go make money off of it.

It made me so very angry. First, they take me away, take my first heritage away from me. THen with my second family they hate me becasue of that heritage. then with my third family, they come here to steal their knowlege from them. I got so mad at all these poeple coming here, learning the ways from our kupuna who just shared for love and never money that i decided rto srtart speakking about what i knew, and teaching to make them look silly. THat went on for awhile and i got some prominant jobs, but i didnt last long. I could not stomach earning a living by telling the culture it made me sick and ill. I quite it all, and refused to speak about the cultrue anymore. I only talk and teach now for free i wont earn my living from it even though tourism is our only means of survival right now.

SO........i see these poeple are coming to Hawaii now. THe one we hate the MOST Serge Kahili King a charlaten and a liar and someone who just has no idea what he is talking about. THat white eagle feather lafdy came too this year, and that other lady that Lynn lady is coming too. We dont want them here either. We have so many of these fake poeple in hawaii, even a lot of the Native Hawaiians are fake too, and i can say that becasue i know them  personally. THey ape, and say whatever, and they like the money and they tell everything. But we beleive thqat they will become sick and ill and lose their mana(power) by doing that. with the guys that are waging war. We need to do the same thing to, since the same guys making the trouble over there are now coming over here. Do they ever give back? DO they support Native American or Native Hawaiian educaiton programs? How about homeless programs? How about just plain giving of their time for FREE on the reservation without trying to pick peoples brains about their cultrue? Help the kids with math, or take an elder to the gfrocery store? NONE OF YOU GIVE BACK U JUST STEAL STEAL STEAL

U STOLE ME when i was a little gir.\l, u stole my heart my soul, and now, u steal the knowlege of the very peplpe your grandpaearents made life a living hell. Do you even know what the 60s sweep was? How about the trail of tears? Wounded knee in the 70s? how about Kahoolawe, or  the Stealing of our Kingdom by the US governmnet? you know NOTHING. u just steal steal steal. shame shame shame.

I fanybody should be getting money from what u CLAIM you should give it all back to your "teachers", and your "shamans" you all claim taught u. March right up to the reservation, plunk down your sacks of money and say "here, thank you gfrandmother/grandgfather for your knowlege. I shared it. Here is your reward. THATS WHAT YOU SHOULD ALL DO!!

But u wont becasue you are ALL TOO GREEDYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

I remain unnamed as they took me, until my name is returned to me.

From: Rechael Garcia
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2008
Feel free to post this, but not my email address please.  I'm hoping that my message will be clear to those who want to listen.
First I'd like to recognize that it's only human to be angry and hurt when the acts of others has damaged a people down to the core of their beings and even down to the depths of the land they live on.  Families and whole societies have been torn apart and destroyed, leaving people clinging for life to those traditions and ways that remain.  Those damages can not be taken back and the scars left behind last for many generations.  We are a broken world.  We are a broken country. 
I agree that too many arrogant and greedy intruders are most definitely exploiting native ways for ego and profit.  But please keep in mind that they do not represent the whole of society. 
So here's my story.
I was born here on this land.  The Creator brought my spiri t into this body and placed me in the care of my parents.  My life here started in North Carolina 30 years ago.  I was innocent and unaware of any wars, betrayals and genocide that had taken place there.  Intruders came here from accross the ocean beginning at least a few hundred years back and nearly destroyed a whole population of people that came from this land.  From the physical eye, I may appear more like those original intruders than like those whose ancestors have lived with this land for countless generations.  But I've felt from an early age that it was my place to learn from the past mistakes of history and make a change in my life in order to learn to live more in harmony with this place.  I'm here to learn and to serve and to evolve.  I hope my children will grow from the seeds of learning that we've planted.  I hope that this whole country will learn how to respect each other and this home we live on.  I hope that those here who know how to live in harmony with this land and people will share with those of us who are trying to find our way.  I've been fortunate to have been put on a path that led me directly to teachers and spiritual people whose ancestors are from this land.  I do my best to obtain my learnings directly from the source and not allow myself to be tainted by false teachings.
I believe that many of those that came from Europe were lost souls, angry, treated badly from the time of their own infanthood.  Sort of like an entire population of estranged, beligerant and undisciplined teenagers in adults' bodies.  Not all from Europe were like that, I'm sure.  But those in power of them corrupted their untrained minds and spirits.  I believe they left to try to escape the heartless prison that their lives were, and ultimately just brought the prison with them.  We can't put that past aside.  We must al ways remember.  But here we are.  Will we continue to mill over the pain and not emerge from it?  Or will we go through it and move forward, learning and praying for progress and healing?  I've been reading about some resentments towards non-Indian people learning the spiritual ways of this land and people.  I've felt the resentment myself at least a couple times.  (I am of mixed decent, mostly Irish.  My Great-Grandmother was full Cherokee from Alabama of all places.)  But I know I have good intentions and I consciously strive to remain humble every day.  I believe that any time people come together to pray is a good thing.  I think it's about time we begin working towards a change, especially in these crucial times where our Earth is suffering and people and animals are not well.  Isn't it about time that we return to the Earth and learn to be in harmony with our lives and surroundings?  I'm sure that if some are called or drawn to these ancient learnings and ways, it is part of the healing process of this world we live in.  I'm thankful for positive change and progress towards a better world.  It's the only thing that gives me hope in these dark and dire times.  I feel like these immense city structures, industries and systems will all ultimately expire and be swallowed up and digested like the tumors that they are.  These freeways and refineries and mines and fences are all gashes in the flesh of our Mother.  Each of us can decide whether to help in the healing process or just make it worse.  We choose our paths every day.  I don't see the point being stuck in this machine anymore.  I feel it's only making us weaker and keeping us from doing the work here that needs to be done.  Just my thoughts today.  All my relations.
Rechael Barber-Garcia

From: Bill Pratt
Sent: Sunday, June 21, 2009

In response to a posting regarding the duties of a warrior, I would like to add some additional definitions. A warrior, it is true, is a fighter against those who would harm his people. He was, on occasion, a killer out of necessity in historical Native American history. It was necessary to preserve his honor, his tribe, his wife and his children. It was survival. But a warrior is much, much more than that. He is the provider for his people. He is their guardian of their spiritual beliefs and their freedom. He is the protector of all the sacredness of the tribe and family. He provides courage and leadership for the young men. He teaches them what they need to know to survive and protect their tribe and families when the warrior grows old. He protects the elders, and their histories, so that the tribe may know its history. He is the first awake in the morning to hunt for food and the last to sleep at night when all is safe. He is the last to eat so that the women and children have enough first. He sacrifices his meals if there is not enough to go around for all others. A warrior is more than just a person who kills – he is the protector, provider, guardian, hunter, fighter, and stands against all that threaten the history of his tribe and family. He is the keeper of the faith and the continuity of his people. He is a proud man who would sacrifice his all for the people he loves. That is a true warrior!

Bill Pratt

From: lynne pearce
Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2008

Having read a few of the postings on your page, I would like my words to be considered for print.
I was born and bred in the United Kingdom, of mixed parentage father (cuban/jamaican descent) & mother (french/polish jew/Spanish-irish descent).
My feelings are as follows, it is one thing to show a a genuine interest in another's culture, race or traditions.  However it is a totally different thing when there is a lack of respect and consideration.  Of course, it is a way for all of us to embrace these differences or diversities.  I find it a complete mockery and disrespectful when paths are crossed with those who think reading books, buying the latest POWWOW CD's and such, is their passport to become "First Nations People"!!
As many of the authors have posted, is is nothing to do with that at all, it's all about a way of life, you never stop learning, embracing the ways and traditions from ancestors so on and so forth.
Sadly, I have witnessed this first and foremost & it causes great annoyance at times.  It is as though, many out there see it as the new "Trend", which has now been going on for a few years now and getting worse.  As a result of this, it causes those who follow the "Red Road", to be more suspicious of many from other cultures.  However, this is understandable and I can in a sense relate, not as much but still can all the same.  Even in the United Kingdom, we have those who strive or have this unquenchable thirst, to become someone they truly are not.  
There has been many times in my life I have made my voice and thoughts clear and further added "Before you set out on the road of discovering the ways, beliefs & traditions of others, first learn the ways of yours".  To discover is different than living the ways, its a lifelong thing not just until the next "Trend" or what is considered "Fashionable" at that said time.
I will end now, many thanks for reading this email.


From: Penny Johnston []
Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2008

Permission given to post

Am I missing something here? So many posts from non-native responders indicate a sense of rejection and the feeling that they have been given an injunction to not follow or practice Native American spiritual beliefs/practices.

Although I did find both feelings on and off the reservation from some Native Americans, I went back to the declaration several times and do not find this to be the thrust of the document. I think the following quote really sums up the intent of the document. “1. We hereby and henceforth declare war against ALL persons who persist in exploiting, abusing and misrepresenting the sacred traditions and spiritual practices of our Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people.”  The rest, prior to, and following this quote simply substantiate the need for a serious call to action, which I totally agree with. I was personally sickened to see the New Age and other dogmas proselytized to the unsuspecting and trusting Lakota people, even by other and often “educated” Lakota, as being one and the same with their historical spiritual beliefs and traditions. Because you can find just about anything you want that is called “Native American Spirituality, the beautiful and very meaning filled historical beliefs and practices of the Lakota have become a joke to many of their own people, especially the youth. Because of the many differing and totally non-historical beliefs and practices that have been mixed in, the true beauty that is uniquely Lakota has become lost in a thin, superstitious hodge podge of beliefs and rituals that are void of traditional Lakota values beyond speaking them.. Spiritual leaders who model traditional values in their everyday lives are few and far apart. I would be rich if I had a dollar for every time I attempted to connect a youth or family in need of spiritual guidance with a Lakota Medicine man only to be told that this or that Medicine man could not be trusted, or was doing this or that immoral behavior that ran counter to the traditional Lakota code of values.

While some posters here obviously believe, and perhaps even the signatories may also agree, that Non-Natives should not participate or especially be involved in leading ceremonies, etc., the declaration of war does not specifically address this question, or did I just miss it? The issue of concern addressed by the declaration is the exploitation, abuse, and misrepresentation of sacred traditions and spiritual practices and not a manifesto of rejection of Non-Native peoples who have developed sympathy for the genuine sacred traditions and spiritual practices. While some of the signatories may have held a belief in the superiority of Native spirituality (I don’t know so I won’t say), the declaration of war does not appear to be espousing an arrogant and racist attitude of being spiritually unique, or possessing more spirituality than a Non-Native ever could, which I have come across in some Native people. Instead, it appears to me to be simply the heartfelt outcry and call to action over the intentional and unintentional destruction of a most important part of their culture and heritage, and therefore, their identity at a time when they need to increase respect for their cultural identity, especially in their youth who are increasingly feeling alienated, lonely, and as if they don’t have a place in the world. I think it is especially sad that we will fight, as Non-Native Americans, to be included in a minority culture’s spiritual belief system but we seldom fight to include Native Americans in the greater conversation on racism. Very rarely does any public discussion on racism and culturalism mention Native American history. If it is mentioned, it is almost always as if it is an after thought at the end of the list of “minorities” who have suffered from racism in America. In textbooks on ethnic diversity, Native Americans are hardly even given a nod by Non-Native authors regardless of the author’s own culture’s history of discrimination. Native American diversity is too often only a paragraph or a page or two compared to several pages on other diverse populations.

If we really want to honor the Lakota spirituality because we believe it is a better way, than we first must begin to honor the rightful bearers of their traditions and spiritual belief system, the Lakota themselves. Visiting a reservation to pray at sacred sites while ignoring the many children, who are more sacred to the Lakota than any historical site, who live in 3rd world poverty with some of the highest school drop-out and suicide rates in the nation is outrageously self-centered and therefore, counter to traditional Lakota values, beliefs and practices. And worse, to excuse our lack of involvement in changing this blight on American soil, when these facts are brought up, we blame the victims, the Native American families because of the alcoholism and other problems seen on reservations, when in fact, these are only symptoms of the lack of appropriate and quality services available to families, especially the more traditional and full-blooded families. Is there anger and bitterness, as some posters have pointed out, in the declaration? Yes, there should be. Anger and confusion over the two-faced behavior of Non-Natives who say they revere the religion and worship Native Americanized spiritual trinkets or sacred sites, but have never bothered to understand and help change the poverty and chronic, systemic discrimination and racism every identifiable Native American has lived with regardless of their degree of blood for their entire life is the same anger and bitterness that drives young Native Americans, especially young men, both on reservations and in urban environments, to feel so worthless and full of self-hatred that they take their own life before it has blossomed beyond their youth. It is anger because too often, though the help was wanted, the idea that is usually promoted by Non-Native do-gooders is too often paternalistic assimilation, “why can’t they be more like us, then they’ll do better?” With paternalism tied to assimilation, and assimilation with the destruction of culture and ethnic identity, it should be no small wonder that the tone of this declaration is angry and desperate. When we Non-Natives can value who we are without devaluing who Native Americans are, when we can be willing to be one with the Lakota without trying to be one of the Lakota, for we can never be Lakota, when we can offer our services and ourselves to create the changes needed at every level from the federal government to the communities and families in a manner that promotes integration rather than assimilation (integration here being understood as the freedom to be fully who I was created to be and that what has happened in my past of a negative nature, to me or to my people, is not who I am, but must be integrated into who I have and will become as my gift to promote understanding), when we can actively participate in creating this change and not just speaking about it, then maybe, we have something to offer the Lakota in exchange for the right to humbly and reverently participate in a sacred ceremony, but even then if it isn’t in the best interest of the Lakota culture, and I value that culture, I will decline that earned right. Without this perspective, then when I see or hear something in a Native American ceremony that goes against my cultural norms/instincts, I may unintentionally jump into the judgment seat and change the practice to suit my tastes more. This is what is happening and more. Because I am oriented towards a more competitive and market driven culture, I will be drawn to see opportunity for spreading the message so to speak and then justify reimbursement for my time and “talents”. This is happening. These things are not compatible with the Lakota culture’s view on spirituality.

Being a Non-Native American, who worked and lived on a prominent Lakota reservation for the last two years in a capacity that involved close, daily contact and exchange of ideas/beliefs/etc., throughout the day, every day, with the Lakota population does not make me an expert on Native American Spiritual beliefs and faith-based practices or the culture. However, it gave me a unique opportunity to observe and learn from the views of many different perspectives relative to this and other topics. I was invited to attend ceremonies several times by both neo-traditionalists and non-traditionalists, including more than one Medicine Man. I never attended out of respect for those Native Americans who believed it was wrong for Non-Native people to attend. I also know of several Non-Native relatives of Lakota who lived on the reservation and who also took part in ceremonies without anyone, including Traditionalists, speaking or acting against their presence or participation. I don’t think this is what this declaration is endorsing either.

