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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 02-03-2008, 12:42 AM   #21
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A very interesting discussion.

A good way to look at this question is to view it if from another perspective:

Should natives be allowed in non-native spiritual ceremonies?

Now before you think that is stupid and dumb and not a part of the discussion – stop and really think.

How many of us know of Native Americans that practice a faith and its ceremonies that is not Native American Based? Some of you many know none but others of us know of many.

And I am speaking of all kinds of faiths from Christianity to Zoroastrianism.

For those of us that are older and have traveled a great deal we have seen a lot. Just off the top of my head I think of an entire Native Family that are Shintoists in the Chicago Area. Another family that are Greek Orthodox in San Antonio Texas. And don’t even get me started on how many Natives are Mormons.

There are Native Americans that have a belief in practically every denomination of Christianity alone. And then you may find Native Americans that have a belief in any one of the major World Religions.

From the time the White Man landed here he has been invited into both Social and Scared ways of the Native American Culture. Now I am not talking about the times that the White Man forced his way onto the culture, I am talking about the actual times that others have been invited to be a part of the Native American Social and Sacred Ways.

AND – don’t forget the many white captives that were taken by Natives and made a part of the Family, Clan, Band, Tribe and or Nation including Social and Sacred Ceremonies.

I am not saying YES and I am not saying NO – I am just saying that it can really open the eyes if you sit back and look at the big picture.
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:24 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by little red View Post
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?
i can flip a coin if i want to...and yes my answer is NO...its my opinion on the matter...im sick of ndns being uhm.....(oh crap whats that word again?? lol)
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:24 AM   #23
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ceremonies

Aho! thank you

Again, it's not the color of skin...........it's in the heart
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:41 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by *Brown Eyed Gurl* View Post
i can flip a coin if i want to...and yes my answer is NO...its my opinion on the matter...im sick of ndns being uhm.....(oh crap whats that word again?? lol)
idolized?
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:52 AM   #25
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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.
Wonderful post, Singing Eagle! And I read where someone else on this thread stated should some natives attend native spiritual ceremonies and I was having the same thought. About two years ago, I met a North Carolina Indian woman at a workshop that I attended. I won't say which nation she was from but she was from Roberson County and we got into the discussion about attending pow-wows and she told me that she don't attend because the durms give her a headache. She also said, "My father is white and I lean towards my white side of the family not my Indian side." I just looked at her because it's her right to lean towards which side she wants. I just walked away and sit down.
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Old 02-03-2008, 12:26 PM   #26
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Just to add a little to this conversation.

If a non-native really wanted to get into native ceremonies, they sure wouldn't plead their case on a public forum. They would seek out a true native person to talk to and earn the respect and trust of that person so that they might eventually be able to attend a ceremony. That is the proper way.

There are no shortcuts.
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:03 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwehnzii View Post
Just to add a little to this conversation.

If a non-native really wanted to get into native ceremonies, they sure wouldn't plead their case on a public forum. They would seek out a true native person to talk to and earn the respect and trust of that person so that they might eventually be able to attend a ceremony. That is the proper way.

There are no shortcuts.
I agree.
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:04 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Kiwehnzii View Post
Just to add a little to this conversation.

If a non-native really wanted to get into native ceremonies, they sure wouldn't plead their case on a public forum. They would seek out a true native person to talk to and earn the respect and trust of that person so that they might eventually be able to attend a ceremony. That is the proper way.

There are no shortcuts.
Wonderful post, Kiwehnzii! But I've never met a non-native that wanted to attend a true native spiritual ceremony anyway. They usually do thier own thing! And, I've met Indian people that just out of the blue decide to embrace thier Indian heritage and they want to be chiefs and start tribes and have thier own spiritual ceremonies too. As for me, I am native but I did not grow up on the reservation but if I want to attend a true native ceremony, I would with honor and respect wait for an invitation from my relatives and friends. And I would with honor and respect attend the ceremony. In fact, I've received a couple of invitations from relatives in Rapid City to attend a Sundance Ceremony and from a White Mountain Apache Friend to attend a ceremony.
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:07 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by RainbowSpiriDancer View Post
Wonderful post, Kiwehnzii! But I've never met a non-native that wanted to attend a true native spiritual ceremony anyway. They usually do thier own thing! And, I've met Indian people that just out of the blue decide to embrace thier Indian heritage and they want to be chiefs and start tribes and have thier own spiritual ceremonies too. As for me, I am native but I did not grow up on the reservation but if I want to attend a true native ceremony, I would with honor and respect wait for an invitation from my relatives and friends. And I would with honor and respect attend the ceremony. In fact, I've received a couple of invitations from relatives in Rapid City to attend a Sundance Ceremony and from a White Mountain Apache Friend to attend a ceremony.
Who are you friends in Rapid City? I know Ben and Juanita Rhodd, and Tim WhiteHawk.
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:10 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Creewoman05 View Post
Who are you friends in Rapid City? I know Ben and Juanita Rhodd, and Tim WhiteHawk.

