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Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:09 pm    Post subject: NATIVE CULTURE!!

Russell Means (Lakota)
"The process is ultimately intended to supplant Indians, even in areas of their own customs and spirituality. In the end, non-Indians will have complete power to define what is and is not Indian, even for Indians. When this happens, the last vestiges of real Indian society and Indian rights will disappear. Non-Indians will then "own" our heritage and ideas as thoroughly as they now claim to own our land and resources."

Wendy Rose (Hopi)
"Do the names Sun Bear, Wallace Black Elk, Oh Shinna Fast Wolf, Brook Medicine Eagle, Harley Reagan Swiftdeer, Buck Ghost Horse, or Mary Thunder mean anything to you? Well, they should, because these pseudo-medicine quacks are passing themselves off as Native American spiritual leaders. Native American spirituality has become a fad to many New Age non-Indians and their naivete is being exploited to the limit by plastic medicine people, much to the dismay of traditional elders. Practicing Native American spirituality out of the context of Native American culture diminishes the integrity of both.

Many of these people are actually Indians who are spreading false rituals for profit. The rest are white men and women who claim to be Indian. For the most part they have changed their names to Indian names to lend authenticity to their flock.

One way to tell if these people are legitimate is whether they go into the Native American communities they claim to be from and perform the same rituals."

l99l Turtle Island Project Newsletter Chairperson--Betty Cooper (Blackfeet) "There are some obvious tip-offs for people interested in Indian customs and ceremonies. One is simplistic vision quests. You can wait a whole lifetime for a vision--these guys have visions about every week."

Avis Little Eagle (Lakota)
"They want to become Indian without holding themselves accountable to Indian communities. If they did, they would have to listen to Indians telling them to stop carrying around sacred pipes...and to stop appropriating our spiritual practices. Rather, these New Agers see Indians as romanticized gurus who exist only to meet their consumerist needs...They trivialize Native American practices so that these practices lose their spiritual force....Their perceived need for warm and fuzzy mysticism takes precedence over our need to survive."

Vine Deloria, Jr. (Lakota)
"These people have nothing to say on the matters they claim to be so expert about. To whites, they claim they're "messengers", but from whom? They are not the messengers of Indian people. I am a messenger and I do not charge for my ceremonies."

Thomas Banyacya (Hopi)
"We cannot prevent people from throwing their money away on so-called "Indian Ceremonies", but we can challenge those who misuse our sacred pipes, sweat lodges and ceremonies."

The Traditional Circle of Elders
"Non-Indians have become so used to all this hype on the part of impostors and liars that when a real Indian spiritual leader tries to offer them useful advice, he is rejected. He isn't "Indian" enough for all these non-Indian experts on Indian religion.

Now, this is not only degrading to Indian people, it's downright delusional behavior...We've got real problems today, tremendous problems which threaten the survival of the planet. Indians and non-Indians must confront these problems together,...but this dialogue is impossible so long as non-Indians remain deluded about things as basic as Indian spirituality."

Chief Oren Lyons (Onondaga)
"What about the quest for Native spirituality? It is mostly ESCAPIST, and people like Lynn Andrews, and other would-be shamans would rather look to an ideal, romanticized "Native" living in never-never land than confront the reality of what being Native means in this society.

Our elders and traditional teachers want to share the beauty of Native cultures, the Native way. But appropriation is not sharing. Appropriation exploits and commercializes Native cultures, and is harmful to innocent people."

Lenore Keeshig-Tobias (Ojibwe)
"Not Just Entertainment" Whole Earth Review '91

I say these things because I want to warn people about some bad things happening to traditional ways. All across Indian country, in every city and state, white people are commercializing Lakota ceremonies. Our ways cannot be bought and sold like bibles. No knowledge, no science, no language, no culture is involved in their pitiful mockery of traditional ways.

They actually believe that by singing or drumming the right song, they are doing something Indian. Medicine equals magic to them. Their ignorance is an insult to even the very simplest of our ceremonies, but their white arrogance leads them to believe they can learn in a week what an Indian learns in many lifetimes.

It is time we who value old ways begin to explain to our non-Indian guests that our basic philosophy of respect for the circle of life is open to the understanding of all races. But if our tribal ceremonies are to survive with meaning and dignity for our children, we must explain to the wasoci that it is not necessary for them to pretend to be Indian to understand the nature of the circle. How can Lakota children find the same respect for tribal ways our grandfathers handed down to us if hundreds of these pitiful ones are out waving Pipes, pouring water, singing songs learned from cassettes and whipping a drum?

