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August 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm #16170DreaminghawkModerator
I think Tommy’s expertise would be a valuable asset to the board if he will see what’s already here and add to it. In my opinion Tommy has vastly underrated the value of this site…… almost to the point of renaming him Walking Eagle. >;-)August 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm #16175
Yes he could have been a valuable asset, I think it’s poo poo he left. Oh well, I cant change things not in my control, and I really hate when I have to say that because that means I have gone down all my avenues to correct something. Have a beautiful Day!August 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm #16186
Originally posted by mrspatino
Thats to funny!
I had cows, chickens, pigs and 2 horses(horses for a short period of time they were to expensive to maintain)
But no mules, my husband has some good stories of mules when he would go to Mexico as a child.
Speaking of the hubby he says I have to go get ready, to go to a baptism.
Here let me ask you brothers this question? Do you think we as a community Ie: this Forum should always support people to express themselves, even if it is challenging and painfull. ANd do you think a relative know matter how close or how far the blood line out, should be made to feel like they should alienate themselves from us via a disagreement, or should we attempt to squash the disagreement? This is coming from a post on “The Other Blackfoot” thread here on the board. I think it is an interesting topic, and would like to discuss it. Peace, and Ill talk to ya laters
I went over to the Other Blackfoot board and read through the posts there. I am not sure what disagreement went on there since a good chunck of some of the posts have been cut. I have noticed that in several different threads as well. Maybe it is a space saver effort.
Considering the nature of the posts/responses and the emotions wrapped up in family and Native history I think allowing people the freedom to speak their mind and what they know is vital to understanding the past and the present.
I don’t think disagreements should be squashed rather they should be resolved if possible. If there seems to be no resolution then everyone certainly must agree to disagree and move forward in respect for one another. People generally alienate if they feel unsafe to participate. Some people are cut out to argue points and others simply pull back from it. I have to admit that I have been guilty of pulling back and off of this forum before. Everyone needs to understand that not all the people posting on the board are going to be professional genologists or historians, but they may be well enough read and familiar with the subject to make a good point or arguement . Many of the disagreements I have seen have been over interpretations of information and whether any one person has a right to express or post that information for public consumption.
Now having said that I also understand that supposedly there are a few people out there that are trolling just to kick up a fuss or maybe envy the open dialgue going on here. I think when that happens most people can read the post and pretty much get that impression. Some will choose to respond some will not. I think it should all be allowed though because you never know what pieces of the puzzle may turn up no matter how awkard they may appear it could turn out to be a watershed.August 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm #16189
Oh I went to the first board and now see which arguement you were asking about. My last post still stands.
Also I just wanted to add that I left Saponi Town the first time because I was worn out from the 15 years of strong and steady researching I had been doing along with feeling a little hen pecked over posting family information. The second time I left was because my PC went kablewy and it took me a while to get a new one.August 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm #16190
Hi collins, thanks for putting that up thats how i pretty much feel, put the nicest way possible. I have left the board before mostley because I had alot going on, new mommy ect, ect… for me it was not to take a breather, but in the last 24 hours I have actually thought about taking a break from here for a little while, just because this is the first time I have felt actuall negative emotion from a post on the forum. I have absolutely loved the debate and dialong and education that DH, S1 a you have had with me, Love it! I dont know I am just thinking about it. I really dont want to have to do that because I have been really involved again, and happy until what happened on the Blackfoot board. I dont know… I am just not that kind of sister, my life is dedicated to keeping the people together.
What did not help my feeling about this, is that when I went over to Indian Health last night, I was hangin with my bros, and one of the drums close friends who just happens to be white was invited to sit at our drum (sit not sing), which rarely happens but he lives in a good way and is always respectful, anyway, one of the community members starts drama and talking all loud, “Oh My God IS HE NATIVE? DOes ANY ONE KNOW IF HE IS NATIVE” I just was so digusted. I have known that community member for some time (usaual behavior from individual), but it just was so ugly. And ugly some times breaks me down, so actually if yall can put in allil prayer for me I would appreciate it. I am just a little taxed right now, sometimes my 30 yearold heart feels like its 80.August 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm #16268wvaramParticipant
Christina, Hang in there and don’t leave. I know that there will be disagreements but don’t let that cause you to leave. this is really a good place and there is so much more to learn. This is a good place to grow and we are family. As far as prayer is concerned you are in mine.August 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm #17632
Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Altus, Oklahoma, U. S. A.
Horse and Hound —
You asked about “spirits”.
I suggest you look at the posts from the group mentioned (above), and maybe ask someone there about it.