Gwen Hollow Horn and Kevin Lone Hill are my relatives. My new book is dedicated to them.
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:15 PM   #31
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In fact, my boyfriend and I drove to Rapid City in 2005, to attend the Pow-Wow on Oct. 7th. We also plan to attend the Oglala Nation Pow-Wow the first weekend in August, if we can save the money for the trip. The trip is about 2500 miles one way, from North Carolina.
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:12 PM   #32
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It seems that to respond to MOTS original ? In my opinion first you have to define ceremony.. a PowWow is a ceremony non-natives are usually invited and their money spent :) and for the most part a pleasant sharing of a culture, An Indian family saying prayers before dinner is also a ceremony of sorts. Most ceremonies otherwise are normally held for the privacy and well being of those in attendance, usually not for public. If you have been rightly included, than I think that is the wish of those hosting...whatever. I personally look into a person to see who they are.... I've made mistakes, but mostly my gut and common sense have created friendships that know NO color or race but friendship, got your back stand up friends. It is the world I hope your children and mine will enjoy.
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:16 PM   #33
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It seems that to respond to MOTS original ? In my opinion first you have to define ceremony.. a PowWow is a ceremony non-natives are usually invited and their money spent :) and for the most part a pleasant sharing of a culture, An Indian family saying prayers before dinner is also a ceremony of sorts. Most ceremonies otherwise are normally held for the privacy and well being of those in attendance, usually not for public. If you have been rightly included, than I think that is the wish of those hosting...whatever. I personally look into a person to see who they are.... I've made mistakes, but mostly my gut and common sense have created friendships that know NO color or race but friendship, got your back stand up friends. It is the world I hope your children and mine will enjoy.
Beautiful post! Beautiful heart! I've always heard that from the heart the mouth speaks!
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:17 PM   #34
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A very interesting discussion.

A good way to look at this question is to view it if from another perspective:

Should natives be allowed in non-native spiritual ceremonies?

Now before you think that is stupid and dumb and not a part of the discussion – stop and really think.

How many of us know of Native Americans that practice a faith and its ceremonies that is not Native American Based? Some of you many know none but others of us know of many.

And I am speaking of all kinds of faiths from Christianity to Zoroastrianism.

For those of us that are older and have traveled a great deal we have seen a lot. Just off the top of my head I think of an entire Native Family that are Shintoists in the Chicago Area. Another family that are Greek Orthodox in San Antonio Texas. And don’t even get me started on how many Natives are Mormons.

There are Native Americans that have a belief in practically every denomination of Christianity alone. And then you may find Native Americans that have a belief in any one of the major World Religions.

From the time the White Man landed here he has been invited into both Social and Scared ways of the Native American Culture. Now I am not talking about the times that the White Man forced his way onto the culture, I am talking about the actual times that others have been invited to be a part of the Native American Social and Sacred Ways.

AND – don’t forget the many white captives that were taken by Natives and made a part of the Family, Clan, Band, Tribe and or Nation including Social and Sacred Ceremonies.

I am not saying YES and I am not saying NO – I am just saying that it can really open the eyes if you sit back and look at the big picture.
the only thing about that is that many other religions actively recruit ppl to build their numbers.... i've never known a tribe to recruit the way that, say... Christians do.

perhaps it could be decided on a case by case basis, the other participants could argue for or against and the ceremony leader would ultimatley decide. the guidelines for the decision coudl be based on the guests sincerity...maybe?
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:28 PM   #35
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Gwen Hollow Horn and Kevin Lone Hill are my relatives. My new book is dedicated to them.
Nope don't know them. I was invited to Bens Sundance, near Deerfield Lake. Haven't talked to any body about in a while, it's summer solstice.
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Old 02-03-2008, 08:24 PM   #36
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"Should non-natives be allowed in native spiritual ceremonies?"

I gave the short answer. Now for the long one.

The definition of should is given in the Merriam Webster dictionary as "to express obligation, propriety, or expediency". Native peoples have no obligation to include anyone in any of their own spiritual ceremonies that does not belong there.

There are no singular "native" spiritual ceremonies. That, along with the implication of obligation, prompts me to reply in the negative. The question is too broad to address.

