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Non Native paticipation in Native Religions / Cultures

To: alt.native
From: (Aimfl)
Subject: Re: Non Native paticipation in Native Religions / Cultures
Date: 27 Feb 1998 20:00:17 GMT

> AKICITA wrote:

>Fine, except that's a different topic than this one. The original post
>was talking about non-Indian participation in Indian religions/cultures

Actually the original post was from someone asking about racoons and Natives.
Sheridan asked, rather simply I thought, why the individuals was asking Natives
when they expressly stated that their belief of racoons as a totem had nothing
to do with Indians at all. That individual responded by accusing Sheridan of
racism etc.

>It >never occurred to you, for example, that some non-Indians are
>participants in genuine, sincere, and authentic ways;
Actually it has occured to us, if you read our posts you would see that we have
repeatedly mentioned that-unfortunatly a significant number of those who have
have left and abused that privilige.

>), then we sit around and complain that they don't understand what >we
Who has complained about that? I have heard complaints that non-natives do not
respect us. Or consistently mock us through sports mascots and other
stereotypes but I have yet to hear any Indian say, "gosh darn that white person
doesn't fully comprehend a Yuwipi ceremony." Really I haven't.

>! I think if we're going to complain that non-Indians don't >respect,
understand, or live by our ethics then we have a responsibility >to give them a
chance to make this adjustemnt in their lives

 Wiat a minute. In order for them to respect us they have to know our ways? I
have never been in a Synagouge. Never been to a passover. Never worn a
Yamulke(sp?). But I respect Jewish peoples and their spirituality and would
never mock it. So I do not believe we have to reach out to whites and drag them
into a sweat to have them understand Indian people. Respecting Indian peoples
should include respecting and understanding the history of interaction between
whites and Indians. It should include an appreciation that sports mascots and
stereotypes are offensive and a dialouge. 

>We can't >bitch on and on that they exploit the earth, that they crave wealth,
>that their churches are unspiritual, etc. if we also withhold what we
>believe to be the correct remedies, at the same time. 
 No and we have consistently encouraged whites to learn their traditional ways.
The Creator in the Creators wisdom gave them a path as well, and its their
responsibility to relearn it. Elfmaid seems to be doing it so I think, with all
respect to her, that others can as well.

>t's like blaming a guy for having the flu, when in fact you're the one
>holding the antidote but refusing to provide it because the guy is sick >and
shouldn't be using "our" medicine!

 So should we alter the ceremonies to accomodate them. forget the way we were
taught to do them and alter them so they can. Or should we encourage them to
learn the ways the Creator gave them the original instructions as developed by
the Creator for their ancestors to walk and their descendants?

Don Foster


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