I am comfortable being who I was created to be and with my own faith and spirituality. While I developed great respect for the Lakota/Nakota/Dakota (simplified to Lakota  here) cultures and people, both on the reservation and in urban locations, who I have worked, and or lived among, I will never be Lakota, or have their history. Even if I were to find or suspect that somewhere in the great distant past, I had some Native American ancestry, that new knowledge would not give me the same perspective on “being” Lakota or Native American of any tribe that being raised as a Native American does. I am not suggesting here that those who feel they have Native American heritage should not search it out or claim it, but rather, that they should respectfully recognize the difference between their newfound or suspected Native American “experience” and that of those who have been raised within an environment where being a Native American was a daily reality. Incidently, it is common knowledge of Non-Natives and Natives alike living on reservations, that the less the degree of blood, the greater the person fought to be accepted as Native AND the more often they were found interpreting what was and what wasn’t really a true Native custom. A lot of eyes roll over this problem. Regardless of whether their heritage was valued or not within that environment, for a Native raised in a Native environment, the sense of what was lost or the attempt to take the identity and culture away is still a part of every Lakota family. Whether in their own history or in that of others, it is still very recent history as is systemic racism in the governments and services systems around them. If you have not lived with this reality, you cannot understand how this reality changes you and your perspective.

 Looking in from the outside, even when we are sure we have genetic ties, will not make us Lakota. It is because we are looking in from the outside that we do not understand that we are viewing the Lakota spirituality as just another religious experience that we can study and then follow. Nothing could be further from the truth. What the Lakota who have posted are trying to say is that Lakota spirituality is a birthright you get by growing up Lakota. It is not just knowledge, beliefs and rituals. It is a perspective from a cultural identity. The philosophy can to a certain extent be taught, but not fully understood. The practices and ceremonies can be taught, yes, but being a Lakota cannot be taught. It is not about rejecting you or me because we have not been born Lakota or lived Lakota. It is about the reality that no Lakota can make you what you are not. To really understand the ceremony, you must be Lakota because then, and only then will you have the Lakota perspective. Demanding that you be allowed to be included only proves that you do not have the Lakota perspective. You have a Non-Native perspective of competition and conquest. Lakota is a collectivist culture that does indeed value diversity. Traditionally, it is a giving culture, where winning or getting the best and most was unthinkable and to be avoided. Because the Native American values and identity are wrapped up in Native American Spirituality, and the people are struggling with the scourge of greedy corruption it is imperative that they begin to “clean house” so to speak; to clean out the false values, beliefs, and practices that have led to this sad state of things in their communities and homes. It is as much addressed to Native Americans, and it says this, as it is to Non-Native people, anyone who is undermining the traditional cultural identity known through the Lakota spiritual identity, is asked to stop and anyone supporting this behavior is asked to stop. The intention is to increase Native American’s awareness and respect for their own culture and cultural identity and the outcome from this can only be positive.
If I had read this while I was on the reservation, I would have posted it in bold prominently in my office. I couldn’t agree more. It may have been written a few years ago, but it couldn’t be timelier. It is about the need for Native Americans to clean their house and not an attack on Non-Native Americans. Be who you are with respect for yourself and for the Lakota and you will not find a safer, friendlier place to live or work than among them. If they can clean out the westernized, self-centered greed that breeds corruption by doing this, you would think you were in heaven because the problems we see on reservations would disappear.


From: ray dawg []
Sent: Friday, March 14, 2008

well concerning all that I have read on your site I have a story for you.  while incarcerated in the Federal Prison System, (B.O.P.). I got involved w/a few lakota brothers and was invited to the sweat lodge  ceremonys they held ,over time I was honored, to learn from them how to become the fire keeper for the ceremony. I did this for 2 years.  one day while the brothers where in the lodge, I was standing between the lodge and the altar when I heard a crack of thunder behind me in the west, as I turned to look the sky opened, or more like peeled back, with a hole exposing a yellow background , the sky was blue, the edges of the torn sky were silver, in the center appeared a man running, he was solid black, He then jumped out of the torn hole, ran 3 steps then leaped into the northern sky , and disappeared, then I heard the crack of thunder again, I turned towards the sound and watched with awe, as the sky closed back up. I was told by my brothers, I had received a blessing for my efforts at the sweat.   being raised a catholic I should be more skeptical I suppose , yet my spiritual life has been enlightened by my experiances and teachings, more than my previous training, in "the church" Although my vision has never been interpeted by a Medicine man, maybe someday..., You may be skeptical , but I know what I saw, felt, heard.  I am mexican american, and do have indian blood, yet I believe a person whose heart is true, will come to understand that the Mystery of life has many paths and a true seeker will find his path, knowledge is the key ,but to steal part of someones culture to justifiy their emptiness is very wrong, to not have a true heart in your quest, will only make you a fool, 

please post


Yes you have permission to post this I know this has been real hard for me to come froward with but I have to stand my ground and be wise as a serpent gentle as a Dove.When I think of the racism my father went through and the discrimination I experienced as a Native Believer I feel for the youth who are so good and righteous in their way and want to make a difference.

Subject: RE: NEW AGE
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2008

From: Rae MCConill []
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2008

Thanks for keeping me on line about the Native wars and the sacred practices of the Lakota People .I am a Metis from Northern Alberta and grew up on the west coast of B.C. My Father and Grandmother and Uncle put the Native into me more than anyone else I have ever known.Although I have learned from others . It is really my family and my mother who was white and Spanish 3 generations back that taught me to fight and stand for who I am as a Christian Native.
I am sorry though that through my own walk and  discoveries I ran across people who were racist and Elite and to weak in their own culture to be a human being that stands for anything real.1 dimensionals
I am an Artist and a Musician so my expression gears toward my faith and my culture .Although I am an Urban Native I see land mines everywhere with people who lack experience  and do discriminate against the Natives simply because they lack Education and truth about the history of First Nations.They are at best naive.
The ones that do not have a clue and have no racism in their bellies  are attracted to the feeling of the spirituality and what principles it offers.They later become respectful,or exploitive it like a cat and mouse game .For myself personally I knew New Age people who were also Wicca and they were the worst offenders I had ever met not only did they take spiritually from my culture and my truth in Jesus but they offended my dignity as a Native and competed with my Talents when I opened doors for them and encouraged their walk in life
These people were old enough to know better but they were spell bound by their own beliefs and the new watering hole they could so easily drink from at my expense.I am not a total victim but I learned that there were stealers of the faith,sinful , unrepentant,gossipers and competitive , they were just community Artists like myself but they were white as the billowing clouds and I had to draw a line.
My Mother said to me you can go with the dark shaman or you can stay here and suffer like the rest of us.I think they went with the dark Shaman
My Dad knew I lived in a dream world cause of my Artistic talents but I have learned that dreaming and doing and getting along with others is tough.
Being Black or White or Green makes no difference to me but being a robber of the culture I grew up in and trying my Ancestry on like a loose garment and laughing about it is ignorant.
I am stronger now and smarter but I trusted to easily just like when the White Colonized North America when the first Natives welcomed them.I had to take a back seat for awhile to gain understanding and dig my roots.I know that Lakota people have a gripe with New Agers so do I .We have to preserve what it is left and Educate wisely the land is to be shared and respected ,it is to be claimed by us because some of the  white settlers have done a poor job in keeping up and maintaining her beauty and agricultural areas. I am not going on but the Culture is important and if they do want to practice it our way then there is the open highway ..may they walk  like my Ancestry with a few provisions and with no map.
My Ancestors walked across Canada ........ we are Cree hey hey........

From: []
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dr. Bucko

I have read the ” the Declaration: War Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality”

And I have the following personal story to share with you.

This (to me) is very scary...

I am a member of the "human race" who “believes” that I am descended from "The People", the Lakota.

I was raised by a "white" family (adopted at the age of 6 yrs. old), but have never "felt white".  The only time I feel true kinship with others is when I am around the "Native Peoples" specifically the Sioux… (I do not get the same “feeling” when around the Cherokee, Catawba, Waxhaw, Seminole, etc...

I was raised in a small town outside of the City of Charlotte, North Carolina.

My wife and I had the pleasure of visiting the Black Hills of South Dakota approximately 4 years ago, and she remarked that it was incredible that I seemed to know everywhere that I was going. I just seemed to instinctively know which direction to take and what roads to turn on to get to places. It was an amazing trip and many things happened [besides this seeming intuitiveness about directions]. When we were there I recall felling as though I was truly walking in the footsteps of my ancestors. I could “feel” that others “of my kind” had walked in the place before me. I felt remarkably “at home”. We visited Bear Butte (East), Mount Rushmore (North), Crazy Horse Memorial (West), and The “Badlands” and a Wild Horse Sanctuary (South) (directions in relation to where we were staying) during our trip. It was amazing that everything that we wanted to see just fell into place by picking a direction for a given day. While visiting the “ Badlands”, we had an encounter with the coyote that was very interesting. As I’m sure you’re aware – he is known as the “Trickster” and he definitely made this “Medicine” available and we were honored to be “Tricked” by him on one of our trips. We had stopped at a rest area after visiting the “Badlands”, and all of the artifacts that we had seen so far during our trip (this was coming to the end of our trip) were either commercialized or extremely expensive (far beyond our resources). Anyway, I asked a Native Lady about where we could find some “authentic” artifacts to take back home that we might purchase within our ability. She highly recommended heading southwest to the Pine Ridge reservation and that we should visit “ Wounded Knee” while we were there. I had always had mixed feelings about visiting “ Wounded Knee” simply because of how painful it would be for me personally. But, I thought that my Wife deserved the opportunity to decide whether to see that site (up to now – she had never heard of and didn’t know the story of Wounded Knee). She said that she felt it might be important to go to see the site. I did not share my true feelings about it with her at the time. I got explicit directions from the Lady at the rest area (but for the first time felt “confused” about where I should be going). … Anyway, we started off on the directions we had. As made all the turns we thought appropriate and once even had to turn around to get back on the “right path” (we thought)… as we traveled down the long straight road on which you could see for miles ahead, we noticed ahead of us, a wild animal crossing ahead of us (we could not identify what animal it was – and we talked about it as we continued toward the spot it had crossed at)…I slowed the car as we got closer to where I thought it had crossed and there “standing at the side of the road just watching us pass (very deliberately looking at us) was a beautiful coyote. We laughed and thought how great it was to see one of the creators gifts that we were blessed to see. Recall that we were supposed to be traveling South and West (away from our base)…well I know you will believe me when I tell you that the very next sign we passed said Rapid City (where we were going to be staying – in opposite direction from “ Wounded Knee”) 43 miles. The “Trickster” had worked his magic on us and we were honored. We just laughed and enjoyed the wonderfulness of it all. We weren’t meant to go to Pine Ridge or Wounded Knee. On the last day of our trip we just took a ride into the Black Hills and came across a small town that wasn’t “known” for anything in particular. A very nice out-of-the-way place and as we walked down the street I looked across and saw a little shop called something like “Odds and Ends”… We went in and you cannot imagine the wonderful atmosphere that permeated the place. The smells of sage and sweet grass, the beautiful “authentic” Sioux artifacts. We found things to put in my “Medicine pouch”, things to use in our personal ceremony when we returned home (like the shell we needed for smudging and “Talking Feathers”…etc.). Things we had looked for but had been unable to find our whole trip.

Well, I wanted to share this story with you. It may be “misplaced” within the context of this paper, but perhaps it helps you gain an understanding of where my Wife and I are in our “Native Spiritual” lives at this point in time.

To set the tone of why I consider myself “Native American” (and AM very proud of it);

Personally, I carry many of the facial and body "characteristics" (high cheek bones, very dark "black" eyes, etc...). When we were in South Dakota, My Wife (Chris) mentioned that it was the first time she had seen other people who had eyes like me. She said “everybody” (all the Natives) there had them and it was amazing. She was astounded when she noticed a young child in a buggy in Wal-Mart that brought her attention to this.

Going back and starting with my early childhood, I recall from a very early age (before I was adopted) being around a Grandmother who was full blooded Native American. I’ll mention more about her later. And I know that I have an Uncle who is a PhD. (Social Worker) on a “Reservation” out west – do not know the specifics. I have only seen him once (at my biological Father’s funeral) and he gave me a
“bear paw/turquoise” pendent that I wear. Please note here that he is the only one who has ever been willing to talk about our “Native Heritage” and told me that our true Heritage goes back to a family originally name “Bear Paw”, later “Americanized” to “Bear Foot” and yet later changed to Barefoot. That the Matriarch of the family was a Lady named Janie Barefoot.

I was treated with occasional disdain as a child… Once, I was severely distressed when I overheard a Mother tell her little girl she could not "play" with me because I was not fully white...that I had been "brought from a reservation out west" (I do not have any “proof” of the truthfulness of this statement). I only know that I was in fact adopted by a gregariously prejudiced man (against all non-whites) who was abusive and cruel to me while I was raised in his presence. My “mother” divorced him and I was sent to live with her leaving my two half-siblings with him at the age of 12.

I recall being called a "half-breed" by several different students during my school years, and by one of my "teachers"/Football Coach. Generally speaking though, I was fairly “popular” in the sense that I had many friends in school, but I went through the “bullying”, “social-climbing”, and other [what I consider] normal aspects of early school life.

I remember being very interested in and reading every book and piece of information I could find on Jim Thorpe in Elementary School. I remember feeling that he was the “hero” whom I most admired and wanted to emulate. I was athletic during my school years and this helped me with my “social life” as well. I found that I had talent in football as well as track events (short and long distance running and jumping hurdles). I also had some gymnastic capabilities with the abilities to perform on the “rings”, trampoline, and balance beam. Outside of school, I thoroughly enjoyed boxing and anything that involved athletic ability (not necessarily “competitive”, just always enjoyed doing things with my friends – note: some of my friends did ask me, when we first met, if I was part “black”, but generally at that time {late 50’s, early 60’s} we were all kind of naïve regarding “race”). Later, in High School – when “forced integration” [by the courts] was started, I found that I made lot of “black” friends and “white” friends, and I became extremely stressed when “race riots” would occur – I couldn’t “fight” on or against either side…I felt like I was alone in a different kind of world – it was very strange.

I remember that during my relative early years of age (where you start thinking about what you really want to do with your life), I recall feeling very strongly that I wanted to “teach young people on a reservation”. I felt a strong and abiding kinship with the “Native American” peoples.

For many years of my early adult life, I began "searching" for my heritage...I found one of my "genetic" Grandmothers at the age of 30 or so...I was told –then- that my Grandfather was full-blooded and that his mother was full-blooded "Indian". I have very vivid memories of being a very small child and sitting at the lap of a “blind Indian woman” who told me great stories all day. However, I found that for the people in the generation before me, it was [shall we say] frowned upon for "Indian blood" to be in the family...consequently, it was a taboo subject and I was taught at a fairly early age [particularly by the white family] that it was not to be discussed.

I felt (was told early and throughout my childhood), that my "real family" had abandoned me when I was born, so even though I could have made contact through my Grandmother, I thought that I never wanted to know anything about them.

Then, in my 40 something years of age, I met my other biological Grandmother (full blooded Native American) – (Never knew which “Tribe” – she was ashamed of her heritage also)…I finally was “forced to meet” my biological Father [at my Grandmother’s funeral]. He was also “ashamed” of his heritage and said that he had been called a “Half-Breed” his whole life consequently; he had learned to basically ignore it, and didn’t want to talk about it.

I mentioned my Uncle earlier in relation to my “Father’s Funeral”. I feel the need to mention that with respect to my “biological family”, I only know of one Aunt who has a college degree, one Uncle (previously mentioned) who holds a PhD. and myself who has obtained an MBA degree. As far as I know there are no others (I learned I have 7 “Brothers and Sisters” by my Father, there are 4 Aunts and 4 Uncles on my Fathers side,) who have attained higher formal education.