Going further - there are, however, spiritual ceremonies observed by Lakota or Kiowa or Haudansee or Anishnaabe or Nishnabe ... on through a listing of all 500+ tribes that exist in North America. The People to whom these spiritual ceremonies BELONG are the ones that ought to determine who can attend and when it is appropriate for non-members to attend. In my opinion, just because a person is "native" (however you define that word) - that fact does not give them carte blanche to attend whatever spiritual ceremony they might hear a whisper of. A non-Lakota ought not to expect that they can attend any and every Lakota spiritual ceremony.

This is what I meant by the short answer "No". Has nothing to do with race and everything to do with leaving the determination of who may attend spiritual ceremonies to the People to whom a spiritual ceremony belongs.
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Old 02-03-2008, 09:03 PM   #37
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"Should non-natives be allowed in native spiritual ceremonies?"

I gave the short answer. Now for the long one.

The definition of should is given in the Merriam Webster dictionary as "to express obligation, propriety, or expediency". Native peoples have no obligation to include anyone in any of their own spiritual ceremonies that does not belong there.

There are no singular "native" spiritual ceremonies. That, along with the implication of obligation, prompts me to reply in the negative. The question is too broad to address.

Going further - there are, however, spiritual ceremonies observed by Lakota or Kiowa or Haudansee or Anishnaabe or Nishnabe ... on through a listing of all 500+ tribes that exist in North America. The People to whom these spiritual ceremonies BELONG are the ones that ought to determine who can attend and when it is appropriate for non-members to attend. In my opinion, just because a person is "native" (however you define that word) - that fact does not give them carte blanche to attend whatever spiritual ceremony they might hear a whisper of. A non-Lakota ought not to expect that they can attend any and every Lakota spiritual ceremony.

This is what I meant by the short answer "No". Has nothing to do with race and everything to do with leaving the determination of who may attend spiritual ceremonies to the People to whom a spiritual ceremony belongs.
I can agree with this.
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:19 PM   #38
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You know I keep reading.. pure heart, true heart, pure ways.... is our beliefs any more "pure" or special than the others? If we all are giving thanks to one creator, then why is it that any of of the ways he gave us better than the other? How about that what we are not likeing go see is the mockery or *******izing of those ways we know because they were given to US and yet 75% of the time that's what happens. I know when I went to christian church I was not wanting to bring people with me who would sit there and make devil signs at the preacher or stare at me like a freak when I bowed my head in prayer, and I really did'nt care of the opposite either.. the absolute zealot who felt they had spiritually passed me by and "worried for my soul" because I was'nt as gung ho as they were.

Crap.. someone here just blew my concentration and now I can't remember where I was going with this.. I'll come back to it later.
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:15 PM   #39
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You know I keep reading.. pure heart, true heart, pure ways.... is our beliefs any more "pure" or special than the others? If we all are giving thanks to one creator, then why is it that any of of the ways he gave us better than the other? How about that what we are not likeing go see is the mockery or *******izing of those ways we know because they were given to US and yet 75% of the time that's what happens. I know when I went to christian church I was not wanting to bring people with me who would sit there and make devil signs at the preacher or stare at me like a freak when I bowed my head in prayer, and I really did'nt care of the opposite either.. the absolute zealot who felt they had spiritually passed me by and "worried for my soul" because I was'nt as gung ho as they were.

Crap.. someone here just blew my concentration and now I can't remember where I was going with this.. I'll come back to it later.
As for me, I appreciate and respect truth and beauty in any form. As for the devil and the christian church, I try not to associate with either. As for prayer, I honestly pray best when I'm alone because I feel more free and comfortable.
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Old 02-05-2008, 11:38 PM   #40
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Wow tough question
But really it has been answered many times before
The answer is, they already have been!
Should they be???
it depends
Were they brought there?
Did they stumble onto it???

I have sat in on and been part of several ceremonies of my own tribe and of several others...

Should I have been included? Just because I was native? did this give me a free ticket to witness the ceremony?
Probably
Actually in all cases it was Family or friends that brought me in and I witnessed the ceremony.
So they took RESPONSIBILITY for me and my actions
It was explained what to do and not do and it went well

So I guess my answer is
It depends
Too often these folks are brought in and there Native Guides so to speak don't keep them from doing something stupid

Case in point I was going into a Tribal Area during a long week of a ceremony and there were HUGE Billboards that Stated in Clear and Precise Language that Photography of any sort is Prohibited!
And yet there were several that had there cameras confiscated and they made a big fuss about that!
I guess they did not think the sign meant them!!!

It depends
Do we take responsibility for our guests and make sure they understand what they are getting into and will they listen to you when you say enough and tell them its time to go!
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