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Old 11-13-2010, 11:41 PM   #601
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Take pipe, spin around fifty times really fast with pipe in hand. Click heels together and say, "There's no place like the Rez". By that time you should get a strong vision.


That help will cost you $50. My normal price is $100 but I'm sending it wholesale because of your new status. I can wholesale you fake NDN names too. Dont forget that May is new name month so better get your order in soon. Supplies are limited. You need wannabe tribe ID cards?
lol! can u tell future too?
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Old 11-14-2010, 03:36 AM   #602
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lol! can u tell future too?
Yes, I can tell the future. You will soon have 110 posts here on powwows website. That will be $75 for that look into your future.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:06 PM   #603
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road to nowhere

TKMJ,
Well nowhere to go with that one. Still hope he finds what he needs better for everyone.
Thanks for talking. I swear i could find controversy anywhere.

sincerely,
Annie
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:16 PM   #604
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SuzzeQ4,
Good words. I know so little I really do not have much to add except
I know what it is like to be hurt by something powerful.
So protect your families period.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:18 PM   #605
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Is Carl Big Heart a false medicine man, then? I've attended his Sweat Lodges here in Ireland and found them very respectful. His organisers are volunteers and they collect a small ground fee (40) to pay for wood & supplies etc (changing tents, heaters, burco, refreshments) and also contributions (most pay 10-20)to pay for Big Heart's travel & accommodation. People may attend for free if they can't afford it, many do, and honestly I don't see a lot of money passing hands. I do see a lot of healing, say in terms of people just out of addiction programmes (especially men). This seems much different from the New Age frauds who are charging hundreds and thousands for Lodges. I would be sad and surprised to discover he's not genuine. I don't think of myself as naive and I have an aversion to what I call "snake oil merchants" like The Secret types and Eckhart Tolle. Would like to hear your opinion on him.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:32 AM   #606
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Is Carl Big Heart a false medicine man, then? I've attended his Sweat Lodges here in Ireland and found them very respectful. His organisers are volunteers and they collect a small ground fee (40) to pay for wood & supplies etc (changing tents, heaters, burco, refreshments) and also contributions (most pay 10-20)to pay for Big Heart's travel & accommodation. People may attend for free if they can't afford it, many do, and honestly I don't see a lot of money passing hands. I do see a lot of healing, say in terms of people just out of addiction programmes (especially men). This seems much different from the New Age frauds who are charging hundreds and thousands for Lodges. I would be sad and surprised to discover he's not genuine. I don't think of myself as naive and I have an aversion to what I call "snake oil merchants" like The Secret types and Eckhart Tolle. Would like to hear your opinion on him.
To be honest I have no idea who he is. That doesn't mean anything. But the fact that i can google him and find many websites and links about him would lead me to doubt it. One site was about some festival, you paid to go take place in various ceremonies. Why would a traditional sweat lodge elder go to Ireland? It is not our way to make our ceremonies for others. Do you really think he only covers expanses. With his fees and gifts I bet he makes a fair bit more then you imagine. You know what we gift when we go to a sweat lodge? Food for the family. we also bring food for the feast and rocks and wood for the lodge. I can't say who he is but I wouldn't go near someone with so many sites advertising them. When I google my elders I get nothing, maybe a facebook link.
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:45 AM   #607
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Dear Val Whelan:

I have to agree with Suzze on this one. Charging 40 euros is equal to charging about 80 Canadian dollars. I've never heard of a conductor asking for money let alone that much.

I'm trying to wrap my head around a First Nations sweat conductor living in the Ireland. I mean I lived in the UK for about two years but in that time I had a hard time finding another Canadian let alone a sweat conductor. I'm also trying to figure out how he got to live in Ireland, when I went to live there I had to track down my grandfather's documents to claim a right of abode - ordinary immigration is worse than here for getting in on your own.

Seems this fellow claims to be a "medicine keeper for the Turtle Clan" and lists one elder from the Abenaki of Vermont. What is apparent is the lack of his identification of who he belongs to or who claims him.