Even though I was generally discouraged from honoring my Native American “roots”, I still found everything about “Native Americans” fascinating and wanted to learn more. I went to the Cherokee Reservation, the Catawba Reservation, and tried to do some genealogy study to determine the true roots of my heritage. I was unable to find anything substantial. I spoke with my former “Sister-in-law” who was full blooded Shoshone. She said that my Brother had attempted to get his Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB) card. She said that he was unable to get it. I do not know why.

Here is where my personal beliefs and feelings come into play:

  • I believe that being Indian is “largely” in your heart
  • I am very reverent and honored by all “Native American” art, artifacts, “medicine”, “totems”, “names”, “ceremony”, spirituality and all other aspects of being associated with “The People”
  • I do not take lightly any aspect of honoring our Mother Earth, Grandmother Moon, Father Sky, any of the “Seven Directions” (including self) and/or the associated “Colors”
  • I teach my Children and Grandchildren, the “Honor and Responsibility” associated with keeping The Creators work sacred and honoring it
  • I seek only “authentic” Native artifacts and do not honor “commercialized” items for purposes of display or ceremony
  • I do not believe that the Creator intends for His Children to “declare war” on a person like myself who [while maybe not able to definitively “prove” my “Native Bloodline” as Lakota/Dakota/Nakota] someone who practices an attitude of ultimate respect and holds precious the ceremony and Spiritual aspect of “Native Life” to my being
  • My Wife is my “Sole Mate” in the true sense of that term. She is not “Native”. Her Heritage is definitely European. However, her “Heart” and Spiruality is Native American. She is in the true sense a person most capable to lead prayers and ceremony in the way our Ancestors relied on Women as “Waken”

My Wife and I have practiced the Sweat-Lodge ceremony on several occasions. We also perform cleansing ceremony using “Smudging”. We have ceremonial artifacts that are sacred and blessed to us. I wear my “Medicine pouch” and regalia proudly when appropriate.

Well, I guess I’ve about said it all. I don’t know what your thoughts are about all of this information – whether it is relevant to the “Declaration of War” or not. Personally, I obviously feel that it holds some bearing. I hope that it will be taken in the manner intended. I guess I don’t really have a right to tell the people behind this “Declaration” that they should not do it. Personally, all I can say is that I am “saddened” by the wording and the prospect that I may be the target of some of the language simply because I wasn’t lucky enough to be born on a Reservation to “Full Blooded” Sioux Peoples.

I look forward to your comments.

Best regards,

Paul Gray Wolf and proudly for:
My Wife – Christine Butterfly Spirit,
My oldest Grandson–David Young Wolf, My youngest Grandson – Hayden Red Eagle

From: alicia stanley []
Sent: Sunday, July 08, 2007 10:43 AM

you have my permission to post this.    The Great Earth does not belong to anyone! Its everyones personal duty to find their own way. I respect the native people of this land,and am ashamed of my white heritage! This land truly belongs to you! We all honor the same creator,only all do not realize it,I think that if someone feels "your way" of honoring the creator is the right way,you should be proud that they recognized that you are doing things in a proper,pleasing way. It should not offend you,it should honor you. I do not agree with buying your  way into any ceremony,but if your heart is right,by all means. Peace,Ali
a. stan

From: Laila Vedmar []
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 12:29 PM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond
Subject: Stealing spirituality

More than twenty years ago I was given a Lakota name which I only now may seem to begin to live up to. Born and raised in Sweden I feel no need to import spiritual influences just because they happen to be "in". The Moslems say I'm a Moslem by nature. Same with the Buddhists and Christians. I don't know about that. What I do believe, however, is that there can be no secrets in a spiritual world, no boundaries between honesties. In Sweden we cannot be "indians" or "Taoists", we can only search for ourselves. If we succeed, that is truly good enough because it will put us in rapport with other people sharing the same experiences from their respective vantage points. Like my compatriot Rolf Beckman wrote above: All One People.
Please feel free to publish this if you find it worthy of publication.
Håkan Larsson

From: Linda Myers []
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2007 3:49 PM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond
Subject: You have my permission to print this response

The best way to fight a war is to keep your enemies (?) close, what a better way than to bring them around to your spiritual way of thinking and in doing so save this beautiful planet.

From: Kimberly-Ann []
Sent: Saturday, March 24, 2007 2:43 AM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond;
Subject: Canaka Luta Waste (Good Red Road)

Han:  My name is Kimberly-Ann...Aieyo-Hokole: you have my permission to
print this response.

    I have spent 20+ years on this Canka Luta Waste (Good Red Road).  I
carry a Canunpa for the people...I have spent 20 years under the
tutelage of both Wanbli Cekela (Wallace Black Elk) Lakota and Marcellus
Bear Heart, Muskogee.  I have been taught that these are the ways of the
People...for all people.

    What is shameful about wanting to know the ways of the people and
the ways of Creator?  What is shameful is those persons who run Inipi
(sweat lodge) without the "authorization" of a FBI elder or tribal
medicine elder.  There is a way to do these things, Creator gave us
these specific instructions.  When we change them to fit our needs and
beliefs, we create chaos, and invite the harmful spirits to join us.

    When you follow the Canka Luta Waste...that is the way of
Creator...that Canunpa is what is going to take care of you.  That
person sitting behind that bucket has to have integrity, and they are
responsible for your life and well being while in that Inipi.  For any
medicine person, they run that ceremony on your behalf...they are
responsible for the well being of all who attend.  It's not about their
personal that happens to come know they are not
doing what is best for all people.

    This is about "Mi Takuye Oyacin"...All My Relations...We ARE All
Related.  Not just us two legged, the tall standing ones (trees), the
winged ones, creepy crawlies, green ones, four-legged, swimming ones,
the rocks...all living beings.  We are responsible for all living
beings..that is the Lakota way.

    We do not pray for ourselves, we pray for the next 7 generations to
come.  This is not out Earth to use and dispose of....we are borrowing
this Earth from our future generations.  It's like this, the Lakota way....

    The 2-legged were given dominion over the rest of the living
beings...not domination.  We are here to care take the life on this Unci
Maka (Mother Earth)...but we seek to destroy through our thoughtless
acts and wasteful use of resources. what the Lakota
and other have  tried to teach us.  Greed, destruction,
wastefulness...this is what is going to kill us....Wake Up people.... 
Be a part of the solution, stop being a part of the problem.

    Red is not merely a skin color...Red is a way of life, a way of
believing...a way of living, a way of walking in life
for the good of ALL.  We all bleed Red when we are cut want
to live this life, so be it.  The Canka Luta Waste is not for everyone,
but it is for those who believe Mi Takuye Oyacin and life that belief.
Read the books...

    * "Sacred Fireplace"                Pete S. Catches
    * "Black Elk Speaks"               Nicholas Black Elk
    * "The Sacred Pipe"                 Nicholas Black Elk
    * "Black Elk"                           Wallace Black Elk
    * "Fools Crow"                        Thomas Mails
    * "Gift of Power"                      Archie Fire Lame Deer &
                                                        Richard Erdoes
    * "Lame Deer"                         John Fire Lame Deer & Richard
    * "The Wind is My Mother"      Bear Heart
    * "Crow Dog"                          Leonard Crow Dog
    * Prison Writings"                    Leonard Peltier

    These are the books you want to read and learn from......these are
the words of the people who have walked the "give-away", who have lived
and sacrificed their lises so the rest of us can live and have these 

    So it is that way....Mi Takuye Oyacin

From: []
Sent: Monday, January 15, 2007 1:10 PM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond
Subject: War Against Exploiters

It is sad, the pain one must be experiencing to write something as exclusive as this WAR article. Finding a way to pray together may be a good answer to some of our world problems. Anything that discourages that must be fead by evil spirits. Keep praying brothers and sisters we have not realized the answer yet.
Print this if you want to, you have my permission

From: Jessica Orr []
Sent: Friday, December 29, 2006 10:30 AM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond
Subject: lakota spirituality

You can post this on your website if you find it relevant.

I think that a people who have been so abused deserve to have a say in how their spirituality is portrayed in pop culture.  If we saw Lakota people being portrayed badly in the media, as "blood thirsty savages" perhaps there would be no contention that it is wrong.  However, because the stereotype is often favorable we say there should be no problem.  Yet is not a generalization still harmful whether it is negative or not?   Lakota are people, not savage blood thirsty fools, not magical beings with wisdom dripping from fingertips. 

Leave them alone, don't co-opt and corrupt their beliefs because they interest you.  Don't profit from their culture.  If you want to learn about Lakota, read their myths and try talking to a real tribal elder. 

Libris (Jessica Orr)


Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 9:50 PM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond
Subject: Response to War Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality

You may post my response.

I was raised in "Indian Country" and this has been an ongoing battle for years. 
I am not a fluent Lakota speaker, but this is my view and what I feel is correct.

Our ceremonies were protected by brave people for many years and still are to this day.  
I can understand the anger towards the shaman "experts".
They will probably have coup counted on them. 
Lakota have some strong and tough renegades just hoping to count coup.
I have felt that way myself.
It can feel like injury after insult or vice versa, again and again and again.
The people exploiting our ways could tap into some serious anger if they are not careful.
Our parents, grandparents have been through a lot, so the anger and for some rage is quite understandable.

But most People are going to remain silent.
It's just how it is. 

I've been around community members who have discussed this topic many times. 
One woman gave some wise advice and said that whatever is suppose to live on will be passed on, our traditions are alive.
Our language is alive. 
From my perspective, anything that is written down as a "Lakota Ceremonial" is not Lakota.
Our ways are preserved in oral tradition.
Our ways have to be spoken in Lakota.
We live our language.
It's as simple as that. 
If it's in another language, it's a hybrid form, and can be very beautiful, but it's not Lakota.
The easiest way to protect our ceremonies is by a few simple etiquette standards.
No pictures.
No researchers.
No recordings.
All in Lakota.
I never did go to a ceremonial without being asked,
so I have no idea where the "experts" are learning their ways. 
They are being duped. 

But I can empathize with many people seeking their roots and their homeland.  
Some need a jump start boost to open their hearts
and many non-Lakota seem to feel it
in our music,
our language 
and our ways.
Our world view does that for the human being. 
Even when the person doesn't understand the language, they can feel it.  
No matter how many copy cats try to exploit our ways,
we and our ceremonies are protected by our language.

Speak Lakota and declare war on Poverty! We are a beautiful People.

Julie Frazier

From: Armin Sturm
Sent: Saturday, October 21, 2006 9:16 PM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond
Subject: Decl war against exploiters

 Dear Reverend Bucko,

I was quite struck by  the campaign "declaration of war against exploiters of lakota spirituality". I will try below to give some thoughts - hoping they might be somewhat useful, even though it is quite some time ago that this was issued. You are welcome to release my comments on the internet - if they are worth... but please do not give my email address - I fear spam. Of course you or the authors of the declaration are welcome to repond.

Yours sincerely
Armin Sturm

Obviously, the context for the campaign is first the sad, long history of colonialisation, suppression and racism of European invaders against American natives, and second the phenomenon of New Age, a recent off-shoot of consumption culture.

I am German living in the UK. A close friend of mine has been following a Lakota way of knowledge for maybe some 30 years, and I have had the lucky priviledge to participate in some aspects, e.g. sweat lodges. These experiences are very dear and serious for me, it changed my life in some way. It has nothing to do with the New Age fad - my friend doesn't advertise anywhere and doesn't charge people except that it is always welcome if people bring wood for the fire.

Being definitely a Non-American, Non-Indian, Not-Lakota, the declaration of war struck me. Do they mean me?

I hope not. I can understand very well the anger about the type of New Age consumerism - anything once sacred being
tranformed into a commodity, anything meaningful being reduced to something mundane, and above all, no sense of responsibility: the arrogance of a weekend seminar promising to reveal secrets that traditionally took a life span to learn.

However, I missed in the "war deeclaration" the possibility of a constructive dialogue between cultures. I know the conditions for this are not that fantastic at the moment, but do the authors negate the possibilty?

A tendency of capitalism and information technology is to tear down any limits - everything on sale globally - nothing is safe, even the personal, the beloved, the sacred. Still, there is resistance against this, also in white European or white American or white whatever culture. We are nor one homogenous  block. Of course the question is - vis avis my vision of a dialogue above - what do we (i.e. in my case white european males) have to offer? (up to you to find out!)

One reaction,worldwide, against the globalised capitalism, has been to build up new separations : ethnical, national, local etc. I see the declaration of war also in this context - and I think that's the wrong strategy. Sure, the liberalism of the 60s has lost its innocence - the system has absorbed its rethorics and turned against any particularies: so, you are Native American? - Fine, on the condition that you agree to be sold out in every respect. That's of course very wrong - but that's not a reason to become right wing -  and I have to admit that I find the communiquee entitled "declaration of war..." quite right wing. An appeal to authorities. Who is going to define what is sacrilegous? This sounds very puritan to me - and not very traditional American indian.

Also I don't get the point what the authors of the text actually want. Do you want a theocracy defining what is orthodox and what not? South Dakota Mullahs? Think of the trickster, the iktomi - isn't bullshitting part of the game? Maybe you should see completely commercialised fake lakota spirituality offers as something that protects your real stuff. All the phoney customers will go to the white plastic shamens - isn't that a great way to get rid of them?

Best wishes

From: david []
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2006 7:54 PM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond
Subject: peace not war

I was taught by my mother and father , if my hand is cut, and woman's hand, and animal cut we all bleed blood, therefore since our Great Spirit has made our Mother Earth  so we can not take our brothers and sisters red blood on our hands for it is not right.  the clouds return from our great bodys of water with fresh water so we may heal. My prayer to my brothers and sister not just the Lakota but all people on Mother Earth is that our hearts will love and allow the scared ways of my brothers but I understand what has happened even now as one of our President of this nation is allowing the killing of are brothers and sister in other lands as millions of us were killed here on this spot of mother earth.  My Heart pounds as a great drum while the blood of innocent people is spilled ,for profit, by those who worship only power of nothing and do not understand the great people of turtle island.  Again my heart is with you and your love one's, I pray the great Spirit will continue blowing with renewed hope that strength will return to young and old alike is my prayer to my borther and sister of this earth. I am very sad because of this government. I am a person living under this constitution where we allow so much human destruction. Again, my borther and sister, asked the Great Spirit to bring to this government, knowledge, so we may live as we would choose, may we always walk together to see one another happy is my dream for us.

You have permission to do whatever with this letter .  It belongs to all people no one can own knowledge , It is a crime against our Great Spirit for it is given free to all people , some of our brother and sister do not understand Our Great Spirit  

Love and kindness to all, for ever.

David R. Auld
310 Cervantes
Lake Owsego, Oregon'

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2006 6:25 AM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond
Subject: Response

My name is Adam Wirth, I lived with Ellis and Vicky Chipps when I was 13 for a Summer. My father Ronald Wirth participated in many ceremonies, vision pit, sundance, lodges, etc. I have participated in lodges and spirit house ceremonies. I knew Charles, Godrey and all the grand children. Still to this day I have the highest respect for these men. I think of them often and would love to talk to them one day.
    I left the res when I was about 13, I told my father that I wanted to build my own sweat lodge one day. My father looked me in the eyes and said, "this is their ceremonies, their culture, Never imitate them, don't ever do it. I have encountered many folks  (non indian) who conduct fake ceremonies, I don't like it. I have friends where I live who are Ottawa and Chippewa. They, on occasion invite me to participate in certain traditions, I never ask to be involved, but am honored when invited. It is hard because I understand the importance of preserving the cultural purity of the tribes. And there are a lot of "moon beam" ex hippies who play with something they should not. My native friends have ALWAYS been great friends. I will respect the wishes of the tribe. what ever it be.
Beaver Island Michigan

Sure, you can post it if you wish,

From: GS
Sent: Monday, October 09, 2006 7:05 PM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond
Subject: Lakota Declaration...

