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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 03-18-2008, 10:15 PM   #61
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I would like to rread that paper and to hear how you did with it.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:55 PM   #62
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mots,you tease hehehehe
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:28 PM   #63
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yes i would like to read the article also .... and far as non natives attending and participating in ceremonies yes that is a very hard question to answer. it brings to mind ..... how can you respect something that you dont understand? and how to you not understand something unless you learn about it and participate in it? most non native people who even WANT to attend ceremonies have a great respect for native people as a whole and would never so anything to disrespect it.

and it also brings around another question .... different tribes have different ceremonies. do you exclude non tribal members from attending and participating because they are not of that particular tribes blood?
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Old 03-19-2008, 03:33 PM   #64
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mots,you tease hehehehe
im not teasing im tired..im on 3 hours sleep...im crabby i did a presentatuion on the hardest boring-est book ever written in the english language...and i have no clue about anything...i just want to be a creative writer not an english major...arghhhh...( i need sleep) in 4 weeks it will all be over....tg

good question chaziff...(not changing the subject )...lifes so full of "complications"...i see westcoast people attending sundance etc...but they also go to their own ceremonies...not sure about the other way around...
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:25 AM   #65
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I have been to two ceremonies when I was a kid. My naming ceremony by my grandmas ex-husband who is a medicine man. The other was a very important one and I never asked much about it, but a few people came from switzerland to attend. These switzerland people we white and good friends of my grandmother. The medicine man was highly regarded as far as I know, there must have been about 35-40 people there.

I have been to quite a few sun dances though. I've never been to a sundance where there weren't white people there. Many people you see that are white are actually Native because they were raised in Native families. Even if they weren't raised in Native families they might have had Native friends for years and have attended cultural events with them.

I have 5 cousins who are enrolled in Leech Lake Nation and you would never guess they were Ojibwe, they look pure white. There are 33 of us first cousins and we all grew up very close. My grandma runs a sweatlodge in her back yard and she is in the process of raising 7 of my cousins, her grandchildren. She raised other grandchildren as well, my grandmas house is the center of our family.

I'm lightskinned myself, some of my cousins are very dark and some aren't but you can tell were all Native. The exception is those five cousins who don't look native. I can tell you one thing though, you can see it in their eyes that their feelings are hurt when another cousin makes a remark.

Skin color has nothing to do with being Native. Anyone who thinks otherwise and calls themselves Native should take a long look at their life and ask themselves why they think that way. I have seen many white people who are very good hearted people who attend Traditional events. Ceremonies are different, but ceremonies are invite only so that says a lot about the people who attend.

I was raised around Lakota Traditions and from what I know only medicine men run ceremony. One cannot just become a Medicine man. It is inherited by the medicine man passing it on to one of his children or grandchildren.

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Old 03-25-2008, 04:12 PM   #66
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Should non-natives be allowed in native spiritual ceremonies?

If I may, I really don't think there is a blanket universal answer here. I don't go to ceremonies very often. I'm a Lakota, but I live in Yakama Valley and go to Longhouse once in a while, and whenever I am at a feast or washat service there is usually some comment made about "this home is open to everyone", "everyone must be welcome here", "it is our tradition". No Longhouse leader I've ever heard has ever said, "everyone except white people or breeds with less than X percent Indian blood." Some tribal traditions require universal hospitality, even to a fault. Keeping non-sincere "new agers" out is a challenge in such situations, and I do not have the answer. I'm sorry.

Here's another example, though. I have a lot of coastal friends, too. I've been to a smokehouse powwow ONCE. I was invited by one person because I was asked to bear witness to a specific event. Everyone knows I'm not Swinomish, not even coastal at all, but nobody said anything or gave me dirty looks or anything like that at all. I sat when told to sit, stood when told to stand, bore witness to dances when asked to, and followed the rules. I didn't volunteer to do anything more or try to participate in any way beyond that, or pretend I knew more than I did. I realized that everything I saw, from personal face paints to regalias, even the tustids and kuchmins and all the other items people may have carried, were entrusted to people who either earned the right to bear them or were descended from a specific family heritage. I know that I have no right to sing those songs myself, to wear the paint, or to don that kind of regalia. Late that night, dinner was served and it was a bit less formal. I sat across a table from one of the oldest elders there (because I knew him from legal word processing I helped with and he was on the Tribal Senate at the time). I never felt like an outsider. BUT ... That's where the line draws with some "white people" (and other Indians too) there are too many cultural explorers who would not respect its sanctity. They would say "gee this is cool" and go home and start making their own outfits or painting their faces up not knowing (or caring) what they mean or why this is done now and that is done then, and unknowingly start calling down powers that could even make their family members sick and perhaps die. And if these things didn't happen, they'd still upset an insult a lot of people and probably never realize why. The people who let them in carelessly would also suffer consequences, sickness, bad dreams, or the worse yet: their cultural heritage just got irreversibly diluted.