I run across loads of folks in my work that claim to be military.. they never quite say who they are with and quite often when you ask them a question, they give a wink and say, that's hush hush- their non-answer often leads to people filling in their own blanks and before long you have folks vouching for these folks without ever seeing their credentials - they are often too afraid to admit they might have been conned. I see it a lot with First Nation wannabes, they never actually say who is their people but claim that so and so from such and such a tribe blessed them, adopted them or was their elder. Eventually what happens is the claim transforms to them being of whatever tribe they say blessed them. Before long, no one can quite remember if anyone has ever seen their credentials and certainly no one wants to challenge them for fear of insulting a bonafide.

Here's some tactics these wannabes use,

When asked who are their people, they answer that all human kind is their people or some sort of benign statement that leads you to think you heard their answer.

When asked why they don't work with their own people, the reply that their freaking big spirit guide told them to travel far to teach others. The problem with that response is it's full of el torro poop. We are struggling here in the communities to regain our almost lost cultures and traditions and if someone has special gifts, they aren't going to be readily sent off to teach Europeans - we need them here. If this guy is really a medicine holder from the Turtle clan, he's needed here with his own people, not thousands of miles away teaching and saving AA members in Ireland.

When asked who taught them, they reply with a name like dances with running water in the moonlight and say they were blessed by this person to do their work. Problem with this is, Europeans are the missionaries, not us. We don't get blessed by dances with smurfs and then run off to a foreign land and "teach" or "heal" or "convert".

When asked for their status card, metis card or enrollment card, they usually answer that they don't need some government telling them if they are Indian or not. The reality behind that answer is, they aren't able to be enrolled due to lack of documentation or they simply aren't Indian. In very rare cases, have I ever run across a full fledged medicine keeper that isn't enrolled somewhere or can produce a birth certificate/census information that they are a descendant of an Indian. This of course does not include folks that recently had been told that they are native - they were either adopted or their family denied their ancestry in order to pass as something else. Now those folks are not going to rock up and say they are medicine folks, they usually just want basic info on their ancestor's history.

When asked for references, they usually hand out names of folks that themselves are suspect. IOW, those folks can't be traced to any one particular group, tribe or family. When these cons start up, you can't imagine the number of players they involve to come off as legit. When you start turning over the rocks, you end up in a dead end as these people have no history anywhere except the present.

I noticed in some of this guy's photos on his foundation website that he's seen hugging what looks like a female child coming out of a sweat - the pics also show a mixed gender sweat. Can't speak for the hundreds of nations here just from my little corner of the world, but a grown man touching a child in a state of undress is a big no-no where I come from. Mixed gender ceremonies (we don't do sweats where I come from - just steam baths) are not something we tend to do. I'm pretty sure if you polled other folks from other nations/tribes you'd find the same delineation of genders.

Now up here in Canada, surnames tend to follow a pattern across the country -one gets to know these surnames and for the most part, can tell roughly where someone comes from - Marshalls and Knockwoods from NS, Brants and Hills from Tyendinaga, Gabriels from Kanesatake, John from Vanderhoof, Grandjambs and Shirts from Alberta, Harpers from Manitoba, Allens and Smiths from the Yukon, Augustines from NB, Georges from Vancouver etc etc... What the internet reveals is not one single mention anywhere of Big Hearts except for your man Carl. I find that a little eye brow raising. I'm pretty sure the folks on the other side of the border can recognize surnames the same way.

Tell me something Val Whelan, have you been to a sweat lodge in Cree Country? If not, how do you know what is respectful and what is not? If you have, then I'm wondering why you would give this fellow a nod.


Anyway, my two elk teeth.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:35 AM   #608
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...since whites very badly need to change how they think and act, how they treat the Earth and other peoples, to move away from aggression and greed, don't they need the ancient wisdom of other peoples to do this? And I don't mean that it's up to Native people to teach us, but if some of our people learned from you and tried to teach the rest of us, wouldn't that be a good thing?