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06-22-2004 12:32 AM
I was just reading through some older postings and came across this one. It has a link to a Yahoo group and so I went there and read through a few of the postings.
One of the things they discussed was some court case about a man that said he was a medicine man and used that to abuse women. The other postings that I saw refered to a Cherokee organization for Missouri and Arkansas and some on schools in Arkansas getting federal money for having an increase in Native descended students.
There was also one attacking the Manataka organization or lodge or something or other.
My observation, based on the few posts I read there, was that this was a yahoo group that is all about attacking other peoples right to self determination and exploration of Native spirituality.
Perhaps I am interpreting it wrong and perhaps someone can let me in on why there is all this attacking going on towards other groups.
I can understand that if someone is using Native spirituality or culture to abuse people that that is a horrible and dispicable thing.
What I don’t understand is who gives any of these people the authority to think they are the judges and jury on other groups that may be seeking out their heritage and exercising their right to self-determine and religous freedom?
Don’t these people that do this realize that is why so many Native descended people do not like to talk about their Native heritage?
Why say you have Indian blood when there are people out there so eager to attack you for claiming who you are?
For along time Indians were hated. Now that there seems to be some respect and admiration for Native people and their culture some few want to tell others that they are not allowed to do this or that. That they are not allowed “to exapropriate” someone elses culture. What does that mean exactly? and who made them culture police?
If someone wants to run around wearing war bonnets and smoking God knows what in peace pipes why is that anyones business except the persons doing that?
If there are people out there that are mixing Native, Euro, and Eastern philosophies/traditions whose business is it to rail against them for exercising their freedoms of religion and association?
Why is it so necessary to pour negative attention on groups that may or may not have a legitimate claim to what their doing?
If they are legite then they will stand the test of time and gather the evidence to show to the skeptics.
Either way if someone or group does something you don’t like then don’t get involved with them.
Perhaps I am missing a piece of the puzzle on this issue.August 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm #17680vance hawkinsParticipant
That NAFPS website is run by very good and honest people who KNOW about American Indian spirituality. I am tired of fighting this battle over and over and no one caring or listening or helping. I am PROUD to be a NAFPS member.
where it says —
Do you think you are “Indian at heart” or were an Indian in a past life? Do you admire native ways and want to incorporate them into your life and do your own version of a sweat lodge or a vision quest? Have you seen ads, books, and websites that offer to train you to be come a shaman in an easy number of steps, a few days on the weekend, or for a fee?
Have you really thought this all the way through? Have you thought about how native people feel about what you might want to do?
Please think about these important points before you take that fateful step and expend time, money, and emotional investment:
1. Native people DO NOT believe it is ethical to charge money for any ceremony or teaching. Any who charge you even a penny are NOT authentic.
2. Native traditionalists believe the ONLY acceptable way to transmit traditional teachings is orally and face-to-face. Any allegedly traditional teachings in books or on websites are NOT authentic.
3. Learning medicine ways takes decades and must be done with great caution and patience out of respect for the sacred. Any offer to teach you all you need to know in a weekend seminar or two is wishful thinking at best, fraud at worst.
4. Most of these FRAUDULENT operators are not the slightest bit reputable. Some, such as Robert “Ghostwolf” AKA Robert Franzone and Forrest Carter, have actually been convicted of fraud. Some are sexual predators who prey upon their followers. “Sun Bear” a.k.a. Vincent La Duke was a serial rapist who was facing numerous charges when he died, including the rape of girls as young as fourteen.
Women should be extremely wary of any ” teacher” who claims sex is part of an alleged “ceremony.” Most of these FRAUDULENT operators have been caught making complete fantasies of what many whites WISH natives were like. Another way to say it is that they are outright liars and hoaxers. Some, like Carlos Castaneda, were exposed as long as three decades ago.
You probably are asking yourself, “Aren’t any of these people for real and a good way for me to learn?”
Please understand the following points about native spiritual ways:
1.Native belief systems are COMMUNAL, not focused on the individual’s faith like Christianity.
2. Native beliefs are TRIBAL-SPECIFIC. There is NO “generic Indian” form of spirituality. There are as many differences from tribe to tribe as there are between Hinduism and the Church of England. No one would think of teaching those two as the same and calling them “Indo-European,” yet many of these FRAUDULENT operators teach a thrown together mishmash of bits and pieces of different beliefs.
3. TRADITIONAL elders are very cautious about changing rituals and mixing different customs, it does happen, of course, but only after lengthy discussions that can take decades. FRAUDULENT operators are very casual and haphazard in what they do, in a manner that shows they have no understanding of or respect for the sacred.