Please keep my email address secret. You may publish my comments, if you wish. Thank you.

I am an old man now and what I have learned is that there is no such thing as 'truth' - only a personal perception of things.

Those who were angry enough to write and sign the Lakota Declaration were only aware of their own truth. They forgot to understand that there are other truths too!

Not one of us has a monopoly on truth. We can only have our own.

Nevertheless, because of this we can 'share' our thruths with an anticipation that we can learn more, and so 're-arrange' our own perceptions. It is a life-long thing that we have to do. We have no choice - unless we become 'untrue' to ourselves by ignoring the perceptions of others.

We are more than being 'joined at the hip' - unseperable. We are indeed an indivisable part of 'ALL-THAT-IS'.
Call it 'God' if you wish - or even 'Dog'. What's in a name so long as it is sincerely and respectfully uttered or thought.

We are all SPIRIT manifesting in human form. We will allow SPIRIT to enjoy it more if we learn to love ourselves and to love others. This is because when we love we are happy! When we experience Love we feel better. We are better!

So, were they wrong to write the Declaration. I don't think so. There is no 'right' or 'wrong'. They just stated their 'perception'.

But if they didn't they would have been the happier for it. They would have not made so many people feel unhappy as a result of what they did.

Would it have been better, perhaps, if they had spoken amongst themselves and kept their own counsel? Probably.

What I hope for them now is that they have learned the strength of their 'negative perceptions'  and have come to enjoy some 'positive' ones since.

I do know that the happier I am the closer I become to 'ALL-THAT-IS'. I 'feel' it. I actually experience it.
When am I happiest? When others around me are happy!
To experience happiness I have to do 'positive' things. I work at it. It isn't always easy - but I frequently experience it!

When they told me I had cancer I told the doctor "You do your best and I'll do my best".  I'm still here:-))
I 'spoke to 'ALL-THAT-IS' in my own way and listened for a reply. Instead of hearing it I experience it.

Declare war? No thanks. It would not make me happy.

BTW - I'm white, English. Hunted, shot, fished, poached, birthed and buried, and brought up 5 boys. Oh! I almost forgot -  I served in the military for 6 years too - overseas most of the time.

Find peace you guys - but you'll have to search for it. Its a bit like 'truth' - it's a 'perception' too - and just as 'moveable'!

Gerry "Crying Fox"
non-fee-taking UK shaman. (I do it for free - its a way of life)
Usui Reiki Master/Teacher. (Free too - or maybe a cup of coffee and/or  a cake - if they can afford it). I have all that I need.

"All Our Relations"

Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 6:46 PM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond
Subject: Response to the War Against Exploiters

Hi there, thanks for your wonderful site, I was hoping to contribute to it. You may post my response if you want to, but please withhold my name and e-mail.

I'm not going to mention what my race or heritage is because it really doesn't matter in what I have to say. Culture is defined at its base as "What you learn from other people about the beliefs, values, and behaviors in the society you live in."

While typically we gain most of our culture from our loved ones, our immediate society, environment, and countries we live in, I think it's about time we all faced facts that our culture today is quite a bit more expansive than it was a hundred years ago. From where I'm sitting behind this computer I can mix and mingle my culture with people all over the world. I can hop a plane an go anywhere I want, to immerse myself into pretty much any culture I want and take back with me -- values, beliefs, rituals, and behaviors that might work to make my life better. I'll say enough about myself that I wasn't raised on a reservation and while I do understand that I can't fully appreciate a culture without being totally immersed in it, and I respect that. Still, I do genuinely want to know more. What can you teach me?

This Declaration really makes me shake my head. The anger is very much justified, because Native Americans HAVE been exploited. Native Americans definitely have a lot of very valid grievances that need to be addressed and corrected (better access to economics for people on reservations for one). There has been a lot of damage to traditional ways of life that could have ended up benefiting everyone as a whole, all by people who thought they "knew better" and invalidated people and their history as human beings. That is never excusable. It's always a crime. It's got to stop.

But hoarding your culture is really the fastest way to kill it completely.

Just because we happen to have a blood lineage leading to a particular culture does not mean we have a connection to it or feel that it will work for us in our daily lives. Many Native Americans embraced Christianity and "white" culture just because they wanted to. That isn't intended as a justification for past atrocities, just an example of a significant fact that HAS to be faced: Our children are mixing and they will continue to mix. There is nothing we can do about that. Kids today are picking up iPods, using laptops, wanting Pokemon cards, and wearing jeans and t-shirts with band slogans and that has no bearing on race. Our cultures are changing and they will continue to change as time advances and the ability to live anywhere and anyway you want becomes more easily accessible. Really, hemoglobin has little bearing on anything anymore unless you're donating it to a hospital. Same with melanin unless you're picking sunblock.

Culture only lives if it is spread and passed on. Every religion, spirituality, and whatnot is plagued with it's share of poseurs and wannabes and profit hawkers that don't understand. They eventually wander off to find enlightenment elsewhere. If someone is telling you your culture is wrong and has no right to exist, fight it. Fight with every ounce of your being for its continued existence. If it's being spread falsely, fight to correct it's image, but do not horde it or try to keep it as an exclusive "country club" type thing. You lose nothing showing others freely the truth behind your values, rituals, and beliefs and standing by them firmly. The people who come to you and have truly found home will become your allies and help keep it alive.

From: Big Bear []
Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2006 10:11 PM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond
Subject: This line of thinkng is a large part of the problem.

    You have my permission to print this if you like.

I am a human being.  I have always been a human being, I was born a human being and I will die as one.

The ways of the Creator are given to people.  not just one group of people, but all people.  You know this.

While it is frustrating to see sacred ways and symbols treated in so poor a manner by some foolish people.  The ways belong to no one person or group.  They belong to all people.  You know this.

Do I have "Native" blood in me?  since it appears to matter so much here, I do.  In fact, I have many groups blood in me.  It is part of modern times that there are no or few full bloods anymore.

I am part mexican blood, mexicans decended from the Mexica ( and many others)  nation.  in modern mexican blood, there is "native" blood.  I am part Cheyenne, which you recognize as a modern nation. I am part "white" which has who knows what ties in it.

All of the blood in me is human blood.  My spirit is that from the Creator.  Which no man or nation has the right or ability to deny me.  I was raised poor, but not on a reservation.  I was raised without being taught my history, except that which is taught in public schools.

My upbringing has nothing to do with how much of a human being I am.  Nor does it affect how much or what blood I have within me.

The words used in this declaration are words of feelings,  words of resentment and anger. Justifiable perhaps,  but these are not the words that will bring anyone closer to the Creator.

We, as people, are given free will.  not by One man, not by a nation or a government.  We are given free will by the Creator.  To choose for ourselves, to find the way the path that will bring us to the Creator.

The Creator has spoken to many people, has shown many paths.  All of these paths lead to the Creator.  Just as not all people eat the same foods or think the same thoughts, they do not walk the same path.  No one has the right to determine another persons path.  NO ONE.

While I commend this group of people in their perseverance of upholding the sanctity of the ways the Creator has shown their people,  I must add  that they do not own the ways.   You know this.

If they are concerned that the ways are not being taught correctly  or are being disrespected, the best method to preserve the sacredness of the ways is to be open and accept those who are called to the path.   All people. 

By speaking as you have, you display vanity, rudeness and disrespect to the Creator.
You assume that only one group of people is given a path to follow?   That only one group of people may follow that path?  What is more important? pride or the path.

It is my understang that only the Creator calls people to a path.  not a man or a group.  Are you suggesting that you have the final say over who is called to the Creator?  That you have the power to approve or deny another spirit a way to the Creator.

I am saddened to see people use such harsh language.  It saddens me deeper still that people are so overcome by anger, resentment and other emotions that they cannot allow reason and empathy and enlightenment to be a part of their decision making.

May I offer a suggestion?  Can we not form bands to side and compete against each other, but instead we can form a council of human beings.  In this way we can address wrongs and determine the best ways to reconcile our differences.  We can be inclusive rather than leave others out in the cold.

respectfully yours,
Big Bear

From: Rebecca Durbin []
Sent: Friday, June 16, 2006 8:23 PM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond
Subject: responses to war against..

i just saw your comment through yahoo,but i can see where she would be coming up with that.  in my view if you are 1/16 or less you aint's important for us natives to perserve our blood by marrying a person of native blood so that blood won't  dwindel.
it's important to be native in heart but also have the blood.  i don't believe people need to be federally recognized to be ndn because theres so many reason why one may not want to be recognized or because their family went into hiding and so on.  i am osage as well as blackfoot.  the reason why so many of us natives have problems with 1/16th and non raised natives claimin heritage is because we experience alot of those who don't want to learn and who are in it because they heard about the money for college education and it's people like those who ruin it  for those who do want to learn. 

isnt this a board that anyone can post because it sure seemed like so..

"Bucko, S.J., Raymond" <> wrote:
do you give permission to have this posted? 

From: Teresa Berry []
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2006 3:22 PM
To: Bucko, Raymond
Subject: Appropriation of Native American Spirituality

You may use any or all of this message on your web page.

I first came across this Declaration of War when I was doing research on the use of Native American rituals in non-traditional ways. My step-sister, who is Delaware by virtue of her grandmother, had begun to follow the "good red road" in search of her Native background. I was concerned because these ceremonies were being taught by non-Natives and sounded a little off. It seemed to me to be a confusion of rituals from the Plains, other cultures and just flat out crap. How do we know that the Delaware even knew or liked the Nation or anyone else for that matter. Although I trust my step-sister, I am older and my love for her demanded that I investigate further and she sought my council on the matter. What I found made me angry at first, but through prayer and contemplation of the spirits of the people that are doing this, I have been lead to several thoughts.

First, I feel I need to declare one thing to the people that are reading this. Christianity is too broad a term for people who believe in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Belief in a Higher Being does not make you Christian anymore than traveling through a zoo makes you a hippopotamus. You are who you are by things out of our control like genetics and things we totally control like choice. Many of the acts that have been done by so called "Christians" both then and now are driven by greed , other sins and the influence of negative forces that man all too readily goes along with to further their own agenda and give them false power.

It is also fueled by misrepresentations like we see in media productions that are to entertain and not be taken as truth. All Native Americans were not peaceful, ethereal spirits, all whites are not rich, all those of Jewish descent are not wonderful negotiators, all Asians are not smart and all African Americans do not commit crimes and smoke crack. These are stereotypes and they limit your ability to meet some really lovely people and learn new things!! If race, religion or customs are what you look for in deciding if a person is good to talk to, then my heart cries for you.

I am a Christian by choice, but I prefer the term God-Seeker as I am a student of the Holy Spirit and a Bride of Christ. I was very concerned about the statement in the Declaration of War that said, " The Great God of Peace told them that they had dominion over the earth and it was their Manifest Destiny to do so.", used when describing the atrocities that were committed against the Native American people, by the Europeans. I know that God didn't have a thing to do with it and as for the dominion part, that was Adam and Eve that had that and it was lost on their way out of the Garden. Blood was not shed before they left Eden and the first thing that was sacrificed was an animal.

I believe that all of us were together in a "Well of Souls" at the feet of our Creator, learning of His love and perfect intent for the life of all created things, before we were put in our earthly bodies and forgot all that He had taught us. Life is a journey back to remembrance of His perfect love and teachings. It is a very personal thing, as are the means that are used to get there. My journey is not your journey because God and I control my journey and for you to try to assume it is wrong. Common sense tells us that just as my skin doesn't fit on your body, neither will my spiritual journey fit into your soul. To respect another's traditions and journey are one thing, but to try to assume them are another. I believe that all this declaration is trying to say is get your own journey!!

Religion literally means to bind up or tie down. I believe that people using Christianity for their own gain have repressed people so much that when they see a belief system that epitomizes freedom as such an intregral part of its nature they are attracted to it as fast as flies are to honey. I also believe that others who see the flock gathering see false power and dollar signs. In my belief system we are told to "try the spirits" and see what the intent is behind the act. Man will fail you, God never does!! I know that there are those who disagree with that last statement, but all I can say to you is look for the hand of man in your experience and you may see it in a new light. I also believe that God created all mankind and didn't make any mistakes and that we are all loved equally by Him. Not everything we do is loved or even liked a little, but that is between you and God. Religion tries to put the limitations on you and misinterpretation of His teachings gives such wrong information that people who do not look past the surface will believe them and fall for whatever.

The outward appearence of Native American spirituality is one of freedom and being tuned in. That is the attraction for many people seeking a connection to life. The reason behind the ritual is not looked at , the information that is sought through the ritual is not contemplated and sometimes it is not even remembered. Look at the misappropration of the Peyote Rituals. Many don't want to see the whole of the Native American experience or the African American experience or any of the other experiences that were born out of pain and suffering. They only see the freedom in the ritual and long for that freedom, without reverence or thought about the rest of it.

I have been blessed to go to many pow-wows, some very intimate meetings of tribal natures, not just here, but around the world. Unlike many Christians, I don't rule everything out as being against my beliefs, until I try the spirit that is directing it. I learn a whole lot more by this method. Believe me, there is so much ritual in the Christian faith that stinks to High Heaven, that I don't even want to go there. There is a smidgen of Algonquin ( don't know what tribe) in my ancestry, but I don't think that is why I love the sound of the drum or any other instrument that praises the Creator. I think it is memory of the time that we all spent together, with one voice, singing praise and being in utter rapture in the light of God. I cannot tell you how I long for the day when all of these vain outward vessels will be gone and we will only see each others spirit.

Until Then I can say with Love, Hope to See you on my journey!!

Teresa Berry

If you really wish to enter into a discussion we might both benefit from, you can email me. If you just want to tell me that you hate me or something of the like make sure you save my email so that when you get a little further on your journey you can share the new insights.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

From: Curtis Mckay []
Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2006 3:34 PM
To: Bucko, Raymond
Subject: Religion,Spirituality,Belief and Exploitaion

the topic discussses the exploitaion of traditional ceremonies and customs. I am very much aware of the money that is paid to attend the sweat ceremonies vision quests and sun dances. As a Dakota I find this very disturbing. Those so called spiritual leaders and medicineman wannabees should close down their circuses and see the beauty of our ceremonies instead of pulling scams on innocent people. There are many many gifted people out there seeking the help to achieve and fullfill their dreams. On the other hand there are those who mislead others for the the sake of prestige and power and control. No ceremony is worth money.

The last time I asked the creator he said that prayer has no price tag. I love and care for my people. I dispise those who cheat and mislead the people, Iam proud of who Iam and I am greatful for sacrifices my ancestors made to keep our tradional life style alive. These people who exploit our ceremonies have no pride in who they are and what they are. What they are is the dakota/ lakota nation, native american and who they are is their Indian name what ever it maybe.