The keyword is "authority". In any spiritual custom, religion, ritual, someone is bestowed the authority to teach others how things are to be done, and whether outsiders should or shouldn't be invited. We've been asked to speak our opinions here, and all have that right. But I doubt many people on this Forum -- and certainly not myself by any means -- have the authority to tell anyone who should and who shouldn't be allowed to participate in "all" Native ceremonies. But I would humbly ask those who are in authority to carefully evaluate the risks and consequences whenever that door is opened. And those who are curious and who happen to be visiting this site and reading this comment, please remember that our ceremonies represent our real beliefs and values, our tribal religions are still alive and well and we do not wish to change them, they are not places to go to "study our culture" and some gatherings are closed to the public for a reason.
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Old 05-16-2008, 02:50 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Siouxsie Q View Post
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.
That is the biggest load. You are not Sicangu! The Iyottes would hold you in contempt.
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Old 05-16-2008, 03:28 PM   #68
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That is the biggest load. You are not Sicangu! The Iyottes would hold you in contempt.
The Iyottes are not my keepers. No one is my keeper, I stand on my own.
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Old 05-16-2008, 03:34 PM   #69
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there have always been exceptions and non-indian people allowed to attend ceremonies...and alot that were allowed took what they were priviledged to be a part of,co-opted it and are now playing medicine man/woman...
and...the Elders circle has stated clearly,that our ceremonies are NOT to be shared anymore because they have been mis-used and abused by non-Indian people.
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:01 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siouxsie Q View Post
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.
are you a SunBear follower?
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:55 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Siouxsie Q View Post
The Iyottes are not my keepers. No one is my keeper, I stand on my own.
On your own without any foundation, you must be a new age snake oil charmer.
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:44 AM   #72
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We are sun dancers and belong to NAC, there are some non-natives that grew up with with skins that know some goot songs and they don't think they are chiefs or anything like that. When there is a meeting almost all peeps ask if Mike knows or has anybody told Mike about the meeting.

Sorry it's late but I had to get on my soapbox

LOL
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:56 AM   #73
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Way to go, Mike!!!

Whoever that is.
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:09 AM   #74
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Non Native is a confusing wording.

The correct wording is....non tribal members.

non tribal members should not really be allowed...but then again they should not want to due to the fact it's not their ancestors being honored.

Remember...it's tribal thing not a race thing.

Or you could say...it's a ancestor thing not a race thing.

however now...there is a few other dances which are not exactly for the ancestors....so these dances should be for the tribe itself to judge on.

The was alot of dances in the original times which was for winning a war, getting ready for a war, visions, people from another tribe has came to see your tribe, it was trading time, it was harvest time, it was a new season, etc....now these dances outsiders traditionally was allowed to dance in.....but that is up for the tribe itself to judge on who got to dance.
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:18 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by rez_hopper View Post
We are sun dancers and belong to NAC, there are some non-natives that grew up with with skins that know some goot songs and they don't think they are chiefs or anything like that. When there is a meeting almost all peeps ask if Mike knows or has anybody told Mike about the meeting.

Sorry it's late but I had to get on my soapbox

LOL
My head is spinning way too much to try to figure this one out, maybe I'll get back to you later.LOL
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:23 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECSN View Post
Non Native is a confusing wording.

The correct wording is....non tribal members.

non tribal members should not really be allowed...but then again they should not want to due to the fact it's not their ancestors being honored.

Remember...it's tribal thing not a race thing.

Or you could say...it's a ancestor thing not a race thing.

however now...there is a few other dances which are not exactly for the ancestors....so these dances should be for the tribe itself to judge on.

The was alot of dances in the original times which was for winning a war, getting ready for a war, visions, people from another tribe has came to see your tribe, it was trading time, it was harvest time, it was a new season, etc....now these dances outsiders traditionally was allowed to dance in.....but that is up for the tribe itself to judge on who got to dance.

I have to disagree with you here. Just because a person doesn't have a "Tribal Card" or is not enrolled in a Federally recognized Tribe--does not mean that they are Not Native. There are many who are not Tribal members for many reasons including blood quantium requirements, adoptions and many other reasons. However, many of these same people are still connected to the tribe and the people of the tribe. And I'm not talking about the ones who go around "My grandmothere was.......". I'm talking about those who know who their family was and who their family is currently, who not only got to the territory where the Tribe is, but also partake in many of the ceramonies and events that go on there. They are as much Native as someone with a "Card". Just my opinion here.
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:34 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmy tiger View Post
I have to disagree with you here. Just because a person doesn't have a "Tribal Card" or is not enrolled in a Federally recognized Tribe--does not mean that they are Not Native. There are many who are not Tribal members for many reasons including blood quantium requirements, adoptions and many other reasons. However, many of these same people are still connected to the tribe and the people of the tribe. And I'm not talking about the ones who go around "My grandmothere was.......". I'm talking about those who know who their family was and who their family is currently, who not only got to the territory where the Tribe is, but also partake in many of the ceramonies and events that go on there. They are as much Native as someone with a "Card". Just my opinion here.
I'm the same way there...when I say a member of the tribe...I mean their ancestors come from that tribe. When I say a person is not from that tribe.. I mean their ancestors are not from that tribe.