4. TRADITIONAL elders DO NOT believe that any ceremony can be done by anyone who feels like it. It’s that same caution and respect for the sacred. Yet these FRAUDULENT operators will let anyone do their inaccurate version of a ceremony if they have the money.
Vision quests, for example, are intended for young boys age 12 to 14, but boys don’t have much money, so these FRAUDULENT operators sell “quests” for hundreds or thousands to mostly middle-aged men and women.
There is also the matter of telling people they can be shamans and charging them for it. If you were interested in Judaism, would you pay money to someone who said he could make you a rabbi in just one weekend seminar?
If someone did this and then claimed Jewish objections were foolish, we would recognize he was being anti-Semitic. Think about the lack of respect these operators show to native people and beliefs, not mention their own followers, by defrauding people.
Native people DO NOT use the label Shaman.
Think also about how it makes it harder for natives and whites to get along when whites have been given an untrue picture of native cultures.
We have to learn to get along and we can’t do that as long as whites give support to operators who push a fraudulent version of what we are like.
We (native people and our supporters) realize that most of you do not know any better, at least not yet, but we hope you learn about these matters from more reputable sources and in a more respectful manner.
If it says New Age or Shamanism on the cover, it’s not a good source for learning about natives. Find out which authors can be trusted before you pay money to operators who harm us all.
end of quote
It is a forum much like the one at Saponitown. Does anyone care if people who know nothing about Indian culture bastardize Indian traditions into a tradition resembling what they are farmiliar with, making it more palatable to Europeans? No one stands up and says so — well I care and I have spoken out about it. Will no one else speak out? Does everyone think it is right to do these things?
Ironic, me a Christian (United Methodist — and everyone at NAFPS knows it and accept it) — well I seem to be the ONLY person willing to stand up for the rights of REAL American Indian Spirituality. Ironic, ain’t it?
vanceAugust 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm #17683
I am glad that you responded, because as I stated at the bottom of my post I felt as if I may had been missing a piece of the puzzle. I am not familiar too much on the New Age stuff or hucksters and so I think now that you explained that to me I have a better understanding of what is going on. I’m glad you posted the NAFPS website cause I haven’t seen it before.
Just a note, I wasn’t commenting on anyone dreaming or that you posted about dreaming, just the Yahoo site.
I prefaced my post stating I only read through a few of the posts there.
I have talked to people in the past that have had run in’s with others that have degraded them for trying to search out and uphold their heritage and the particular posts I had read at the Yahoo group “seemed” like more of that same line of attack. I had a friend some years back that was going to a reservation up North for private ceremony and got told at one piont that they didn’t want anymore “wide eyes” up there. I have had other friends that have been called “wannabes” just because they may have been associated with one particular person or group in the past. When these friends of mine asked me back then why I didn’t get involved in the outside Native community I told them because I didn’t want the experiences that they had and that when I did try to go to Pow-wows that I did not feel comfortable there. I also have had the experience of volunteering for a defunct group called The Native American Heritage Center of Texas. I wanted to ask questions and talk to someone there about my heritage, but all I got was a run around.
I have to agree with much of what NAFPS has to say. I can’t say I agree with all of it, but for the most part I do. The thing I have an issue with, generally, is people getting lumped in with these other shady characters. People that are genuinly trying to learn about their past and traditions may not even know what is going on and why some may have preconcieved notions about them. The Cherokee group in Arkansas and Missouri are an example. I do not know much about them, but I assume that they must have some reason for organizing and putting as much energy in such an endeavor as it takes to do so. On the Manataka group it is strange because a relative of mine sent me an article about them last week. It was talking about the history of that group and that several different tribal people were involved in annual ceremonies at Hot Springs, Arkansas. It went on to talk about some power struggle they had with control of the group.
Most of what I have witnessed over the years is just simply alot of name calling, infighting, finger pionting, and generally a bunch of chaotic mess. Unfortunatly seeing people treat each other like that has led me to stay completly away from any of it, because it depresses and angers me to see people or hear about people getting treated bad. I hate injustice.
