(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.
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
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
"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.
Dragon light (Alex Swanson)
SWEAT LODGE CEREMONY GONE
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
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
games with our ceremonies, or dabble in things you have not been
born into or conditioned too.
Some Info on Genealogy
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.
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.