Ahhh, the ghost of colonial privilege speaks. Mr. Whelan, I invite you to look at your words from my perspective: White people perceive a crisis in their society. They need or want something. Other -- non-white -- people have a duty to supply. Now, I doubt you consciously meant this. But, hey, we're all victims of our worldview.

I was taught our ways are for our people. You don't mix powers. Further, our religion, our ethos is embodied our language, land and relationships. This things are unique to our particular place, time, and transcendent revelation. Once removed from this context, they are twisted and at best powerless, at worst dangerous.

Thanks to liberal arts undergrad education I am more than passingly acquainted with western European intellectual traditions. Even without reaching into the pre-Christian past, there are streams of mysticism and philosophy which teach a gentler path on the earth, and more meaningful relationships with kin and God. Those are your legitimate inheritance. These strands are already woven into your culture, you just need to find them. Your stories, not ours will heal you.

I've been to Ireland (pretty country by the by). As an outsider, it seemed to me you had a rich artistic and intellectual tradition. Much that is admirable, much that is sad, much that is heroic, and much to be reclaimed from colonialism. You have your own stories and powers. It seems to me that it would be wise to reconnect with those.


-I have no idea why this is coming up before the post about which I'm commenting.

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Old 11-17-2010, 07:02 AM   #609
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Thank you for responding SuzzeQ4 and Yaahl. No, Carl doesn't live here, he's American, but was invited by the people who organise the lodges. They are the ones who charge the ground fee - to pay for land rental, logs, changing tents, wood stoves, burco & teas etc I know most of them at this point and I can vouch for the fact they're not wealthy and not making any money from this. Often they don't cover expenses, because it's voluntary and many don't pay if they can't. The extra donations are to cover Carl's flights and his accommodation when he is here. We all bring food for the feast but it wouldn't be possible for most of us to bring wood. The general crowd who come would not be the kind of wealthy spiritual-seekers who died in that lodge in the States. As I mentioned before, a lot are big tattooed men out of drug and alcohol recovery programmes. The lodge is mixed gender but women are one side - we go in first - and the men on the other and we are asked to dress modestly. I have heard of mixed gender lodges in Canada. Sharon Butala writes of one in one of her books (a celebration when she and her rancher husband returned their land to the people). We have had Native Elders come to Ireland. One did a Peace Pipe ceremony in the North and was interviewed on a popular talk show here. The host was not respectful to him and there was an uproar of complaints about it. Mi'kmaq fiddlers have come here, too. There is a connection, it seems, between the Nations and Ireland. One of the most beautiful stories (true) is of the Choctaw Nation, poor themselves, sending money to Ireland when they heard we were dying of famine. I haven't yet attended a lodge in Canada, though I have visited "the bush" as my friend calls her home. I don't think Sweats are part of the Anishinabe tradition? She says drums aren't. "We're bush people. Who's going to drag big drums through the bush?" But by respectful I guess I mean the modest dress, the prayers, the dignity of the ceremony, the respect for the tradition. One of the many reasons I like to attend the lodges is that the ancient Irish had a similar tradition. In our language the word was "Smoke House" and they were built of stone. Turf (peat) was used for the fire built in a pit in the centre. Sorry, now I'm off topic. I realise what I'm about to say is very controversial but here goes: since whites very badly need to change how they think and act, how they treat the Earth and other peoples, to move away from aggression and greed, don't they need the ancient wisdom of other peoples to do this? And I don't mean that it's up to Native people to teach us, but if some of our people learned from you and tried to teach the rest of us, wouldn't that be a good thing? And again, I'm not talking about the shark-toothed snake oil merchants who are stealing Native medicine to make themselves rich, I'm talking about people who sincerely want to be part of the change that needs to happen on this planet?
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:00 AM   #610
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Yes, I see what you mean. Though I wasn't consciously thinking "duty," there is a kind of whiny "but can't you teach us?" undertone to my point. Sadly, most of the ancient Irish spiritual tradition has been lost, no matter what the new "Celtic shamans" try to present. When we lost our language - virulently suppressed by the English to near extinction - we lost access to our tradition. Only a small percentage of Irish people speak modern Irish and only a tiny tiny group can read Old Irish, where the tradition is stored (hence very little of it has been translated). Even before the English colonisation, the Christian church suppressed the native spiritual and religious traditions. This is no excuse for turning to Native American tradition, but it is one of the reasons and I think there is a certain recognition that what you still have is similar to what we lost. Have you ever heard of the group "Celts and American Indians Together"? Gary Whitedeer of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma was the Director of it, the last time I heard.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:09 AM   #611
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Ps I should say here, the Sweat Lodge is the only Native American ceremony I've taken part in, but there are many here in Ireland using shamanic practices brought over from North and South America. I'm a Buddhist myself. Oh and a Ms, not a Mr (Val is short for Valerie).
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:29 AM   #612
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:41 AM   #613
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Sadly, most of the ancient Irish spiritual tradition has been lost, no matter what the new "Celtic shamans" try to present.
Which is precisely true of American Indians, too.