Thanks for the information. It helps me to understand the issues better and the why of it.August 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm #17687Saponi 1Participant
Vance, maybe some of the people do not have the same understanding that you do of this topic. I have a tendancy to keep some of my opinions to myself because I end up sounding almost exclusionary…which I am not–I only encourage people to take their time when they are learning about their ancestry, traditions, spirituality etc. I’ll relate a story that happened to me many years ago–probably lost a friend because of it: I received a call abuot a family that wanted to enter the circle to dance, I was asked if I would lend some of my regalia out since they might be the same size. I replied “No,” and I explained that I did not feel it was appropriate to just ‘jump in’ with no real knowledge of the dances, the protocal, etc. I also explained that it was best for the family to attend pow-wows, not just one or two in the same area but many, learn the structure of the drum songs etc.
Believe you me, I got a cold shoulder after that. I felt if dancing were important enough–the family would do the research for their regalia, even make it if possible…learn about the traditions etc. Too much was lost for our people to take things in such a cavalier way. I always asked my girls, ‘Who are you dancing for today” remember there was a time when we could not dance.
I have known too many people that find out they have indian heritage and the next thing you know–they are “Medicine people”, intrepreting dreams–picking up “The Pipe” etc. So I whole heartedly agree with Vance and others on here that use caution and urge caution.
I suppose the best way to put it is this–if this culture is that important, sacred even to most of us–then we must give the reverence and respect due to those that walked before us.
I guess I would ask do you really feel a guy with a ‘plastic war bonnet’ or the new age crystal gazers honor ancestors that were mascred at Wounded Knee, Walked the Trail of Tears, suffered under the repressive policies of Walter Plecker, or the Freeman of Oklahoma that still fight for equality? I can never claim to have experienced the pain and heart break of the Mission schools, I can not say that I had a great grandmother who was shot in the back during the great Indian Wars, I can not say that I know what it is like to have lived the life of the some of our brothers and sisters in the plains…but I can always strive to honor our ancestors in a good way. And everyone who asks me for input, advice and support I have given–even when they were not comfortable with the responses.
AKA Nahyssan2003August 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm #17703ForestParticipant
Just my opinion, but I sorta came to the conclusion long ago that most anyone who identified himself as a “shaman”, “medicine person”, or “spiritual leader” was out to scam me, one way or another….
In most native communities, folks who really fullfill those rolls wouldn’t have to advertise…. Everyone would know who they were.
My experience has been that these folks are generally “a legend in their own mind”, but not much else.
As my grampa used to say, “Son, the empty jug makes the loudest noise”August 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm #17704Bill ChildsModerator
You’re certainly not alone on this subject but you’ve done such a thoroughal job of rebutting the “sham -ans” that I didn’t realize you needed any support. I certainly can’t add anything to what you’ve said.
Keep Standing, Brother.
BillAugust 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm #17749Bill ChildsModerator
Lewis, we all learn as we grow. You are as welcome here as anyone, Saponi or not. Contribute what you can, learn what you can. I can’t say we are very “pan-Indian” in outlook, but we certainly don’t draw the kind of divisive boundaries that most groups draw. If we can help you, we will. If no one responds to one of your posts, it only says that no has anything to offer that they think will help you about that specific inquiry, nothing more.
BillAugust 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm #17801
OK Vance! YEA Brother I am with you all the way and you have my voice believe me, I have been at enough protests to stand up and yell and stop ignorant Indian degradation on the street! You are saying what I am saying we need to make a choice! Hearts in, if we want to reclaim our culture it’s time to step up! Regardless of our skin color or not if you say your Indian than dont make it a novelty imerse yourself with out fear. Education, Education Education! This board is not here for novelty. It is here for redescovering roots and reclaiming them and shaping a true Native community. I am sorry if I offend anyone but i have not put so much of my heart in while I am here to be taken down by people who think this is a joke or were a bunch of new agers singin on a tom tom. COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am sick of tired of bein sick and tired, we are a people who are so proud and many of us have put it on the line, I may be in Michigan but everytime I stand up for NDN rights I am fighting for us to be a community and have a voice. New Agers/Twinkies, BIA they will take my traditions over my cold dead body!
HOKA ! Wow I am fired UP!
PILA MIYAAugust 24, 2005 at 2:57 pm #17802
Oh and you know we would not have problems with new agers if they hadn stole half of Native culture to twist and make ther own claiming it as their own ancient religion when all it is, is a group of people wanting to folow their own destiny and not Creators. I dont have alot of nice things to say about them. Thats not to say they might or might not be nice people but I see them as cowards trying to form faith and spirituality according to whatever laws they choose or sound good at the time. I have had my own experiences with new agers some good some bad but what I noticed the most is that they are lost, and trying to find what is right for them because they dont want to follow the Ten Commandments or Traditional way, neither of which is a cake walk! ANd one way or the other there are laws to follow! ANd they are Creators Laws.
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