so we still see eye to eye on that :)
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:33 PM   #78
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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?
Where to begin with the sense of entitlement contained herein?
No, it is not anyone's responsibility to teach an outsider anything. If someone does decide to teach you, it is a gift and a great kindness and you should be so grateful for the chance to learn that you shut your mouth and listen carefully. No one owes you anything, but in your post, you sure come across as feeling entitled. And yes, the person(s) running the ceremony do in fact have the right to exclude anyone for any reason, especially if the person is being disrespectful or demanding or whatever.

Also, just a pet peeve of mine, but if you were raised white, meaning you have no Indigenous context from which to draw your understanding of tradition or Native worldview, how are you going to then turn around and dictate it to people who obviously have kept their cultural views and traditions intact?
Just remember who is practicing their religion, and who is coming in mostly ignorant, and have some respect for the boundaries those people set. They exsist for specific reasons.
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:38 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Wakalapi View Post
Should non-natives be allowed in native spiritual ceremonies?

If I may, I really don't think there is a blanket universal answer here. I don't go to ceremonies very often. I'm a Lakota, but I live in Yakama Valley and go to Longhouse once in a while, and whenever I am at a feast or washat service there is usually some comment made about "this home is open to everyone", "everyone must be welcome here", "it is our tradition". No Longhouse leader I've ever heard has ever said, "everyone except white people or breeds with less than X percent Indian blood." Some tribal traditions require universal hospitality, even to a fault. Keeping non-sincere "new agers" out is a challenge in such situations, and I do not have the answer. I'm sorry.

Here's another example, though. I have a lot of coastal friends, too. I've been to a smokehouse powwow ONCE. I was invited by one person because I was asked to bear witness to a specific event. Everyone knows I'm not Swinomish, not even coastal at all, but nobody said anything or gave me dirty looks or anything like that at all. I sat when told to sit, stood when told to stand, bore witness to dances when asked to, and followed the rules. I didn't volunteer to do anything more or try to participate in any way beyond that, or pretend I knew more than I did. I realized that everything I saw, from personal face paints to regalias, even the tustids and kuchmins and all the other items people may have carried, were entrusted to people who either earned the right to bear them or were descended from a specific family heritage. I know that I have no right to sing those songs myself, to wear the paint, or to don that kind of regalia. Late that night, dinner was served and it was a bit less formal. I sat across a table from one of the oldest elders there (because I knew him from legal word processing I helped with and he was on the Tribal Senate at the time). I never felt like an outsider. BUT ... That's where the line draws with some "white people" (and other Indians too) there are too many cultural explorers who would not respect its sanctity. They would say "gee this is cool" and go home and start making their own outfits or painting their faces up not knowing (or caring) what they mean or why this is done now and that is done then, and unknowingly start calling down powers that could even make their family members sick and perhaps die. And if these things didn't happen, they'd still upset an insult a lot of people and probably never realize why. The people who let them in carelessly would also suffer consequences, sickness, bad dreams, or the worse yet: their cultural heritage just got irreversibly diluted.

The keyword is "authority". In any spiritual custom, religion, ritual, someone is bestowed the authority to teach others how things are to be done, and whether outsiders should or shouldn't be invited. We've been asked to speak our opinions here, and all have that right. But I doubt many people on this Forum -- and certainly not myself by any means -- have the authority to tell anyone who should and who shouldn't be allowed to participate in "all" Native ceremonies. But I would humbly ask those who are in authority to carefully evaluate the risks and consequences whenever that door is opened. And those who are curious and who happen to be visiting this site and reading this comment, please remember that our ceremonies represent our real beliefs and values, our tribal religions are still alive and well and we do not wish to change them, they are not places to go to "study our culture" and some gatherings are closed to the public for a reason.
IAWTC. You just said everything so much more eloquently than I could have hoped to.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:12 PM   #80
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As a non-native, I have been to a few Pow Wows, and thought they were the most energetic and spiritual events I have ever been to. I have always been spiritually close to the Native ideologies, at least through the books that I have read from other Natives, and would love a chance to dance among them. I have a total respect for the Native People, and have actually been trying to find a Native Community to ask about these type things. I live in Florida, so the Indians we have here are from the Seminole Tribe.
The terrible thing though, is the Pow Wow I used to go to was stopped because of the Hard Rock Casino was put in its place. But, I did find out that there is one further south in Jan.
But, again, as a non-native, I would love the chance to dance among you for my total respect for your beliefs, your culture and your closeness to the Great Mystery... but I totally understand and respect your decision why you would not let non-natives into your ceremonies!

P.S.
My id name is not native, it is what a 6 year old called me because of the sparrow bird tattoo on the back of my neck, lol
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