I was raised with the understanding that all nations were given a way of worshiping God, The creator of all things, I was told the creator has given us all a language to use to communicate with him. So why do we take on roles that do not belong to us. More and more, I hear of non Native people going to the lodges and the dances, and I ask myself doesn't the creator hear their prayers in their churches. Where is the belief and the faith in the creator, I am strong in my prayer and belief and thats all i have to understand that it is the creators will that keeps us alive and healthy. Never has it come to me that I have to act as a whiteman or a blackman or a yellowman to have my prayers answered. Time and time again we put our belief and faith in another human-being and expect miracles to happen. We need to understand that the person we seek help from are only human they donot possess supernatural power it is the Sacred beings in the sacred directions along with the creator who give us the healing and doctoring we need.

There are two laws natural and human law, natural law involves visions and dreams. Human law is when another person tells you this is how you do it.

When we put our own thoughts into prespective and begin to live that life style are living human law and we are making laws to accomadate our wants and needs. When we have a dream the meaning of the dream is based upon natural law, being that no other human has influenced the vision.These are just a few things I wanted to share about the Dakota Culture.

Yes i do give you permission to post
Wopida Ececiya yedo - thank you

Sent: Sunday, April 16, 2006 8:45 PM
To: Bucko, Raymond
Subject: response

While I prefer you not use my name or email, you have permission to post the following on the Internet:

I have blonde hair and blue eyes, but when I was 10, my grandfather told me that I have First Nations ancestry.  I do not think that the fact that I have less than a certain percentage of First Nations blood makes me a wannabe - I am simply a woman descended from people of various nations.  I feel that the path I need to walk is one of searching for wisdom.  I will walk it with deep respect, and will try to learn only from those who have properly earned the right to teach.  If I am drawn more toward the traditions and spirituality of one of my ancestors than another, so be it.

From: WOLF []
Sent: Saturday, April 15, 2006 8:40 PM
To: Bucko, Raymond

HELLO  First of all slow it down a notch .If everyone were wolve,s would one not be a wolf because his color was different and he lived in a diffrent area .Although we struggle to learn our tradition,s and who we really are we forget the true meaning of accepting others and adopting others as are own .Theirs one thing I remember of the old people when I was a child their kindest their sharing their humor .No one spoke so much hate as they do now even though they,d been thru so much and lived with nothing but a change of clothes and a hunting rifle .SHare your food share your way,s .STay strong in a good way .We all know what,s right and wrong .WE all get lost sometime,s don,t scare everyone away with your meanest and a stick .It can be lonely for people too.we change thru are lives baby ,child ,youth adult  joker student  ,lover  traveller    provider warrior .teacher.elder .Please respect all as they travell the sacred hoop of life .Take what you have in this time in your life and share it and give it away so you be provided for in the happy hunting grounds please respect everyone cantewaste pidamayo do  GOODPIPE PEOPLE OF THE SACRED PIPE


From: []
Sent: Saturday, April 01, 2006 9:23 PM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond
Subject: Traditional Vs New Age

There are several things that need to be addressed concerning the desecration of the Lakota ceremonies. I can understand the abhorrence of traditionalists of New Age contamination and the desire to keep the rituals traditional. However the term "wannabe" is offensive to millions of predominantly white Americans who have Native American blood running in their veins who want to go back to their roots. However I do understand where that distrust comes from. I have seen the prejudice, the misunderstandings, and the outright abuse and the history.  I am offended by the desecration of sacred sites, A sacred site is no less than a church or a synagogue. Now I see wax build up from new age candles and graffiti.  

Much Native American blood has mixed with the Anglos, and for the first time in history, many Anglos are taking pride for even that little drop of blood from their distant past. This is something to be celebrated and encouraged. If they are not included, the New Age gurus will fill the gap. There are many vultures that feed on this longing for mixed bloods to connect. It will be this group of mixed bloods which is a vastly larger number than full bloods, that will ultimately bring justice on behalf of Native Americans.  Perhaps the term "wannabe" should be more specific, otherwise, one gets the impression that to be a Lakota is an exclusive thing. If this is true, then the Lakota are just as guilty as the Anglos who oppressed them. My personal opinion is that the more inclusive the less the new age gurus will have a chance to pollute. I applaud the elders who have taken on Anglos who are sincere and wish to understand. I also understand the need to preserve a people's identity.   

I hope that the Sioux nation is successful in reclaiming enough land to put some of the prairie back so the buffalo have a home. I believe that the health of our nation, both Anglo and Native American will depend on this.  I say all this as an Anglo with probably some Sioux in my distant past, but it is not something I can prove.    

Dolora Zajick

Yes, you have my permission to publish this.  Dolora Zajick

From: jeff lester []
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 2:57 PM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond

I just read your "Declaration of war against emploiters ",and I couldn't help but chuckle inwardly.In 1996 heard of a Lakota pipe cerimony being held in Greenwich Village,N.Y.C.When I arrived at the place,Iasked the blonde haired "medicine man"how he was able to get the experience to perform a sacred cerimony.He said"Oh,I spent six months with the Lakota people out in South Dakota".I asked him if he had ever killed and cleaned a deer,or planted corn,or sat on high place to listen to his ancestors speak through the wind.Fearing that I was going to expose him,he broke off the discussion.Most of these charlatans are just trying to feed their egos and wallets.

Absolutely. (gives permision)

From: []
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 11:30 PM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond
Subject: In response to "Declaration of War" Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality

It greatly disturbed me to see a spiritual document which includes the word "WAR" and "SPIRITUALITY" in the same phrase.It seems very sad to me that these people who are regarded with such respect and admiration for their beautiful sacred ways could be looking at this subject in such a negative point of view.Although it is understandable that their fear is that their ways are loosing purity by being replicated and perhaps in ways that are far from pure,I would like to make the bold statement to say that perhaps if you look at these things in a clearer light then you could see that the mere "imitating" whether it is pure or not is a link to ensure that these sacred ways will not disappear from this Earth.Lets imagine and expand our mind to see that most of these people who are attempting to imitate these sacred ways,are coming at it with a good heart,although ignorant and blind,yet trying to find the path.To me,when I look at this it is like a small child without knowledge imitating his father or mother who has greater knowledge.Do we scold our children when they are trying to learn?No.And it is our job as parents to teach them the right way.If we do not it is not the childs fault,---it is the parent for not accepting and welcoming them to learn.So I ask the elders who are our teachers of this beautiful way this sacred way of the pipe-- if you will have pity on us who seek this sacred way,this sacred path and perhaps consider sharing your knowledge so that all of our spirits can grow together in a good way--- and to ensure that your sacred ways will live through this sharing and giving of knowledge in a true sense of "Mitake Oyasin".               This message comes from the heart.Please share with whoever would like to listen.Thank you. Lalania Harris. E-mail --

From: Eric Brackett []
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 10:04 AM
To: Bucko, S.J., Raymond
Subject: Responses to the Statement:

As I sit here and read this statment I can not help but become sad at all of this. I am a bit torn on the issue. I am 3/4 Norweigian But I also happen to be 1/4 Lakota, the latter being the part that is saddened most by this statement. You see I grew up in a religiously devoid household. My Skandi Grandmother brought to me at a very young age a deep love of our ancesteral lore, my Lakota grandmother however never involved me in her heritage, I was never sure why. When I was a teenager I tried to find out more about that side of my family but was snubbed on several tries under the claim that I was a "wanna be" or too white. You who are considered "real indians" can never know how this feels. BY the time I was 20 I had become a member of the Norwegian religious movement known as Forn Sed which embrassed me in a way that I could only have hoped for from the Lakota side of my family.

Now before you think I am bad mouthing the Lakota for their actions, please understand that I am actually sympathetic to their reasons. Being a member of a reconstructions movement of a almost dead religion has opened my eyes to what is happeneing with the native culture of America. My religion is seen by many to be a joke and not taken seriously, it is lunped in with neo pagan religions such as wicca. And even more importantly there are many people out there claiming to be "Elders" and experts on our beliefs cashing in on what the precieve as the truth. So I can totally relate to the anger this issue must hold for those involved. However I think this may be such a negative way to handle things that it may cause even more problems for the native cultures of the Americas.

No matter how much you protest there will always be people who want to be indian, there is no way around this. Perhaps instead of complaining about this it would be more constructive to help these people gain a perspective of reaality that more suits their needs.You complain about false shamans and medicine men, well then show these people what true medicine men and shamans are supposed to be and then introduce to them the idea that it is disrespectful and insulting for those who are not of the nation to practice this. You say that people are cashing in by writing books or hosting sweat lodges, why not write your own book on the cultural practices of the nation, make this a book that is purely academic and not "fluffed up" as many of the false shamans books are, create a video of cultural learning that shows how you honour your ancesteral past by keeping up the practices but at the same time allowing people of all races to experince something that they can never understand unless they are of the blood.

With all the problems we face in this modern world, hatred to your fellow man, no matter what his race, serves no purpose. There has to be a way for everyone to get what they need from this without comprimising their cultural integrity. Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps I am just dreaming, but either way thsi problem will not go away if you simply shut out the White world. All that will happen is they will in their own minds put two and two together and make up their own "Indian rituals", and that my friends is truely more horrific than anything happening today.

Eric Brackett
Salem Oregon.

yes I give permision

Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2006

You have my permission to post this on your website , if you feel my thoughts are relevant , and this is not too long . However I do not want my name or my email included in the post

I am one of those people who has been caught in the middle of this conflict , and I have some thing I want to say to both sides .

I sympathize with the Lakota people who want to protect their culture , and I feel supportive towards this , but I am noticing some mixed messages, which are coming from these same Lakota people . First , I want to say something about this .

I think it is important to be clear what is being protected if Declarations of War are made , and that this is expressed in a non contradictory way . If it is not made clear which side is which , and what the behavior is that is " exploiting , abusing , and misrepresenting " , it is hard! not to be caught in the cross fire , even if you want to support the protection of Lakota culture .

What I am seeing is there are now many people conducting Lakota style ceremonies outside of traditional Lakota territory . Many of these are Native people , who are not Lakota themselves , but they were taught by Lakota Elders or by someone else who was . These people then taught other people . In mixed race urban communities, these people , like their communities , seem to be a mix of Native and non native .

At the resolution of the 5th annual Meeting of the Traditional Elders Circle , it was written "The medicine people are chosen by the medicine, and long instruction and discipline are necessary before ceremonies and healing can be done. These procedures are always in the Native tongue; there are no exceptions and profit is not the motivation "

I wo! uld guess in most cases , these Lakota traditions were not shared or taught in a Native language as the only common language would be English or French . So apparently there are exceptions . Or , are all these people who are doing Lakota style ceremonies outside of Lakota territory ,desecrating Lakota traditions ?

And the statement "profit is not the motivation" leaves a lot of wriggle room . Determining a persons motivation is largely a matter of opinion , and for those not blessed with good gut instincts , this is not really a clear guideline . Exploiters of people's Spiritual hunger , rarely declare that profit is their motive !

Another example ; I think it was in March 2003 , there was a meeting of Lakota Elders, hosted by Arvol Looking Horse , to discuss the protection of ceremonies . It was decided that it was necessary to protect the Sacred Alters in the seven Sacred Rites , from more exposure to non nati! ve people . What is confusing is there are a fair number of Lakota Elder’s who have been very active in encouraging non native people to participate in, and even conduct Lakota ceremonies . ( at least one I notice , was listed as being at this same meeting ) .

It seems for every guideline given , there are , seemingly acceptable exceptions .These sorts of situations are why some people are not listening . It is hard to know who to listen to .

When statements are made , and then seem to be contradicted by the same interest group that made the statement in the first place , people think -

" Well I guess there are exceptions , and if there is an exception to that language thing , and the thing about people needing to be Native to participate , then maybe there is an exception to all the other stuff too ,so my own circumstance must be one of those exceptions "

People who are creating the problems will use every little bit of contradictory information to say " Oh well it is all just a matter of opinion , so , whatever I want to do is OK. "

I realize it would be racist of me , to imagine all Native people were responsible for the behavior of a few other Native people , but it does undermine the clarity of the message , when there is so much widespread contradiction .

Maybe something could be posted on the internet , naming those Native and non native persons who are teaching ,and / or conducting semi Lakota ceremonies , but not really respecting Lakota traditions , along with a description of the problems they are creating . This would give people a more solid reference point.

I also think it is important when confronting abuses that we deal with the actual abuse , and keep our words fair , respectful , and clear of negative racial stereotypes .!

Reasonable boundaries , can be greatly discredited by words, that suggest racism . The word "wannabe" which appears frequently in this declaration of war , is all to often used to describe people who look White, but who have some distant Native descent, and who feel a somewhat confused desire to reconnect with this part of their heritage . It really hurts to have this fragile in yet surprisingly enduring sense of connection , made stupid and ugly .

We are powerless to do anything to change our looks or our race , but we are not powerless to change our damaging behavior . Describing damaging behavior is educational . Using words that convey negative racial stereotyping is not .

To often I have heard new age types dismiss the reasonable boundaries this Declaration of War is trying to map out , as just a few Indians with anger problems . When possible , I would avoid giving people the opprotunity to do this .

Of course , mixed messages coming from Native people is not the main problem .

As I see it, the problem lies mainly in those who’s cultural world view assumes a right to unlimited egocentric self enhancement . These people see themselves as not belonging to the culture they are a part of , and insist that they are unique individuals . Then , feeling disconnected , they declare something is missing , and imagine there are some parts of Lakota knowledge or culture that can be modified to fill the empty places in their lives. This modification is accomplished by removing the parts of these traditions that do not fit into their general pattern of egocentric self enhancement , and then trying to copy the parts that look most dramatic and likely to promote egocentric self enhancement . In spite of this behavior these people do not see themselves as exploiters .

W! hoever objects to these modifications or the degrading use of these traditions , gets told with great arrogance and authority, that it is they who are greedy , selfish , narrow minded , judgmental , unspiritual , uncompassionate and racist.

Understandably a lot of Native people are fairly disgusted at these hypocritical attitudes , and I share this disgust . However I also feel it is a much larger problem , and the underlying need behind this misguided behavior does deserve respect. .

I think the larger problem is in our mainstream culture, and as Native and non native cultures have mixed , these problems are not carried by non native people alone .

As I see it , indigenous forms of Spirituality around the world hold a healthy attraction to people because they are LIVING. The core beliefs of most indigenous forms of Spirituality, seem to me to be that our lives, and all the lives around us! are a miraculous gift . There is a recognition , that our lives and the lives around us are a part of a miraculous power , and so deserve to be treated with the utmost respect . Indigenous forms of Spirituality , manage to integrate this world view , with peoples very ordinary day to day lives.

A culture based on a LIVING Spirituality tends to create a social norm , where the behavior of respect and responsibility , is inseparable from peoples day to day lives . In these cultures people tend to see themselves as BELONGING TO the land , their community, their family , and these relationships are structured and defined by interdependent respect , and responsibilities to maintain this .

In most indigenous societies , ceremonies have grown out of these relationships and responsibilities . To practice indigenous ceremonies out of context of these roots, has the same effect as separating the visible above ground! part of a plant , from the invisible roots . It might still look like a plant , but it is dead .

In hierarchical societies , land ( becomes real estate ) , people ( become the work force ) and family ( become woman and children in subservient position ) .

