Declaration of War
Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality
Whereas individuals and groups involved in "the New Age Movement," in "the men's movement," in "neo-paganism" cults and in "shamanism" workshops all have exploited the spiritual traditions of our Lakota people by imitating our ceremonial ways and by mixing such imitation rituals with non-Indian occult practices in an offensive and harmful pseudo-religious hodgepodge....
1. We hereby and henceforth declare war against all persons who persist in exploiting, abusing and misrepresenting the sacred traditions and spiritual practices of our Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people.
2. We call upon all our Lakota, Dakota and Nakota brothers and sisters from reservations, reserves, and traditional communities in the United States and Canada to actively and vocally oppose this alarming take-over and systematic destruction of our sacred traditions.
3. We urge our people to coordinate with their tribal members living in urban areas to identify instances in which our sacred traditions are being abused, and then to resist this abuse, utilizing whatever specific tactics are necessary and sufficient -- for example demonstrations, boycotts, press conferences, and acts of direct intervention.
4. We especially urge all our Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota people to take action to prevent our own people from contributing to and enabling the abuse of our sacred ceremonies and spiritual practices by outsiders; for,
as we all know, there are certain ones among our own people who are prostituting our spiritual ways for their own selfish gain, with no regard for the spiritual well-being of the people as a whole.
5. We assert a posture of zero-tolerance for any "white man's shaman" who rises from within our own communities to "authorize" the expropriation of our ceremonial ways by non-Indians; all such "plastic medicine men" are enemies of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people.
6. We urge traditional people, tribal leaders, and governing councils of all other Indian nations, to join us in calling for an immediate end to this rampant exploitation of our respective American Indian sacred traditions by issuing statements denouncing such abuse; for it is not the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people alone whose spiritual practices are being systematically violated by non-Indians.
7. We urge all our Indian brothers and sisters to act decisively and boldly in our present campaign to end the destruction of our sacred traditions, keeping in mind our highest duty as Indian people: to preserve the purity of our precious traditions for our future generations, so that our children and our children's children will survive and prosper in the sacred manner
intended for each of our respective peoples by our Creator.
-- Wilmer Stampede Mesteth; (Oglala Lakota); Traditional Spiritual Leader & Lakota Culture Instructor; Oglala Lakota College, Pine Ridge, South Dakota
-- Darrell Standing Elk; (Sicangu Lakota); President, Center for the SPIRIT, San Francisco, California, & Pine Ridge, South Dakota
-- Phyllis Swift Hawk; (Kul Wicasa Lakota); Tiospaye Wounspe Waokiye; Wanblee, South Dakota
TO ALL OF EARTH'S PEOPLE
WE NATIVE PEOPLE OF AMERICA
ARE PEOPLE OF PEACE AND RECONCILIATION.
by Hyemeyohsts (Wolf) Storm
Please do not be afraid or saddened by the words of religious hate mongers.
"Witch" hunts and Inquisitions, the spread of fear and hate is not the answer for my People. And I might quickly add that no three or four people -- with a violent chip on their shoulder -- represents the Sioux Nation.
People who ask for war are not people of peace. And a "Declaration of War Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality" would have to be first leveled against the Sioux themselves -- because it is the Sioux Peace Makers, who have encouraged people to Respect Sacred Mother Earth.
And, I might quickly add -- that it is again the Sioux who go out among the "white man" to speak of their traditions. Sioux Chiefs have taught people to pray in the "sweat lodge" and now that people pray in the "sweat lodge" they are condemned for it -- very strange.
And why is there a Them and Us? "Divide and conquer" methods are not all that fashionable in America. Fools Crow never preached that there was an Us and Them. He tried to bring Americans together with America.
While some serious questions have been posed -- the religious undertones of getting even remains in the shadowy realm of psychology -- not tradition. They pointed some fingers at some very "responsible authorities" and Social innovators who work everyday with Native children on every Reservation.
There are a lot of racist accusations that were spoken among those people who preach hate and violence. "White mans world" -- where is that? -- this is certainly not any America we all know. There are people of every Race and Color in America. Aren't we Black also, Asian too and aren't there a substantial amount of mixed blood children on every Reservation?
No -- I would advocate that there be Peace Chiefs involved here. The people who wrote that hate literature live in the past and use hate slogans and phrases from a bygone time. Modern Americans did not conquer the Indians -- all of we modern Americans are the Indians. Americans and our World's people need to hear from our Reservations. They need to learn of how Humane and kind our Native People are. We are Giving, we worship the Give Away. When this happens, other Americans will listen to our Peoples social and political Needs.