"It is what it is."
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:49 AM   #614
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:52 AM   #615
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...there is a kind of whiny "but can't you teach us?" undertone to my point.
Ms. Whelan (sorry about the gender confusion) can you accept that our ways are geocentric and community based. They do not transplant or translate well. Some of our elders say that when our ways are distorted, metaphysical harm is done.

Certainly harm is done to the integrity of our cultures when our many traditions are sampled like a buffet table. Everything is of a piece. I can't see how you could take a single ceremony of my people and stand it alone without kin, land or language and have it function as intended.

Further, I was taught ceremony is for the good of the community. Yes, restoring an individual is important, but as they are part of the community.

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When we lost our language - virulently suppressed by the English to near extinction - we lost access to our tradition. Only a small percentage of Irish people speak modern Irish and only a tiny tiny group can read Old Irish, where the tradition is stored (hence very little of it has been translated).
While the language is still spoken the worldview still lives, however weakly. It would seem that reclaiming your language would grant some of the insight you seek.

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...I think there is a certain recognition that what you still have is similar to what we lost. Have you ever heard of the group "Celts and American Indians Together"? Gary Whitedeer of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma was the Director of it, the last time I heard.
There has been lots of sharing in the new world. The successful exchanges have occurred voluntarily and with respect for the sovereignty of the peoples involved. Some things can not be transferred.


Oh, and shaman and shamanic are anthropological terms that most Indian people distain. But the New Agers love 'em.

Last edited by OLChemist; 11-18-2010 at 05:10 AM..
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:47 AM   #616
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Hi Val Whelan:

Just a couple of things in your post I'd like to discuss.

You said:
Quote:
No, Carl doesn't live here, he's American
Not to be facetious but "American" isn't a known tribe of First Nations. Do you even know what tribe he claims to be from?

You said:
Quote:
I have heard of mixed gender lodges in Canada. Sharon Butala writes of one in one of her books (a celebration when she and her rancher husband returned their land to the people).
Sharon Butala is "the second of five daughters born of a French Canadian father and an Irish-Scots Canadian mother in an outpost hospital in Nipawin, Saskatchewan." I'm not getting warm fuzzies over yet another white person co-opting ceremonies and traditions to sell books. Other authors have done the same thing and their "street cred" with us is next to zero. I'm finding it marginally amusing that I said, my people don't do mixed gender ceremonies and instead of you acknowledging that, you raised a defence to your own belief by citing a white women's anecdotal tales. Can you see why we have hard times with new agers, fakers and wannabes? See: W.P. Kinsella, Brian Moore, Ann Cameron as other examples.

