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UNDERSTAND THIS:
(Also, under the section of Other Info, I direct you to a section  titled "Native American Names".)
 
When something is sacred, it does not have a price. I don't care if its in regard to any heritage, and that includes the Native Americans and their Sacred Ceremonies. If you can buy it then it isn't sacred. Moreover, once you start to sell it, it doesn't matter what your reasons are, you are taking what is sacred and making it ordinary. Run from those who would charge you for something that is Sacred and its teachings, for whatever their reasons.
You can not buy or sell spirituality and no one has the right to capitalize on that which is Sacred by attempting to do so.  You do not sell or buy prayers.  There are too many who support and participate with the support of fraudulent ceremonial ways, ie. "Medicine People", "Pipe Carriers", "Clan Leaders" and so called  "Shamans".  In doing so, you heal only these peoples personal finances and line their pockets. When you do this, you participate in the destruction of all cultures and that which is sacred. Including that of the Native American People.

 

 

 

 

TRADITIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN PEOPLE:


Have suffered for too long the unspeakable indignity of having our ceremonies and spiritual practices desecrated, mocked, abused, and altered to suit the specific needs of a few for comfort and profit by non-traditional, "wannabes", cultists, profiteers and the so called "New Age shamans" along with their followers. It is now time for us to set the record straight and show zero tolerance to such things as this and what follows here.

It is disgraceful the epidemic proportions with which many of our ways are being copied, imitated, and sold, under the guise of teaching healing ways by those who have no right to do so or, even have a clue what they are talking about, or doing. It is no wonder we become outraged or indignant when asked so share any of our ways.  The ones who would sell these teachings are imitation practioners and do not live our sacred ways on a daily basis.

There are too many ceremonies, sweat lodges, pipe ceremonies, sundances, adoptions, native names given and done in abominable sacrilegious ways by charlatans who claim to be Native, and too many who are desperate enough to believe and grab hold of the first easy way to learn our ways just to fit in somewhere and then go about believing they have actually participated in the real thing.

The selling of the sacred redstone, the pipestone, at powwows and stores etc. sickens me. Since when do you sell the blood of a nation and people. And those that buy this stone, and create their own pipes or fetishes and re-sell or use, is too deplorable to even consider, but its done. I'm here to tell you, THIS IS NOT THE SACRED WAY OF THE PIPE.

There are even imitation "tribal councils" with imitation "tribal names" to facilitate the commercialism of traditions, ceremonies, sacred ways and passage to line their own pockets and grow fat with greed for money and recognition, and present themselves as educational programs etc.

Publication of books ,and movies, often show or speak of despicable misrepresentations and grossly misinterpreted truths of our spirituality, customs, traditions. And further stereotype  Native American people into the classical Hollywood Indian, which lowers the self esteem of our children, elders, the entire Native American community.

 

Our Sacred ways have been imitated, modified, and mismashed with other belief structures from other cultures to unsuspecting and naive followers, and in some cases, those being blindly lead have paid the price dearly.

This is a excerpt from a  book by Joseph Epes Brown on what Black Elk of the Oglala Sioux had to say in describing part of the inipi, Sweat Lodge ceremony. What follows after is a perfect example of his words.

Quote:
"This is the fire that will help the generations to come, if they use it in a sacred manner. But, if they don't use it well, the fire will have the power to do them great harm."


What follows here is a true account which happened in the year 2004, published in Australia, in the Sunday Herald Nov. 5,6,7, 2004.


Animation by:

Dragon light (Alex Swanson)

 

SWEAT LODGE CEREMONY GONE BAD:


Pg. 29 of the Sunday Herald reads:
Headline:  A deadly ritual if unprepared
Geraldine Mitchell writes:
Some meditate, others want to improve their health, but most are after spiritual healing for the body and mind. Sweat lodge rituals are a native American tradition offering physical and emotional spiritual cleansing. The ritual involves pouring water over hot rocks to produce intense waves of heat, inside an enclosed tent-like structure, according to the Spirit of the Earth Medicine Society.

The structures are often built from branches and covered by animal skins, tarpaulins or blankets. The temperature can rise up to 60C, similar to a steam sauna. Some stay inside for several hours, but can leave at any time. But Victorian spokeswoman for the society Jennie Dickson said the process could be deadly if participants were not adequately prepared. Ms Dickson said she was horrified to hear Victorian Rowan Cooke, 37, had died during a ritual in the South Australian outback on Wednesday. She said ensuring participants were well hydrated was the most important aspect. "You have to be especially careful in really hot areas," she said. "You need to know the environment you are in and there's certain things, it's like anything, that you must do. It's all in the preparation."  Sweat lodges have caused several deaths, including two in California in 2002, one in Britain in 1996 and a woman from Texas in 1993. Ms Dickson, who is trained to carry out the ritual, said it was imperative participants drank up to three liters of water during the six hours before the ceremony. But they should not drink anything in the hour before it started or have taken any recreational drugs, she said. "They shouldn't eat in the six hours before the sweat because it can cause an upset tummy." "They need to be aware of the heat and must monitor what's happening to people in the sweat. It's not about who can last the longest. We don't encourage bravado, it's not what it's about. Water is terribly important." Ms Dickson said participants should eat and drink after sweating to replenish the body's electrolytes. "The sweat lodge is rather like a womb with-in the earth, dark, fecund, warm," the Earth Medicine Society website states. "We live again within Mother Earth. It is circular and the participants sit in a circle. The circle is a powerful symbol for in a circle everyone is equal. "The doorway of the lodge faces the east, the origin of new beginnings, the place where the sun begins his journey."
She goes on to say
"For a native American a healing is a spiritual journey. What happens to the body reflects what is happening in the mind and spirit."
 