All these things tend to be seen as "belonging to" whoever is at the top of that particular hierarchy , and relationships of mutual interdependence and respect get replaced by relationships of exploitation .

In relationships of exploitation , the owned objects are seen from an entirely egocentric view point , as existing primarily for the benefit of the exploiter , who justifies the exploitation , by working it around in their minds , that they are the one of primary importance in the relationship , who "something" belongs to

Those in power in hierarchical societies generally remain in power through outri! ght or covert acts of violence and suppression .

When a people belong to a culture that has a LIVING Spirituality which exists in everything , this sense of "belonging to" something greater than ourselves creates a powerful joy and loyalty . This "belonging to" that people feel , is in fundamental conflict with a hierarchical culture that is based on reducing everything to commodities which belong to, and exist solely for the benefit of , "a singular egocentric entity".

So in hierarchical societies , indigenous forms of LIVING Spirituality have often forcibly been replaced by what I see as "elsewhere " religions .

"Elsewhere religions" remove peoples Spirituality from the land and lives around them .

"Elsewhere religions" rely heavily upon things like heaven and hell , karma , reincarnation , and devotion to long deceased Spiritual leaders .There is usually a! lso some good Spiritual insights and social rules in there , but this is all mixed up with a bunch of other stuff, that has to do with circumstances and culture in a far distant time

These "elsewhere religions" serve the purpose of removing peoples sense of belonging and loyalty to a LIVING land based Spirituality , and they substitute this primal belonging with a sense of belonging to a particular Church or religion . This substitution is useful , because it prevents peoples sense of responsible respectful relationships with the Sacred from getting in the way , of personal ownership and exploitation .

"Else where religions " also offer distractions , explanations , and some hope of some future relief , for the horrible imbalances and suffering caused by this exploitation . ( relief also conveniently located "elsewhere" in heaven or in some future life )

I believe our innate longing to agai! n belong to a culture which is based in a shared respectful , responsible relationship that is real and LIVING , is a good thing . However , for non Lakota people , I think it is unlikely this deep longing to "belonging to " will ever be regained through participating in out of context Lakota ceremonies .

To make a crude analogy , it is like a person who has never treated their own marital partner with respect or responsibility or commitment , and feeling unhappily married , this person tries to possess a happy marriage and family life, through trying to have sex with someone else's happily married spouse

Such behavior would be foolish and destructive . Indigenous people have every right not to "share " under these circumstances .

We all have a right and a responsibility to protect ourselves , to keep ourselves healthy , and to keep what sustains us healthy . It is necessary to make good ! choices , in order to protect ourselves. These choices do require we make practical judgments .

For those of us who are primarily non native , I don't think we can go back , into some foggy Pagan past , that was in another land . This is one of those "elsewhere places" . It also doesn’t work to try and go sideways , into another "elsewhere place " of what is left of someone else’s culture , or possibly a small side shoot of our own .

Sure , we can learn by identifying good core values , and translating these into our own lives , but to try and practice ceremonies that grew out of relationships found in a different culture , does not feel right to me

Personally I believe Prayer does work , and living with respect also works , but it works anywhere one has a sincere heart . I have come to believe all these "elsewhere religions" are mainly a distraction from the real work we need to do .

Joining organizations for social justice and environmental protection , and making a point not to take more than we actually need , seem to me to be a much more honest way to create a more loving planet or stop pollution . It is not honest to imagine that non Lakota people conducting Lakota ceremonies are working towards these goals . It is a cop out .

As I see it , we have no REAL choice but to go forward. If we have the courage to do this with honesty , respect and responsibility ,and if we are very patient , perhaps in 7 generations our hierarchically based culture will change and we will find our own traditional way of living hat restores these primal relationships. I believe when we do this , and we sustain this as a people and a culture for several generations , we will once again find there are traditions and ceremonies which are appropriate to our actual lives , to celebrate and ac! knowledge these relationships .

But until then , there is no quick fix .

Those of us who are non native / mostly non native need to grow up , see the big picture beyond "ME" and "RIGHT NOW I WANT" . Our behavior of trying to scoop the icing off someone else’s cake ( when we can’t be bothered to make our own ) or the butter off someone else’s bread ( when we think only the butter is worthwhile ) - this sort of behavior is only going to make us despised and sick.

Hope something in here might be useful to someone .

Best wishes


From: mark montalban
Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2006

During times of extreme emotional and physical troubles, I have turned to the earth, its wisdom, and those who have knowledge to share. I was raised with my father from Costa Rica, and my mother from Italy. Only later in my college days did I find about a paternal great-grandmother, Native American on the reservation in Costa Rica, and a maternal great-grandmother excommunicated by the Catholic Church for un-Christian practices passed down for generations.
Also supportive of indigenous people's rights I have been invited into gatherings for healing and community support. I have never been comfortable with money-making around healing ceremonies.
In a powerful struggle with a cancer western medicine said was unbeatable, I incorporated Eastern and First Nation's modality's brought in by those perspective healers. The 20 month battle was won, and since that day of remission ( I feel to call it a clearing), of Oct. 16, 2003, I have been blessed to walk on the earth.
Along the way I made friends with many in the Men's movement, Pagan communities, who were essential as my support system. They along with some First Nation's friends were invited to our wedding this past August. Our ceremony was meant to honor all the traditions and share the power of the earth.
I understand the importance of the statement and feel money is being made by the stealing of the traditionalists.
I also feel that ghosts and spirits can enter your life and give purpose and direction. I had such an occurrence after a shamanic journey by Red Feather, a healer of Quebec. He only asked for tobacco and leather strips for making ceremony bags. This was in contrast to western healers who wanted to make alot of money. I thought that was odd that western healers priority was to make money regardless of your ability to pay, regardless of how dire your situation was. I was on SSI and getting donations to cover treatments, herbs, supplements not paid by Medicaid.
I think we all have roots in traditions and need to explore them. I realize that many modern westerners see a power used by traditional people and want a piece of the action.
I think that asking for permission to train and share in healing, and learning ways is beneficial. I can't answer for those in the men's community, except some powerful healing is coming to men who are survivor's of child abuse. Maybe the great spirit hears their pain.
In the long run I hope for all people to understand their ancestors in both people, animals, and the earth. And certainly we must all stand up and stop profit and image making of traditionalist's wisdom.
In peace,
Mark Montalban

I give full permission for this statement to be used on your web site concerning the declaration against appropriation, by the Lakota peoples.


From: Jerry Pope
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006

You may post this opinion.

All my relations: Oyate!! Kola!!

I am fully aware of the "Warrior" statement and what is attempting to say. The appropriation of an sacred spiritual tenet and or ceremony for profit is just dead wrong regardless of the culture that surrounds it. It is sacrilegious plain and simple. So I agree with the basic premise. I am also aware that Chief Arvol Looking Horse issued the same sort of proclamation not to long ago which had more to do with out and out racism in reverse. I understand where he was coming from, I just think he is wrong. That the owner of The Sacred C'anupa do this surprised and even shocked me. Black Elk himself would have been rolling over in his grave to learn of this. His vision was one of inclusion not of separateness. However: I have been in contact with many Native elders who disagree with Arvol's point of view and go about teaching and doing ceremony in a sacred manner and walking their talk. As a matter of course many Native elders and teachers and Tribal Councils have not endorsed either proposals from the parties concerned. No one not even The Pope owns any sacred truth. The one that holds a sacred truth is the one who holds it in his/her heart. Skin color or blood quantum does not give anyone the right to control spiritual discipline..

As for myself, I was told at an early age that I had Native blood in my veins though that side of the family is attempting to hide the truth. There is another tenuous connection on the Native side as well. I have "felt" different from the time of my birth and I broke with "White" religion many years ago. I remember being fascinated with Native geometrical designs. Then several years ago I had several experiences that can only be described as Native American Spiritual visions and happenings. Those experiences put me on "The Good Red Road" and even changed my life and literally saved me from suicide. I am a sincere spiritual person and I am not out to exploit Native Spirituality or run a Sweat or do healings or be a Wakan Wic'as'a or anything of the kind. I have danced at Powwows and been included in many Native ceremonies. I was honored to be accepted everywhere I went. I have Been to Sundance in Pipestone Minnesota, where I was gifted several blocks of Pipestone which I then carved into pipes, one given away, and the other are a ceremonial pipe to be brought out later and a personal one. Who am I to deny myself this gifts of Creator?

I am merely following the intent of Wakan Tanka as I continue down the Red Road. I am honored to be on this road. I have been gifted an Indian name and I think I earned it. I offer this in Peace and in Love

Mitakuye Oyasin; WA DO: MEGWIITCH; GO NEH!! Wowagha; Man Sky Hawk


From: TJ bumgardner
Sent: Saturday, December 24, 2005
I TJ give my permission for this message to be posted on thee internet!

My name is TJ i've been going to the sweatlodge for 5yrs! I am very grateful for charles chipps life. For he has given us permission to do these ceromonies selflessly ! The people need these ceromonies they will not live without them!
Everyone should now charles is so decicated to these cermonies that he will take food and water out of his own mouth to make sure they go on! Keep them pure for the next 7 generations please! mitakuye-oyasin (all my relations)



Sent: Saturday, December 24, 2005

You have permission to post my message.
I agree with the Lakota traditionalists's decision to take a stand against the exploiters of Lakota Spirituality. I agree that charging non-Indians for participation in ceremonies is very wrong because asking or demanding money is clearly greed.

Taking money from participants for money is same as taking advantage of them and that is the same as exploiting them. Lakota traditionalists are against the practice of taking advantage of non-Indian participants or anyone.

Fake so-called traditionalits are the ones who took advantage of and exploited non-Indians and made the real humble ones look bad at the same time. People on both sides had been hurt in this situation: the traditionalist ones, and the unsuspecting non-Indian participants.

About myself, I am 15th generation descendant of Pocahontas, the daughter of the Pamunkey war chief, Powhatan. Pocahontas's mother was Mattapony. So my tribal heritage is both Pamunkey and Mattapony that I inherited from my Dad's side of the family. I was aware of my native bloodline but I was not raised in it.

My grandmother told me when I was 9 years old that my face reminded her of her Indian ancestors of long ago. I remember encountering Russell Means and Iron Eyes Cody in person. I could not help noticing that they did not take their curious eyes off me.

My ancestor, Thomas, was born 1/2 native. He knew his native bloodline but he was not raised in it. He was not allowed to learn about his native heritage while growing up both in England and Scotland ever since his mother Pocahontas fell ill and died. Sadly, English people were a very paranoid people who were determined to destroy all traces of the culture of lifeways of the ancient Powhatan alliance.

English people were a very paranoid people who burned thousands of so called "heretic" female midwives in England who were suspected to be witches. These English people descended from European tribes who used to rever bears at one time and even used bear amulets to protect their newborn children.

Bears became extinct by 11th century after dragons became extinct. English people lost their identity with nature, thanks to Roman army legions who came and invaded England and raped many women in many tribal villages there.

There is a Van Passe painting portrait of Pocahontas that is very well known that most of you are probably famaliar with. The artist painted and lightened her dusky skin tone. But there is a second painting portrait of Pocahontas and her 3 yrs old son Thomas that is least known.

This artist of this painting was a lot more honest. His painting revealed the real native features of Pocahontas. She looked very "Lakota" She reminded me of my Mother's nephew who is enrolled Ogala Sioux and direct descendant of Sitting Bull.

This second painting of Pocahontas and her 3 yrs old son is least known. It is a Sedgeford painting portrait of Pocahontas holding hands with 3 yrs old son Thomas. He looked so much like his mother. He held his Mother's hands.

This portrait was the property of Pocahontas's brother in law, Henry Rolfe that was hung hidden away in a Rolfe castle mansion in Heacham,England for nearly 300 years. It was passed down from father to son for many generations for 3 centures before the castle was finally sold around the year in 1901.

This well preserved painting was removed to another Rolfe home before the original Rolfe castle mansion was destroyed by a fire and later by German bombings on the east coast of England facing English channel towards France during WWII. The Sedgeford painting was already in America when the bombings hit in Norfolk, Heacham, England. Pocahontas's personal pearl earrings were also at the same time taken oversea to America when the Rolfe descendant moved there in the 1930's.

Today, all Indian tribes are my role models because they talk about respecting the elders, children and Mother Earth. I could not help but notice Native teachings are closest to the Great Spirit or Wakan. When they speak, I listen with great awe.

I pray and hope that young Native teenagers will turn away from committing suicide because they are tomorrow's leaders. The world need them more now than before now in this 11th hour because of the alarming rate of global warming consequences. We are paying the price because we human beings have been greedy for 4 centuries not being in tune with nature laws. It's time to listen and make the difference today. Please pray for young people who are hurting for they are America's precious heritage.

Name Withheld
Western United States


From: Deanna Pitman
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2005

Permission to post if you desire.

In the same spirit as nearly every other author on this site, I will begin with my bloodline. I'm adopted. I've no right to declare ANY blood that may be running through my veins. The State of Iowa has declared that at no point in my existence upon the planet will I be granted the legal right to know and declare my blood. The first time I laid eyes on a blood relative was the day I gave birth to my first son.

I did find my birthparents at the age of 23. (The state forgot to seal the hospital records.) As it happens, I would have been German, Irish, and Amish with a sprinkle of Sioux. (I'm told Sioux is a bad word, but I'm just repeating what my father told me--no more, no less.) I would have been, but I am not because I've no legal right to claim any of that. It's all just a matter of paperwork, isn't it? Everyone is living a 'happy' life with my birth and adoption put on a shelf somewhere and not remembered.

I see your point. I will always love my parents, even if they wish I'd never been born. I'm sure you wish your mixed-blood offspring could just forget you share the same ancestors as well. Surely someday if you wish it hard enough they will understand that the ancestors are yours alone, and their voices will cease to call on them.

That is all I have to say.



Sent: Friday, November 11, 2005 6:04 PM
Subject: Permission to print unaltered text.

Hello to all. I am a poet and student living in Canada. I am a believer in the power and potency of the written word, as well as the spoken one, which is why I am adding my voice into the mix of voices portrayed here.

What I am going to say may seem like it does not have much to do with a discussion on Native Rights regarding ownership of their Spiritual Ways. But after reading so many heated arguments, it seems as though there is some slightly different theme at work here. It seems as though the discussion (on this site at least) is ultimately one about humanity, which I suppose, is what spiritual beliefs often address. This theme is what I will address in the paragraphs below.

It is difficult to fully understand the gravity of another persons life or situation, or of a people's history unless you live inside of it, day by day. We talk, we pronounce, we proclaim, we challenge, we tell, we are angry, we feel injustice, we feel shame or regret. But what we all need most is to listen. What we need most is to love and to feel compassion. These are serious issues and require deep contemplation, not just by European peoples, but by all peoples, period.

The anger of the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota people is a real living breathing entity. The abuse they speak of is not new, it is centuries old, and continues to this day. It is hard to step out of that ring if you are still living inside of it. Make no mistake, both the Canadian and American governments are still committing atrocities to Native peoples today. Not fifty or one hundred years ago, but right now. The portrayal of Native peoples in the media and by sports teams is beyond appalling. The kind of racist drivel that is passed on amongst the general public by word of mouth is sometimes nothing short of holocaust propaganda. Indeed, the atrocities committed against the people who were here first was a holocaust on a level that put Hitler's Germany to shame. Today, here in Canada, we are a long way off from being educated in about the kind of realities other cultures inside our giant machine live with on a daily basis.