I'm glad you visited "the bush" but your account of it is quite vague. Where did you visit exactly? Canada is a very large country and has hundreds of First Nations. As for your statement posed in the disguise of a question of who does sweats, I know a few Midewiwin folks that would disagree with your knowledge of sweats. There are many nations that don't use the thunder drum - my people certainly don't use a big drum but I'm not catching why you even mentioned it. To me your response to me was a little on the combatant side - I pointed out what you may want to consider to answer your own queries of this Big Heart person and you respond with references to more white people and a lady from the bush as if all that validates why you think Big Heart is legit.

As I said before, I'm no expert on other First Nations my knowledge comes from my people, our land, my clan, my house and my family. However, if you feel more comfortable discussing the edicts of a white author on all things sweat then that's up to you. In my culture if you ask a question as you did, and recieved a number of ways to find your own answers and then proceed to do the but, but but and argue to try and change the response to an answer you are expecting to hear then you would find yourself being chastised for wasting folk's time.

If you are concerned about this man's credentials, ask him.

My question to you is why would a Buddhist be dabbling in the ceremonies of other people? How does that jive with the pursuit of enlightenment? Are the rich textures of a wonderfully preserved, vibrant religion and way of life not enough for you?

anyway, my two elk teeth
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:24 AM   #617
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Ah no, Butala didn't hold a Sweat Lodge. In Wild Stone Heart, she describes a mixed gender Sweat Lodge to which she and her husband were invited to celebrate the Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Preserve (formerly her husband's ranch). They were the only two whites there. She sat with the women on one side and her husband sat with the men on the other. It was a Cree Lodge.

I've stayed with my friend a couple of times on Wasauksing First Nation lands near Parry Sound - a beautiful island in northern Ontario. I'm still waiting for her to come visit me in Ireland as she keeps promising! My other very dear friend from Manitoulin Island did finally get here despite the fact he was in his 80s. I mentioned the drum story for two reasons. One, I thought was funny, as my friend has a great sense of humour, something for which both Native and Irish are known, and then to accompany my question about whether or not everyone holds Sweats. Because it seems to me that the First Nations peoples are as diverse as their languages - actually more so, since some languages cross the Nations - and that you do not all share the same ceremonies and practices.

Well, I can't deny the Irish are famous for being combatant and we're not ones to back down from a fight, but it wasn't and isn't my intention here. I came on this thread to ask questions and you've responded, so I take it that means you are willing to speak with me.

I think there's a question behind the question of whether or not Carl Big Heart is legit. Do all First Nations peoples agree that whites should not participate in Native ceremonies and should not be healed by Native medicine?

If Carl Big Heart was one of those big-toothed, merc-driving, first-class flying, smooth-talking snake oil merchants charging a$1,000 a head for a Sweat, I wouldn't be on this thread. He's a rough diamond, a grandfather, I think a trucker before he retired. His clothes aren't fancy, his skin doesn't have that smooth wrinkle-free shiny gleam that rich people have. People make small donations to his Lodges but also come free if they wish. As I said, many of the people who come are out of addiction programmes. He doesn't claim to be Native, but he does claim to have been taught by various Elders. What if he won't name them out of respect and because he knows they would come under attack, because many Native people, like yourself, do not agree with the idea of sharing medicine? I think it's a fair point but again, not one that applies to the rich guys milking the medicine.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:19 PM   #618
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greetings

Greetings Val,
It is nice to meet someone from Ireland.
It seems there are many challenges ahead for all people. I hope somehow
people will find their way
There is no single culture for me.
It makes things a little complicated.
It is good to hear that people are working on reclaiming their heritage.
Also working on healing addiction.

I can see the concern for mixing powers.
I never knew there was such a thing. I just thought their were stories.