An Us and Them does not work in the N.B.A. and the W.N.B.A. (basket ball teams). The Chicago Bulls were not an Us and Them. They played as a team and won. When all we American Indian People play as a Team we will win. And we cannot win when we separate ourselves from the remainder of America's People.
The Buddhists, Jainists, Moslems, Christians, Hebrews and the other many orthodox faiths do not rail at people because they are "using their traditional ways". In fact they encourage it.
Of course there are people who misuse things and are ignorant. Teach the ignorant and praise those who wish to cherish Life and Respect our Sacred Mother Earth -- and especially White Buffalo Woman, our Medicine Pipe. A lot of Love and a whole bunch of Care are needed right now. Because this racist attitude about the separation of Us and Them has violently divided our youth on our Reservations -- and made them to feel alienated in their own time and their own America.
Let's take a look at many of the similarities -- and not the differences:
Not too Long ago, Europeans too were tribal peoples --from the British Isles all the way across the Continent -- East to the former lands of the Huns and Magyars. The Kelts (also known as the Celts) and the Germanic Tribes and others lived in great forests called the Vilde or Wild.
Other Celts, or Kelts lived, fished and farmed along the rugged seacoasts of Europe and were very much Earth loving People. Their way of living was much like that of our Indian Families here in America.
Our Earth Mother was worshipped and women had an equal voice in the Tribe and government. As an example: Thor and his wife Thora were the thunder and the rain. Odin and his wife Uddern led the Hunt. The people of Crete, Egypt, the Pagani of Italy, the Gauls and the Brightines of Avolans' England -- all loved Sacred Mother Earth.
Freiya (pronounced Fr - eye - ya) and her Brother Freya (pronounced as Fra yah) were respected and worshipped as Light and all growing things. We get the word Free and Freedom from the word Freiya. The People of Freiya were called Freiya's People -- or Free People.
Yes, the women were equal to the men, but this was lost when the propagandists arrived and brought their Feudalistic world of one god -- one ruling family and slavery.
The Sacred Tree of Life called The tree of The Great Middle World -- the Egg of Knowing --- was sometimes called Yggdrasil. This Tree of knowledge was the Great Wheel of the North where people could learn.
This same Great Medicine Wheel of learning was later known to be in the place of the Closed Way of the Holy Stone -- Schleswigholstein. This Magical place held the Nine Worlds in its embrace, and was the web of the Wyrd (or Sacred Word) that connected all things together.
Our ancestors still live in us and continue to speak to us in our Dreams -- telling all of us to be Respectful of our chance to have Life and to be with our Sacred Earth. Yes, they live in our very genes.
The way of the indigenous Europeans was very similar to our Native Families here in the Americas. They had the Vision Quest. And they prayed in Lodges of Fire and Stone. Our Norse Family called these the Utiseta -- or the "sitting out." Anthropologists gave these Utsieta's the unflattering name of "sweat lodge".
This Sauna or (of the Sun) was held to be very Sacred -- especially to the Goddess of the Trees, Willows and Birches.
Great Healers, The Pagani, meaning Farmers, Teachers, Ships -- voyagers, warriors -- and especially all mothers -- would enter the lodge in Honoring of our Mother Earth, the Brooks, rocks, and trees -- giving Thanks to the Spirit of Life for all Healing and our very nourishment. This Bathing Lodge or Healing Lodge was also Sacred to the Goddess Hygiene.
In the far North, Uddern, the Mother of Lightning and Thunder and Odin her Husband were the Guides and Teachers for all Medicine People -- now sometimes referred to as Shamans. This word is pronounced as Shaw - mons -- not Shame mans.
Then the great armies of the south came, with Charlemagne over-running and conquering all the Peoples of the North -- and everything drastically changed. Millions of our old teachers were destroyed, burned at the stake -- and were called "witches". These gentle teachers were both female and male.
They died because they clung on to the Garden Dances, Community Dances, Sun Dances, Moon Dances and their ability to Doctor the sick. They knew of Surgery.
But time passes, and now something new is happening, world-wide. The way of old Europe, so long crushed and repressed, is once again accessible to its far-flung sons and daughters!
We must teach all people to respect the brave Medicine women and men, (Both Native American and Keltic) who have persisted in telling People about Sacred Life and to Respect our Holy Planet Mother, Earth. These Teachers have reminded the world's People of this important duty toward Life.
But don't we all owe it to our Ancestors to once again choose to support Life and Honor our Creatress Mother, WahKahn? When women are held to be equal to men -- then our Creatress Mother and Father will once again live in Balance with Humans.
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