But I think ultimately, in the final analysis we have to look beyond this. We should not forget, we should be educated, we should understand and feel horrified at what has been done. But we (Dakota, Cree, Ojibway, Haida, Chinese, Japanese, Irish, Scottish, Jamaican, Ethiopian, Russian and so on - all of us on this planet) have to look beyond our individuality, beyond our individual selves and individual families and individual cultures to attempt to see the larger picture. I hear people bristling already, but what is to become of us, of all of us, if we cannot, will not even entertain the concept of letting go of our ignorance, letting go of our anger, letting go of our sadness and shame and pity? What will become of us if we refuse to listen, or only listen to the ignorance of others? What will become of us if we only hear those who match the power our own burning anger? What will become of us if we believe in the power of media, in the power of righteousness, in the power of ego? I am not just talking about European peoples, but all people. All of us, everywhere. We have forgotten how to talk. We have forgotten how to listen. We have forgotten how to be compassionate. We are all guilty of these things at some point in time. I have been guilty just as much as the next person. But the idea is to try, and to keep trying and keep trying and keep trying.

Behind the words we speak, for all of us, there is a history. A real history, which has led us (as an individual, family unit, or culture) to where we right now. It is important to try to understand this history, to learn it as best we can, before the ego kicks in and begins to assess and make judgements based on its own experience.

Where are we if we don't? Ultimately, we are all lost.

I have a very sane quote by Barry Lopez, the writer, that I keep posted on my computer: "How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one's culture but within oneself? If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox...There are simply no anwsers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light."

In love and peace,
Kirsten Jay Brooks


From: pminton
Sent: Monday, October 03, 2005

Why is it that North Americans cannot enter into debates like this without explaining what proportion of their ancestry comes from different countries? What does it matter if one-sixteenth of yourself (is that a great-great-grandparent) got on the boat in Ireland, Scotland, France or whatever? How is this supposed to affect your daily life if that relative has been dead for over a hundred years? The fact is that all white Americans are immigrants of some sort or another, but white Americans first and foremost. To give one example, never have I read so much rubbish about ‘Celtic mysticism’ based on the artificially-created memory of some long-dead Irish relative. Ireland has been Christianised for 1, 500 years. Any Irish emigrant to the New World would usually have been staunchly Roman Catholic, and therefore appalled by any hint of ‘paganism’. The undeniable fact is that the white man in North America committed literal genocide against the Native American, and continues to commit cultural genocide against him. Part of this whole problem is that for some unknown reason, many white North Americans can’t accept who they are, and now, with no grasp of either history or irony, attempt to lean towards tribal people who have managed to hold onto a sense of who they are despite the atrocities committed against them. White North Americans should embrace their own white American identity instead of commercially (and otherwise) exploiting the scraps of that of the Native Americans’ that they left after centuries of butchery. And don’t come over here to Ireland talking rubbish about your Celtic roots either. You just look foolish. Yes, you can use this if you want.


Sent: Tuesday, September 06, 2005

You have persmission to print

I am Dacotah Sioux and I can understand the frustration of non-indians wanting to learn about Native American Spirituality - probably you are doing so because the belief system that you grew up in did not do anything for you.

What I do not like and detest is our own plastic so called medicine men that call themselves Shaman - which isn't even a Native American term for a medicine man - and how these fake people and fake non-indians teach for profit our Spiritual practices. First of all no medicine person would ever sell our practices at any price - No medicine person would write books about it or teach it over the internet for a price. No Medicine man would advertise his medicine and do ceremonies for a profit.

It is very hard to find traditional medicine men - you have to usually know traditional people that practice traditional Native American spirituality in order to maybe be invited to our ceremonies and meet a medicine man. We have to get to know you very well to see if you are really sincere in wanting to learn about our spirituality and ceremonies.

In order to learn our spirituality it is best to go to a reservation and to a people of a certain tribe that you would like to learn from and associate and get to know these traditional people. It takes time and dedication and years of learning our ways.

I am angry that these fake medicine men from our tribes sell our spirituality for profit - that is not right and if anyone want to learn from a medicine man - IF he asks for money - run away fast.

Most medicine men teach and do ceremonies on the reservation they are from. People go to them for healing and ceremonies. Sometimes they will come to another Dakota and Lakota and Nakota reservation to do ceremony for the traditionals there if they can - sometimes it is hard because they are not rich people but they try to make it there.

I am angry at new age people who profess to know our spiritual ways because they have distorted our spirituality mostly for monetary gain and also because they learned wrong from these fake medicine people and pass on untruth about our beliefs and ceremonies.

I am not against other people wanting to learn about our Spirituality if they learn it from the true medicine men and elders of that tribe. In order to do that you must go to them. They do not live in big cities.

If anyone would like to email me. Do so at

As our saying says,

Mitakuye Oyasin (To all Our relations)
and I think that includes all people

I know that the Lakota people that are against other people learning our spirituality will not like what I say and believe but I have seen many people that have been taught the right way - respect our beliefs.


Sent: Friday, September 02, 2005
You have my permission to publish.

I believe that Native American Spirituality is the only form of spirituality. And if you believe that, no matter what your race than you can not exclude any person because they are non Native.(I will not refere to Native people as Indian that is what Columbus called them because he thought he was in India) I am not of Native Blood but I believe in the Spirituality of the Native people. I was raised in the Lutheran church, But I never "got it". I had more questions than the religious leaders had answers for. When I began reading books on the Native path things began to make sense. It felt right to follow this path and I believe it was the path that the Creator meant for me to follow. But I don't think that it makes me a Native wannabee or that I am exploiting Native spirituality. I go to Inipi Ceremonies where my Husband pours water, and I believe in the Sacred Pipe for which my Husband is a carrier. I have gone to Sundance and supported my husband while he danced, sacri! ficing himself for all the people. I believe that If we all believed in the Native spirituality then people of all races would be able to live in a more peaceful way. I understand why the Native people feel the way they do, they feel like one more thing that belongs to them is being taken by the white man, But in this case I believe they will benefit by sharing their spirituality with the world. People are less afraid of what they understand then what they don't understand.

Kelly Robinson


From: Teressa Neu
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005
Subject: statement to post please

I live now in Florida. The 'Native' path has come to me 10 years ago and has never left me. I am white, Italian and German. I drum, I read I study, I never, ever proclaim to be Native American. I would never carry a pipe, as I am not a carrier. I have been to many Inipi and invited to pipe ceremonies, most all for free, not for profit.

I have heard of Lakota and other Native Elders have taught whites the native ways because their grandchildren could care less. That is the ugly truth. It is also the whites who are keeping the Native spirit alive, because it is, for most, the true beating in their heart, and they cannot ignore it, and they, like I, can never ignore it. Not all whites are just trying to make a buck. Some are perhaps, some are false, but there are too many who are not. Please to not turn away a non-Native when their heart is pure and Native in spirit.



From: gramham waters
Sent: Saturday, August 20, 2005

His will probably not get printed, but here goes, first i.m not a christian, i am a dreamer, a true believer in our mother the earth, Christains have destroyed both our mother and her guardians my people the American Indian, while the poor walk upon our mother neglected, while there's insane wars, Religions behind most of them,while little children feed of refuge dumps, i will never be a christian,while American Indians, kept out of government and don't have a say in the running of there own country, you can stick chritianity. American Indians have go back to their own beliefs, we had it right.We must now have our voices heard before it's too late. I write a form of poetry to remind the indian who they are, and the attrocities commited against us. Brothers and sisters learn your language and your culture, make english your second language and only use it when nesessary. You won't print this but i have had my say, i have only just started Vox Kola Osceola [that's all]



From: Tom, Monica
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2005 8:55 AM

Yes, please, thank you!

-----Original Message-----
From: Bucko, Raymond
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 10:36 PM

do you want this posted to the web page?


From: Tom, Monica
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2005

Oh my goodness, another site, you know I am so tired of running across these sites, I think I should be angry but I’m not. When you are Native American, not Indian, you come to look at these sights with resignation and a whole lot of sadness. People like this Hyemeyohsts (Wolf) Storm, or whatever, doesn’t know anything about himself, lest of all, his supposed “indianness”. Wow, another wannabe, just like a white kid trying to play black. Is this person so insecure in their identity that they have to “steal” another or so enamored with my culture, that they try a one-size-fits-all approach? I feel so sorry for this person, because apparently they didn’t have the guidance in early part of their life to realize what they are doing, that when they were little, someone did not take the time to teach them how to be a good being. I am Oglala Lakota Sioux, from Pine Ridge, SD, more importantly from a family that I know actually is Lakota. I learned who and what I was from an early age, how to conduct myself in society (in every society), know my responsibilities to my family, to be a member of my tribe. Now I see all these wannabes that do rape our society, I say rape because I consider this a violation, try to fit in (like a square peg in a round hole) and generally are a nuisance. I know that this Wolf Storm person is not tribal, because this person doesn’t think tribal, doesn’t have the reasoning, mental attributes and respect ( for things/people/life) of a tribal member. Hence the word member. Think about that word, it means you are part of a group, a group that has its laws, rules, guidance, love, respect, anger, protection, etc., amongst so many other attributes and these are woven together to form a society. No, I don’t feel anger, I feel sad for this person, I respect that they have life, that they breathe, but their reasoning and lack of respect for my culture diminishes them. You can’t justify exploitation, you just can’t on any level and what’s even sadder, is the fact that this person is sending others down the same misguided road. This one person (amongst so many), Hyemeyohsts (Wolf) Storm, is responsible for even more exploitation/misrepresentation and what’s sadder than that?


From: nina reeve
Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2005

I am sending this letter from England,in my respects to what the Gentleman had to say about the abuse going on with the Lakota Spirituality. I am gald that I have found this web site, and read this article, Since last year I have been trying to research the Lakota Nation. I am concerned however to hear that the Lakota's Sacred wisdom has been defiled in such a way, that this gentleman so discribes. I am quite shocked even, but carry with me a feeling that this ill respect for any of the Native American, will never fade due to total ignorance on behalf of those who do not understand any of the "sacred connection" with the spirit world, and it saddens my heart so.Please be re-assured Sir, that this Lady has full respect and will always carry this respect in my heart. Yours sincerely.

Hello Sir,
Yes that would be alright.
Mrs Nina Reeve.

"Bucko, Raymond" wrote:
Do you wish and give permission to post this to the website?


From: Peter Denholm
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2005

My name is Lone Wolf, and for all who are concerned by my ethnic perspective in this life, I walk as a white man. I speak to all who are willing to listen, in a way that is meant to encourage peace and unity between all peoples. The Great Spirit is guiding me to remember the lessons, practises, skills, knowledge and wisdom, experienced in past lives. It is not my intention to offend any beliefs that do not include past-life experiences.
I have lived and grown in this life on the Australian island of Tasmania, an island whose own native peoples were entirely wiped out by European invaders. Those who represent the part-blooded descendants of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, understand that the teachings, lessons, wisdom and spirit of their Elders are returning to their lands. Because of the genocide of their full-blooded ancestors, they accept with peace and understanding that these Elders do not necessarily return with black faces. They search for meaning and guidance in all men whose deeds and words represent the TRUTH AND HONOR of their people. A truly noble, proud, and peaceful act. An example for us all.
The point I would like those interested to consider, is this; That all in this life and world is exactly how it is intended to be, at this moment in time. An acceptance of anything less than this is a lack of trust in the work of the Great Spirit. Bickering and fighting over who may honor the Great Spirit, and in what way, is a lack of respect and a vote of no-confidence for the way in which he is choosing to share his message.
Sure, we will all have to navigate our path through the showmans and frauds to find true spiritual guidance, regardless of our faith, but the TRUTH will always be found by those searching with a TRUE heart. I share the Great Spirit's message in the best, most respectful and Honourable manner that I know how. My methods include many ceremonies and practises of Native American origin, and my ultimate concern is not that I may offend another human being, but that in no way do I offend or am disrespectful toward the Great Spirit.
We cannot end the wars until we end the division and segregation of all peoples on this Mother Earth. We are all the one family, we have a knowledge and ability to heal our peoples, or destroy them. The wisdom shared, is the act of healing. Selfish wisdom cripples the teachers, and destroys the students. All people on this Mother Earth have the right to share in the positive knowledge of all other peoples, we cannot afford to end up like a man with a magnificent yacht, that chooses to live in the desert. A word of wisdom from the famous Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly, to all whose warrior hearts still seek battlefields; "The best way to get shot, is to carry a gun."

My friend,
They will return again.
All over the Earth,
They are returning again.
Ancient teachings of the Earth,
Ancient songs of the Earth.
They are returning again,
My friend, they are returning.
I give them to you,
And through them
You will understand,
You will see,
They are returning again
Upon the Earth.

-CRAZY HORSE, Oglala Sioux

You have my permission to print this on the internet or in any other form.
from:Lone Wolf.


Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Please post if there is room and it is worthy of such...

Margaret Gillespie


I hope the man that wrote this decleration of war feels better for sharing to the world his frustrations.

The Jews are not to profit.

The catholic are not to sin.

The indian is not to what?

Maybe you need to walk a little further. Maybe your tribe, your ancestors are to lead all to spiritual bliss...

I being a white woman have been disappointed many times about the subversive culture developed by only a handful that master a load of people.

Yes I have eyes. I also feel the natural pull of mother earth and her need to have us now more than ever. That the awakening is happening to all who dare to allow the feelings to overcome them.

Change for the better happens when people reach out to people.
all people all cultures all things...

The shift is the first that I declare that finally includes a women in the theory of the Chinese... the ying and yang.

The sisters are here for soothing purposes and we as women need this voice to come in louder and stronger yet with a delicate touch.

No war, no more time for war. Awakening yes. Helping yes, being active to reach out and help stop the madness, the chaos , yet to reach out and bring the simplicity into focus again.

Margaret Gillespie
39 years as of June 3, 2005
White /irish catholic
One god given husband-literally
no children
one cat
one garden- feeds the birds,squirrels, hummers, live in LA working movies Independant in thought.
hopefully to make a difference
for Cubans this year by
awakening people and
doing so in this techno world.

I will use my art to hopefully
help us 'all people' rise to a higher
consious thought process.

P.S. I brought the word Lakota to my computer to research what started as a solicit to my mother in law of 85 a key chain and a asking of a donation for St. Joseph's Indian School. Located in Chamberlin SD

I hear your tribe speak. I respect all words I have read today.



From: Norma J F Harrison
Sent: Sunday, June 05, 2005

fine with me!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bucko, Raymond"
To: "Norma J F Harrison"
Sent: Sunday, June 05, 2005

Subject: RE: I am not characterized by the declaration. Nor are the white people with whom I work for our revolution.

Do you want this posted to the web?

-----Original Message-----
From: Norma J F Harrison
Sent: Friday, June 03, 2005

By white man - and I will allow you are not only thinking of males - women being properly subject to white men - or something, I suppose you mean, and therefore holding the same positions you so baldly attribute to people of that color - 'white'... We hold no illusions: "It is time for the white man to wake up from his illusions."

Your racism is intolerable , destructive of our attempts to build the strength of united people/s to win justice - lovely lives - for us all... our attempts - we communists socialists anarchists reds lefties.