Sunday Herald Nov7, 2004 publication
Headline: Ritual victim's spiritual quest
Holly Ife writer:
some excerpts from this article read as follows
Rowan Cooke 37, died on Wednesday morning after being pulled from a small teepee-like structure, known as a sweat lodge in the South Australian outback. Miles 32, his brother states "I didn't even know he had gone away on this one until I heard he wasn't coming home," Miles said, it was unlike Rowan not to ask permission from the farmer whose land they were camping on. Miles goes on to say, "These are just your normal everyday, run-of-the-mill people,"  he said. "Granted, they are all searching for that little bit extra -- using crystals and things like that to try to seek enlightenment," he said. "Rowan's being blamed as a bad leader who put inadequate thought into looking after his group," his father Douglas Cooke said. Douglas also mentions the group was not a sect. "It was a bit like a club, a special car club," he said. 
The article also reads that
Rowan was a veteran of the inipi, having taken part in up to 300 such ceremonies, and knew how to prepare for them safely.

Sunday Herald Nov 7, 2004 pg.15
Headline: My son never had a chance
Matt Cunningham writer:
some excerpts from this article read as follows
The father of a Melbourne man who died in a sweat lodge ritual this week says his son was led astray by the svengali-like leaders of a bizarre spiritual group.

This not part of the article
(Points to ponder..if Rowan was a veteran of the inipi, having taken part in up to 300 ceremonies, how is it possible that he could be lead astray by anyone? Not to make light of such a tragic incident, but it goes on here to mention, sports drinks. I can honestly say, I don't believe any of our forefathers in performing the "Traditional" ceremony of a sweat lodge ever had the benefits of drinking -- sports drinks. Nor do I believe, any of our elders who lead a "Traditional" inipi today indulge in having sports drinks to prepare for a sweat lodge either. At least Ive never personally known or heard of any whenever participating in a sweat lodge ceremony.  This being said here to make a point on what was written above. It simply would not be "Traditional." This further reflects on the adaptations altering true traditional ways of the people and their Sacred spiritual customs and ceremonies.) Don't dabble in what you do not understand just to fit in. Don't be a as mentioned earlier, a "run-of-the-mill" person searching for a little bit extra in trying to seek enlightenment."

Rowan Cooke, 37, died from dehydration early on Wednesday after spending more than six hours in a native-style sweat lodge. Mr. Cooke said he was furious his son had been wrongly named as leader of the group. (he goes on in another section to further say) "another man was the leader," He refused to identify him. "The real culprit has disappeared into the wallpaper," he said. The group set off from Melbourne on October 27 to perform the cleansing ritual. It is believed they arrived at the campsite some time last weekend and survived on apple juice and sports drinks before entering the sweat lodge on Tuesday. About 2am on Wednesday things went terribly wrong. After hearing a scream for help group members were forced to pull apart the sweat lodge to get to Mr. Cooke and Mr. Asfar.

Note: Mr. Cooke leaves a wife and a one year old son named Seth.

 

Please click on thumbnail to view Larger Picture

                      
Don't play games with our ceremonies, or dabble in things you have not been born into or conditioned too.

 

 

 


Some Info on Genealogy Information:

St. Regis (Akwesasne, where NY, Quebec, Ontario meet on the St. Lawrence River), the Jesuit Mission Church is on the Quebec side & has most birth & baptismal records going back some 300 some years. Caughnawaga, or now, Kahnawake, is actually part of southeast metro Montreal, Quebec, across the Lachine Bridge. The church there also will have extensive records; both Tribal Councils (US) and Band Councils (Canada) have enrollment records.

There are many genealogy sites & groups. The American Indian Community House in NYC ( 708 Broadway 2nd Floor, near Lafayette & Mercer ) may have genealogy researchers or know people in NYC who do. Don't be discouraged by those Indian folks who are sick & tired of people coming to them saying they are part Indian looking for their roots. We have heard it all, especially from New Age types & My Grandmother was an Indian Princess types. If you stick in there & get some info & family names & places, they will in the end co-operate or connect you to someone else.

 

 

 


SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:


To Tom Breau for the endless hours and patience in continually helping me with this website which is a real source of satisfaction to me knowing how many appreciate its contents, pictures, and music.
Thank You Very Kindly.

To Dragon light for his contributions with the animated gifs he has built for some of these pages, as well as some he has sent for my use in this website.

Alex, your getting quite good at whipping these out for me. Good luck on your schooling for web design.
I also Thank You Kindly.

Two the both of you for being long time TRUE friends...I wish all the best that life can offer in your endeavors and big hugs.

 

 

The Dawning