Have you ever seen the movie "The secret of Roan Inish"
That is a good story not exactly related to this conversation but good to see.
Annie
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:31 PM   #619
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Val Whelan, So this guy, Big heart makes no claim to be native? I think you've answered your own question, you believe this man is legitimate. You will continue to believe this man is legit no matter what information is given to you. I'm just glad that when someone searches his name now, these posts will pop up and folks can make their own minds up. I won't even go into the dishonesty of your posts that you forgot to mention this Big Heart Guy makes no claim to being native. You also might want to make it clear to folks that you are a writer as well. So what's the angle? Are you trying to expose this guy? Writing a piece on him? Writing a piece on how nasty we First Nations are at not teaching you our medicines? If I had a dollar for every white person that said they have been taught the ancient ways by a special elder that they cannot name, I'd be a very rich woman. It's right up there with the "I don't need no card to tell me I'm Indian". Your man is sounding more and more like that snake oil vendor you claim is not him. I bet he's making up 90% of what he does and the other 10% is from watching the Discovery Channel's reruns of Dances with Kevin Costner.

I think you owe your friend an apology for trying to big up your knowledge of what is a bush community/Indian. Parry Sound is a few hours north of Toronto on the 400 highway. Her people might have been nomadic and hunters and gatherers (before Confederation) but in recent years... "Ah no" as you put it. I'm sure she would be mortified that you are using her people as an example and holding them out to be "bush Indians" when everyone who has ever been to Ontario would know different. I drove through the area last summer.. they have a Mac's, Timmies, KFC and other trappings of trans fat alley and it's in the midst of cottage country - thousands of people from Toronto head up there every weekend.

As for the white author, "ah, no" I didn't say she held a sweat. I said you were using her as a definitive source on mixed gender sweats. I find when push comes to shove, most white people default to their white authorities on how Indians should be Indians but they never quite accept that maybe the Indian knows what they are talking about - how could we? We're mere children in the eyes of most whites. Pretty paternalistic wouldn't you say?

Yet, you want our medicines, our ceremonies and our teachings. Your people think nothing of stealing our art, our stories, our land and our children. When we finally say, "ah, no" you can't have anymore, you throw insults, argue with us and throw temper tantrums better than any pouting child could do. You rail against us that we're being selfish by not sharing our ways with you. We try and tell you, what is Haida, works for a Haida, what is for a Paiute works for a Paiute and so on but you don't hear that. You just hear no. Yet, you never stop and ask why not - what would I have to do?

Your people are so desperate to fix the ills of a culture that is destructive to the very core that you are willing to steal, borrow and beg for the ways of the very people you oppressed for centuries. Your desperation opens your vulnerable citizens to fakes and opportunists that will gladly take your money and convince you, you are the chosen one to carry a pipe, give healings, conduct sweats, all for a fabulous price of what ever is in your wallet. They teach you to con others, give you a real Indian name and off you go - heal your nation. And you question nothing because you asked for it.

My gran taught me to be careful for what I ask for. She tells of the lonely woman who wanted nothing more than a husband. Every day she would ask the Creator for a husband. One day, a husband came to her and they married. She got her husband alright, except he was a drunk, abuser, rapist, gambler and womanizer. But he was a husband.

Be careful what you ask for Val Whelan.
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I can see the wheel turning but the Hamster appears to be dead.

Last edited by yaahl; 11-19-2010 at 03:11 AM.. Reason: just read Val Whelan's profile - she's a writer
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:45 AM   #620
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Hi Annie,
Well now this will make you laugh. Most Irish hate that movie because we think it doesn't represent us properly and makes a mess of our mythical tradition! lol It was made by an American, not an Irish person. lol again. If you can get a hold of Into the West - now that's a beautiful Irish-made film touching on Irish mythology also. It's about two little Traveller boys who have lost their mother, crossing Ireland on a horse. The Travellers are our nomadic people who live in motorised caravans (they used to live in horse-drawn ones). Sadly they are badly treated and discriminated against by most 'settled' people. The film shows this but it also shows their way of life and then deals with the beautiful story of the boys coming to terms with the loss of their mother. (And you get the impression that the horse is, in fact, their mother in a way.)
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