Various colored people have the same enemies : profit , power, and competition for profit... - and don't keep lying to yourself/ves and everyone: for among people who look like you are enemies of the same caliber as those you characterize as 'white men'. Among all our different groups are people who hate people regardless they are from the same tribe, look like them-us, and assault them/us with laws and guns.

You pretend that the people who were here before the white advance were nice to each other - they weren't any more than everyone everywhere - all peoples have brutalized their own and their neighbors. ...yes, not all people, and some more or less horribly than the present horrors.

That the bankrupt left/progressives lets you get away with your racist tirades is its - that left's - failing - trying to be all things to all people.

As stark racists you can go stand with other Nazi-type groups furthered as you are by people who sway whichever way the wind blows - and call themselves progressive/left.

I am not characterized by the declaration. Nor are the white people with whom I work for our revolution.



From: Jo
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2005

You have my permission to post whatever I have written here in it's complete form.

I am suppose to tell you what I am. As if a person is defined by their skin or race or religion. Well, I am a mixture of contradictions. I am Jew but also German. I am Native American but also European. What does not run through my veins has married into my family, so I am kith and kin to most who walk. And these lines were not added to my family when it was politically correct to do so but generations before, when people were killed for such choices. I was raised with no traditions, no identity beyond what I myself do. The connections to those before were severed by the decendents that feared the choices their parents made. My children are a product of those choices, one blue eyed and blonde the other dark and passes for just about every dark skinned race except African American. I know fear and understand how it strangles until it kills the very thing those who use it seek to save. Fear alone survives. These are the questions I have for those of you who want to clutch tightly what you believe.

When you constrict in order to protect can you really grow?

Does spiritual growth really evolve from fear and anger?

Does race really equal spiritual reality?

Does anything truly survive when it is not allowed to adapt?

How is declaring a spiritual war against those you see as interlopers any different than the spiritual war that was declared against your spiritual beliefs?

The Ghost Dancers were attacked because they were feared, what do you fear that makes you want to attack?

These are the same questions all religions should ask themselves when they seek to be exclusive in order to keep the "purity" of their beliefs.

Is this path so fragile it can not survive the footsteps of others? Really? Was my religion always a concrete set of beliefs practiced only in one way? Or did it evolve, to meet the needs of those who believe? Isn't the act of belief the need of the Gods?

Are you really protecting a religion or a concept? Spiritual paths live and change and grow, science exhibits and history are static.

I do not practice any Native American beliefs, or Celtic, or ?

I do believe in the collective (un)concious, the connectedness of all. Do not be so hasty to try and sever what your ancesters have given to the world. Others sought to absorb those beliefs into oblivion, instead those beliefs now absorb. That is power, that is survival. You can say that you are losing an identity, but it looks from here like your identity has survived and grown and is expanding against the wishes of those who tried to wipe it off of the earth. Celebrate that triumph. I do not worship your way, because I do not "know" your way. Maybe, that is a shame. Maybe what your ancesters learned is essential to this world. Maybe you can restrict it enough that it dies out and no one else will ever know and it can never impact the universe the way it could have.


I, I, I, I just remembered something I forgot to do yesterday and shan't be able to do tomorrow, so I must go do it now. Bye Pooh. -Piglet


From: David Olson
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2005

Please post this e-mail on your site. Readers may reply to the following address:

I am a Northern European American with (it is rumoured) a drop of Indian blood from 150+ years ago. It gives me no claim to Native culture, yet I am proud to have it.

My interest in Native Americans was renewed during a 1999 trip to Germany, where I encountered a shop window full of artifacts, images, art... It was magical that I should travel so far from home to see things so familiar to me! I admonished the merchant for claiming that their clay pipes were Pipestone. (In hindsight, I would rather they sold clay at Pipestone prices than sell Pipestone at any price!) When I returned to the Midwest with my bundles of Indian Portraits, I quickly began seeing their faces in all my usual places. I had been naive. I had been blind and ignorant. How could I have rubbed elbows for so many years and not notice?! Eventually I began to seek knowledge, but was met with resistance and scepticism.

So much of my experience in this area defies language, defies description. And I am not accustomed at all to discussing it, least of all on an internet forum. It feels awkward trying to pound out these words, but I'll continue...

Eventually in my quest I was introduced to an Elder of 100% descent who met with me several times over the span of a week, and his daughter sat with us much of the time. I believe that he was impressed with the respectful and humble manner with which I approached him, and he validated the draw that I was feeling, the hunger to KNOW the culture. He validated the inherent knowledge I seemed to have of Traditional Ways. (If it was inherent, or just things I picked up through osmosis over the years, I do not know. -- Perhaps there were Elders in my midst during my early childhood who taught me these things, and I never realized who they really were or where that knowledge was coming from.) We spoke in many different ways during our meetings--he spoke in his language, I replied softly in French. We spoke often only with our hands. There were very few words spoken, and so little actually said. But I learned a lot, and ! being with him touched me so deeply.

Then one day he vanished as swiftly as he had appeared. But I met with his daughter each evening for ten days, and she continued to talk with me and teach me. But not with words. This is where it gets difficult to express... She spoke in her language and with her hands, and I seemed to spontaneously understand much of it. I seemed, spontaneously, to be able to utter sentiments in her language... Perhaps we created a Lingua Franca between us, such that no other would be able to understand it. We did speak English a bit, but it was not the Standard American English that is spoken so loudly and literally... It was a very economical use of words. French. Scandinavian. Russian. Spanish. But always accompanied with hand-speak. We astounded each other. And when I inadvertantly asked a pointed question, or spoke in a vulgar way (meaning Standard American English), she looked shocked and sc! ared as though she was reconsidering the wisdom of teaching me anything in the first place. But my tone would change, and we would continue somehow... And when we knew our time was short, she said, "How will I find you again?" And I replied, "Always when you see the moon, I will be looking there and thinking of you. And some times when it is full, you will find me at this place." I never knew her name, and she never knew mine. We did not exchange cards. But she called me her angel, and she called me "Brother." We agreed that when we most needed to see each other, we would. And on several occassions, as if by the hand of the Creator Himself, we saw each other.

Ahh, what she taught me of the history of creation!!! What she taught me of the nature of this world, and the stars, and the spirit of all life!!! It was very difficult and painful to "return home," for no one I knew understood one bit of what I had expereinced. It hurt me to be granted this knowledge, but be made unable to share it. And it changed my life completely. And I cannot unlearn what I know to be true, regardless of who lays claim to it! I must say, there have been many times when quite burly Lakota men have pressed their chests hard against my own (figuratively) and looked at me as though I was taking my last breaths, but I stood my ground! I stood my ground and dug deep to find the right few words to disarm them. I am not afraid.

My point is, what I know of Indian Culture I learned by invitation. Yes, there are books on my shelf. Yes, I prick up my ears when there is something relevant in the media. Yes, I burn Sweetgrass and Sage. Yes, when I'm able I do travel to those sacred, timeless places high, high in the heavens where that darling, darling, darling woman took me. Yes, I am a stupid, stupid man. Yes, evermore I am learning the subtleties of the responcibility I have been given. I am discrete. I tell no one of my experience, not that many would believe me in a million years the magic of it.

My point is, I understand the "Declaration of War" and agree in large part. But can not a distinction be made between those who would profit from their fad interest, and those, such as myself, who were invited in? I am an ally of Indian interests, naive as I still am. I will never be Indian, but there are flashes in my life what I am so connected to my Father, to my Mother, to my Brothers and Sisters... Nothing and no one can deny me that.

I must end here. I have written too much. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share this. I don't expect I'll do it again for a very long time.

Monty Dash


From: magpietoo
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2005

Sirs, you have my permission to publish this or not as you see fit. my name is Drew i am "English" that in it's self would seem in this day and age to be reason enough to hang me. But the truth of the matter is that all that it truly means to be English was desrtoyed and trampled into the earth by Christian Normans in the centuries following the conquest in 1066.As a people the English have no roots in reality.our culture of the Earth,our written language, even our names where brutally and mercilessly repressed by the new French overlords.Today we can glimpse our tattered heritage in occult books about Norse magik and some of us even claim to be Saxon and Anglish holy folk. but the full beuty of who the English truly where pre 1066 is lost forever. "What has this to do with Lakota wisdom?" i hear you ask. simply this, that now we come from the same root, No thing, the Great Mystery that birthed us all even Ghod who lives within. War on abuse? my people learned long ago that the bending of the willow survives the stoicism of the oak. changed we are, but always there remains the nurturing heart of the Creator, weather his face be red,yellow black or white,that circle,speaks of truth. and this truth shall endure.peace to your heart, love from our soul, shade and sweet water to all. from Drew the last Inglish man. (UNLESS YOU KNOW DIFFERENT)


From: Sara Roseman
Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2005

Oh I'm sorry. Yes I give permission.

On 4/23/05, Bucko, Raymond wrote:
do you give permission to publish this?

From: Sara Roseman
Sent: Friday, April 22, 2005

Well, obviously this means something to you if you have it posted right? Anyway, my name is Sara. I am 21 years old from MIchigan. Since before I was born, my father has practiced Native American traditions and he holds them in a seriously high respect, doesn't abuse or take advantage of the things he does either. Neither of us are any bit Native American. I must admit that I longed to be because when I was young I felt odd about attending powwows because I was a "white girl". But neither of us were ever shunned for attending and were actually asked to join numerous sweats and ceremonies there. I refuse to feel bad for my beliefs and what I practice, and I refuse to feel at all threatened by this because I know in my heart what I love and respect. The people that abuse these things for their own advantage and use them in the wrong ways should be addressed by whoever wrote this. Not every "non-indian."

The warrior sits,
Praising God for the land.
The prophet leans upon his walking stick
And the superhero of the spiritual,
With his sword, stands.


From: Jenkins-Crowe Laurel K
Sent: Friday, April 15, 2005

Please post if you see fit. This is a fascinating project and I appreciate being able to read the responses.

White people who feel "drawn to" nature-based spirituality have many choices in this day and age. Ripping off Native American ways isn't one of them. If you "practice NA spirituality" after knowing how most actual Native Americans feel about it, you probably feel defensive because you know deep down inside that you're wrong. If you think people who deny you the ways that were given to them and them alone are racists, you're probably projecting. I'm sure there are exceptions, because it isn't up to me to say who does and doesn't have a right to these ways. That's part of the point.

Most of us white people were brought up against a background of Christianity whether we were ever part of that religion or not. Historically, Christianity has wanted to be spread everywhere, in any way. Past (and maybe present) "missionaries" have used fraud, threats, lies, and any other method they could think up to rope in souls for Jesus. They believe it's their duty to impinge on the religious freedom of others because they believe all the others are going to hell.

Folks, many other faiths don't work this way. If the rightful owners of said faiths don't want to accept you, then no amount of wheedling, whining, paying, crying about "religous freedom," or name-calling is going to "get you in." "Well, can't I believe all living things are sacred?" Of course you can. "Can't I run my own 'sweats' because I feel draaaaaaaawn to Lakota spirituality?" No, you can't. Of course, nobody can make you stop perpetrating a travesty of somebody else's religion, but if you think you can grow spiritually that way, you're wrong. But of course, actual spiritual growth probably isn't what you're after. You just want to feel good about already being "more spiritual" than the average white person because you "love mother earth more" even as you continue to live an earth-destructive lifestyle. Or maybe you want to assuage your guilt about what our people have done to Native peoples by "becoming" one of them so none of it's your fault.

Having a calling, being truly spiritual, whatever you want to call it, is not fun or cool. It's hard work. It involves looking at yourself and seeing your flaws. It involves growing in integrity and respect for other living things, including other human beings. If you feel that "the Great Spirit" has "called" you to do these things no matter what anyone else says, I respectfully submit that it was not "the Great Spirit" talking to you, but your own ego. If you pray about it, sincerely and over time, you will probably discover you were mistaken. I speak from personal experience, and I thank whatever gods may be that I was not allowed to make more of an ass of myself than I did when I was young. I bought into a few stupid ideas, but I never--NEVER--went around begging someon else's ways. And the whole time I was reading about "core shamanism" or whatever, I had a nagging bad feeling about it. I deserved to.

Maybe one day we all will get along. That can't happen if people with no respect for other cultures spout a bunch of Rainbow Tribe mumbo jumbo about how race doesn't make any difference, especially when it stands in the way of their getting what they want. If it made no difference, you'd be happy to settle for Wicca, Druidism, or a Pagan recon religion, would you? But no--you want what's Native because it is Native. Obviously the race part IS of importance. All gods are not the same god, because if they were, you wouldn't have to change religions. And if they were all the same god, then that being might have his/er reasons for manifesting in sifferent ways to differnt people. Maybe s/he knows better than you do.

Many whites still have the idea that Natives are either worse than we are or better. Whether we call them savages or nbole savages, we are setting them apart as not quite human, as a screen upon which to project our own ideas about nature and culture. It's wrong. Whether you draw an ugly false picture or a pretty one, it still obscures the fact that Natives are as human and individual as the rest of us.


From: aihsc
Sent: Sunday, April 10, 2005

You have permission to post.

My wholehearted support goes to those who have made the various declarations and resolutions in attempt to protect the traditions of the various plains tribes. The rifts, angers, and disdain that tears apart these tribes in the pro and con issue of selling or otherwise exporting once sacred ceremonies is unsettling. There should be no real question of the path that must be followed.

Those who protest against these declarations, while perhaps well meaning, are naïve participants in the continuation of governmental programs consisting of genocide, removal, and acculturation (de-Indianizing) of the American Indian people. They are an insidious partner of the growing anti-Indian movement of organizations such as PARR, ICERR, CERA, ACE, and NACO. Their actions assist in what the government has not been able to do - the complete destruction of the American Indian as a proud and sovereign people.

Those who produced and signed these declarations have my appreciation and admiration. You contain the true spirit of the Creator, he who ultimately gave each tribe special sacred ceremonies. Unfortunately, even among those who signed these declarations we now find prostitutes who have turned and sell the very same ceremonies that they once swore to protect. These prostitutes deserve only contempt for their actions. Their many excuses hold no water.

I understand fully that those who wish to protect their traditions from further dilution and damage have no control over those who export and sell sacred tribal ceremonies and traditions. The is an internal problem that each tribe and it’s members must face. However, it should be recognized that when the tribal prostitutes of the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota, and Cheyenne export their disgraced form of ceremonies to other areas - then we of other tribes are also effected.

We do not need the prostitutes coming to our areas, making non-Indian wannabes into “Indian Chiefs” and throwing ceremonies around for profit. This is an embarrassment to us. Work your damage in your own backyard.

While I cannot speak for all members of all tribes so effected, I assure you that many of us stand in solidarity with those of you who are trying to protect your sacred traditions. My words to you are to strengthen your spirit. You are the true champions of your people.

To quote part of a speech given by a great man of my tribe, Tecumseh, to the Osages during the winter of 1811-12:

“Brothers, -We are friends; we must assist each other to bear our burdens. The blood of many of our fathers and brothers has run like water on the ground, to satisfy the avarice of the white men. We, ourselves, are threatened with a great evil; nothing will pacify them but the destruction of all the red men.







The Seal of Creighton University
This page is managed by
Rev. Raymond A. Bucko, S.J.
of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology
at Creighton University.


Page Last Updated: December 12, 2009