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Forum Home - Go Back > General > Native Life > Native Issues Should non-natives be allowed in native spiritual ceremonies? Should non-natives be allowed in native spiritual ceremonies?

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Old 02-01-2008, 01:40 PM   #1
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Question Should non-natives be allowed in native spiritual ceremonies?

im trying to write an argument for an assigment...

i think so..as long as they dont steal the ceremonies and try to make money off of them..i think spirituality would do them some good...
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:54 PM   #2
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No, they should all be shot immediately.
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:03 PM   #3
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Good question MOTS, my answer is one word, NO!
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:30 PM   #4
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:15 PM   #5
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Depends on their heart,and mind, most of us are part white anyway, does that mean we leave a part at the door, if so which part??
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:29 PM   #6
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:44 PM   #7
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Why does this always turn into being a mixed native issue? I think everyone knows exactly who she is asking about when she asks the question and I think one good answer would be to come up with some kind of mental aptitude test to see if they are going to be prone to take what they've seen to heart or to the marketplace LOL! And honestly, I think we can just tell most of the time who is going to go and listen with interest and who's gonna go and drink it all in so that they can best copy it for someone else later down the road... and those are the folks most of us don't want to be around anyhow.
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Old 02-01-2008, 05:58 PM   #8
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You have a good point because the truthe is the majority of us are mixed blood of some kind or another. However I am very leary of letting some people witness our ceremonies. You never know what they are going to do or say after the fact. Question is would they be there because they are spectators or actual believers???
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:05 PM   #9
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Depending on the ceremony, I would say yes & no...... the passing of a pipe and the shared prayer that is sent certainly should be open to those with a good heart. Fakes are usually easy to spot. Then there are ceremonies that should remain pure. The question of mixed heritage....??? I think purity of heart is the place to look, sadly there are fullbloods who use their heritage for profit. They are just as bad, if not worse.
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:48 PM   #10
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Why shoudln't non-natives be allowed? we have such beuatiful ceremonies that honor the earth and the creator. I have done ceremony with non-natives that honor the ceremony and the elders more than some skins do. My grandpa told me that some of the non natives are going to help preserve the traditions and keep them going with the respect they deserve while are own are turning away. Aslong as they don't charge for them, why not keep it going? after all, its all for the future children.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:11 AM   #11
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I kind of have to agree with BB. There needs to be a better way to this. I know a few Non-natives who have learned and go to ceramonies and they honor them and believe in them and they are NOT out there claiming to be sudden medicine people or "Spiritual" people. But then I know other's who go to their first ceramony and then all of a sudden they are these "Great Teachers" and can tell you everything about being Indian.

I believe that these ceramonies were given to the people for the people. And it's like one of my Uncles said to me "Not every one believes our ways". So what I (actually) do--is what I've seen the Elders do. I watch that person. Look and see who it is you are dealing with: Can they live it as well as they talk? Or is it just for show when certain people are around, but when they are not around--it's all about "me". Do they only do things in a large crowd to get attention, or do they do things privately truely from the heart? That will tell you alot more then just their words. Talk is cheap and actions really do speak louder then words in many cases. This is what I have seen.

A person who gives just so that they have something to brag about, is just in it for themselves and I don't think really would understand Spirituality in the first place. Just my opinion based on what I've seen.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:39 AM   #12
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If a non-native is being invited to a ceremony, I would hope that the person doing the inviting would be using a lot of discretion - how sincere is the invitee? what is their motivation for attending, etc.?

For sure, just "dropping in" on a ceremony should be a no-no. A non-Jew wouldn't just crash a bar mitzva, for example, but I was once invited by a co-worker to her son's bar mitzva and that was okay.

Conversely, some would say that if non-natives were intended to participate in such ceremonies, they would have been given those ceremonies by the Creator ages ago.