Carter Camp (Ponca) Lakota Times
"...Those of the New Age have proven themselves willing to disregard the right of American Indians to a modicum of cultural sanctity or psychological sanctity. They too, willfully and consistently disregard the protests and objections of their victims, speaking only of their own "right to know" and to victimize. They too, have persistently shown themselves willing to lie, distort, fabricate, cheat and steal in order to accomplish their agenda. Why? The answers are as simple as the fact that they are here and that they fully plan to stay. While the New Age can hardly be accused rationally of performing the conquest of the Americas, and its adherents go to great lengths in expressing their dismay at their methods used therein, they have clearly inherited what their ancestors gained by conquest, both in terms of resources and in terms of relative power.

The New Agers, for all their protestations to the contrary, aren't about to give up any power. It is a somewhat tricky psychological project to be able to "feel good about themselves" through "legitimizing" the maintenance of their own colonial privilege.

The invaders' "contributions", however invented they may be, inevitably "entitle" them to superior status; there may have been a problem once, but it's in the past so forget it; we're all in this together now, so let's move forward (with me in the lead); I'm OK, you"re OK (so long as you stay in your place and don't upset me with questions of, or challenges to my privilege)"

Ward Churchill (Creek/Cherokee Metis)
Fantasies of the Master Race, l992 "This process of white dabbling in American Indian spiritual rituals represents the ultimate absorption. Native American spirituality becomes a commodity in the Euroamerican market place, to be bought and sold alongside other "New Age" items."

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Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:53 pm    Post subject:


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Posted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:33 am    Post subject:

It's getting worse these days! More hobbyists are turning into the money making business of selling washy traditions linked into the eso world, offering mixed sweatlodges incl. kids, weird sun dances aso. Another sad issue, even some NDN over here in Europe go for it.
The way to find out who's who to contact the tribes that these people claim to be enrolled in and check with NAFPS

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September 22, 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The opportunity exists to embrace the cultural shift, these fraudulent ceremonies and the raping of traditions for the pursuit of money offers opportunity. If a people are to thieve then they must expand their influence. If a people are just going to survive beyond the existing generation then they must maintain the same numbers as the generation that came before. If they do not then the death of a people and the loss of its culture are lost forever.

Most lost cultures are not lost in a bang but in a whimper they just slowly die away. There is hope however, it’s not won in protest it’s not won in the courts or sitting around complaining it’s won by as the military calls it "winning their hearts and minds". It’s not enough to defeat the enemy in the field to truly win you must absorb. You do this by tearing down their cultural belief systems offering more material and opportunities than their culture. This starts at a young age mass media offers the best opportunity to address a large audience without direct contact. Don’t fool yourself children spend more time watching TV and listening to music then they do sitting with their parents.

Fortunately these so called new agers have opened the door of opportunity. Most American people are lost souls who seek some purpose some path. They are turned off by modern religion which is corrupt and saturated by commercialism. They have learned that the government is not there to protect them. They have become disillusioned; these so called new agers have tapped into this discontent.

I hope you can see what I’m getting at? If not let me explain, as a people one must learn to seize the opportunities that exist. Embrace one’s own culture and expand it into others society “win their hearts and minds†Offer these people what they lack, offer not trinkets but hope don’t close the door on the world but open it and change it forever. I lived my life as a soldier in many lands and many conflicts and in the end what wins is the idea of something better. You build an Army one man at a time so win by building ideas or be doomed to die. It’s as simple as that, we can sit and hope, we can get down on our knees and pray or we can get on our feet and fight. Me I choose to fight, what about you?

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November 29, 2010
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:46 am    Post subject: Keeping What is Ours Ours Reply with quote

I came into this discussion very late, but I think that the myth of First-peoples enriching America should be really explored and exposed for what it is. Our ancestors did not ask to be co opted into mainstream American culture. New Age is what it is, simply New Age. We as a people, regardless of our nations,tribes or kinders, carry within us our connection to what way the Creator chose for us to go.
Now I do understand that there are four colours to the medicine wheel, I respect that as it is the Creators will that we work together. What I do not respect is anyone who feels comfortable borrowing and I say that sarcastically, someone else walk of faith.
Vine Deloria said some very interesting things about attempting to become who we are not, this goes for whites who attempt to be some sort of mythical Native or who see being First-people as somewhat more spiritual, who see us as having the way all should go, so some feel it is correct to take what they want from Lakota spiritual tradition as well as many others.
We are to fix this earth together, this much is true, but we are to respect one another's different approaches and traditions, and not steal what is not ours , in the name of enriching a land our ancestors died to make way for.

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November 29, 2010
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bottom line is this, we as a people are free to share what we wish, what we see as beneficical, & to keep as secret & sacred the rest. there is no one, no one who does not carry Lakota blood in the position to say what should or should not be shared. there is no one who does not carry Lakota blood in the position to say that sharing needs to happen, when the facts are that our culture has been & pimped for all it is worth.

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