I found an interesting article from a few years back that makes a strong case for the latter point of view. You can find this article at:

Plains spiritual leaders issue mandate to protect ceremonies

I personally feel that there would be very few instances where it would be appropriate or advantageous for this to occur, but this would depend highly on the persons and circumstances involved.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:48 AM   #13
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i flipped a coin and it was heads for no...so No.
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:05 AM   #14
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ceremonies were meant to be sacred....not secret

my 2 grandmothers were part cherokee but raised in the ways of the "white" man and marrying men of european descent. although i look more irish and have never experienced the ways of my cherokee ancestors, i have the beliefs and the heart of one who desires to follow the true path. we have one creator, so isn't he father of all and his message universal? is it up to humans to decide who is acceptable and who is not? if your heart is pure and your intentions good, maybe if someone comes to a ceremony for the sake of personal gain or mockery, isn't it possible that their hearts may be changed by the power of ceremony? i was surprised to see a couple answers that flat out said "no, non-indians should not be allowed". it is not anyone's right to exclude, but it is the responsibility of those who know the traditions to teach all who come. one can not be serious about their own heritage and committed to following the true path if they just flip a coin for the answer. i'm having my first child in a few months and i want them to learn the traditions that i have never learned, but there never seems to be any place close by and why travel so far when we are looked upon with such disregard instead of being welcomed?
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:53 AM   #15
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is it up to humans to decide who is acceptable and who is not? i was surprised to see a couple answers that flat out said "no, non-indians should not be allowed". it is not anyone's right to exclude,
Actually yes it is. The person who is leading the ceremony has authority in saying who may attend, who may not.

Just becaue a person is "pure in heart" or wants to learn, doesnt automatically give a free pass for the weekend to seek and learn what they want. Just wanting to "do" this doesn't give you the ability to do so.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:04 PM   #16
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I like what you said Little Red and the leader of the ceremony does have the authority to accept or deny someone but I have seen whites coming in a good way and offer tobacco and give money and I never saw a leader say no. I don't think a real ceremonial leader would say no because of what they wnet through to get to lead in the first palce. Some skins come and just expect to get in and dont have any respect and dont offer tobacco or anything and then they are mean to the whites and call them names. I went to church and i went to ceremony all my life. We are meaner to outsiders than the people in the church are and that is not what our ways are about. So what if someone nonnative wants to use the ceremony, they can teach there own people how to honor mother earth. As long as they dont charge, thats when its bad because even the church dont charge.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:08 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Siouxsie Q View Post
I like what you said Little Red and the leader of the ceremony does have the authority to accept or deny someone but I have seen whites coming in a good way and offer tobacco and give money and I never saw a leader say no. I don't think a real ceremonial leader would say no because of what they wnet through to get to lead in the first palce. Some skins come and just expect to get in and dont have any respect and dont offer tobacco or anything and then they are mean to the whites and call them names. I went to church and i went to ceremony all my life. We are meaner to outsiders than the people in the church are and that is not what our ways are about. So what if someone nonnative wants to use the ceremony, they can teach there own people how to honor mother earth. As long as they dont charge, thats when its bad because even the church dont charge.

Ah no use beating a dead horse
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:13 PM   #18
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This is a hard question because there are some "non-natives" that are filled with truth, honor, respect, and love for Creator and Mother Earth. Then there are those "non-natives" that create their own "native spiritual ceremonies" and charge for them anyway. And they have lots of anxious followers and make lots of money, while making a mockery of native culture. Those types of non-natives don't want to attend a true native spiritual ceremony anyway. I could be wrong but I feel that only the pure in heart would be interested in attending a true native spiritual ceremony, in the first place.
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:49 PM   #19
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ceremony

I don't really know this-I sorts do.........but God gave everyone a spirit............so our non-indian folks have a right to join in-remember it's in our heart, not our SKIN.

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Old 02-02-2008, 10:57 PM   #20
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Good assignment MOTS - real tough question.

I believe that the best way to gain understanding about and for our cultutre is to have non-aboriginal people share in it. That being said - I do not think that they have a blatant right to intrude on ceremonies - they should attend when the gathering is for the public. Only when they have earned the right by being respectful should thye be invited to participate in other ceremonies. They must listen to the leaders and be respectful in understanding that although they may be included - they do not have the right to adopt themselves to the place of leadership in any way/shape or form.

There are many non-aboriginals in my experience who take great care to earn their place and are grateful for it.

PM me for more info if you like MOTS.
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