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Declaration of War Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality

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  • #16
    Thanks for this information Bright Star. Excellent post.
    Co-Moderator in the History Forum and New Pagans. If anyone needs me while I'm online I can be emailed or instant messaged at [email protected] or for Yahoo users - [email protected] Isis is my queen. Sekhemet my source of strength.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by BrightStar
      Hi all!
      I've been talking to some Lakota friends.They've seen this declaration and agree with it.They feel that the free for all "borrowing" of their spiritual ways is nothing more than spiritual genocide,an added insult by whites.They feel that since the attempted genocide of their people by whites failed,these same people are trying a cultural and spiritual genocide.
      That's bull. So a lot of white people are immitating your mode of worship. Big deal! This diminishes your religion somehow? They are not "true" worshippers, they're fakers, so there's no reason why their imitation would interfere with them spiritually or otherwise. They're free to persue their religious beliefs in this country. JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!
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      • #18
        Well, I didn't kill off their ancestors, and seeing as how my ancestors didn't come to this country until the 1900's, I can hardly be held responsible for their geocide... Believe me, I respect native americans, and their practices. I don't agree with what white people did to them at all, but that doesn't mean that I am to blame. I think that that's a pretty lame excuse.

        Kaylara
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        • #19
          I don't get it either. I feel it only validates the beliefs of the Lakotas and honors them that others follow their path. This is not the same as the cigar store indian, in my honest opinion.
          Co-Moderator in the History Forum and New Pagans. If anyone needs me while I'm online I can be emailed or instant messaged at [email protected] or for Yahoo users - [email protected] Isis is my queen. Sekhemet my source of strength.

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          • #20
            other things to get

            Keep in mind that Native American groups are as divided among themselves as us Pagans are. There are some NA teachers who have absolutely no problem with white people learning NA religious beliefs. They believe that it's a way to bring the white folks back to their senses, basically.

            There are other NA religious groups that are separatist and always have been. The people that wrote the declaration of war don't speak for _all_ NA tribes, or _all_ NA people. Just like Andrea Dworkin doesn't speak for all feminists, or Starhawk doesn't speak for all Pagans.

            This Declaration is sort of like if some group of witches got up and said, "That's it! We're not teaching witchcraft anymore to anybody! Only witchy people can be witches! Nobody else can practice the Craft!"

            Of course everyone in the Pagan/Wiccan community would either bust out laughing or get mad at these people, because they didn't speak for everybody, no matter how much they tried to seem like they did.

            Same thing here.

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            • #21
              Thanks!!!

              Great points, Happydog!!!
              Co-Moderator in the History Forum and New Pagans. If anyone needs me while I'm online I can be emailed or instant messaged at [email protected] or for Yahoo users - [email protected] Isis is my queen. Sekhemet my source of strength.

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              • #22
                in my personal opinion, and through my personal experiences, it seems to me, that most of the Lakota and other Native American paths, mainly dislike the "wholesale borrowing" of their traditions for these simple reasons.

                1)Selling of Native artifacts, and ritual items/traditions, belittles a beautiful tradition, and spiritual practice, making it more of a "fad" or "decorative" thing. Example? My brothers' girlfriend is a Harley Davidson Fanatic biker chick. Nothing wrong with that, per se, but...the woman is TOTALLY out of touch with spirituality. She hangs out in all the biker bars, getting drunk, and has friends who are the typical biker brawl types. She hunts animals for sport, not for food, with my brother (ugh)...and even participates in some illegal hunting techniques (jack-lighting) etc. Yet..walk into her house, and there you see a huge mandela, a dream catcher, a peace pipe, a medicine sheild...etc, etc. She hangs these things because she likes.."south western decore". Yet she has little or no idea of the meaning behind these items. What they represent..etc. She also has little idea of the history of the native peoples, and is , as a matter of fact, a racist.

                2)Practicing rituals of their peoples, without having a solid base in the precepts of their religions, or taking elements of their practices, and adapting it to paths which might even be contrary to their beliefs. Well..who wouldn't??? I mean...Doesn't it bother the average, every day Wiccan, when we see movies such as "the Craft"...and we see certain of our religious precepts being twisted into something which is simply media sensationalism?

                It belittles and degrades the beauty, history, and faith they have in their beliefs..IMO.

                However, there are those who HONESTLY seek the wisdom, which is evident in their practices. Who HONESTLY seek to know the mysteries of these strong, and proud peoples. We seek to utilize some of that wisdom to bring greater beauty and understanding to our world. To those people, I think a certain level of acceptance, and understanding, should be given.

                I know several native american people. One Lakota, one Mohawk, and one Shawnee, Two Mic-Macs..and a few others. Most of them are of the opinion, that it is the spritual intent of people that matters. When they see us who adapt certain of their beliefs and practices to our own lives, they feel it is a good thing. First of all, it serves to educate the general population of white society, to the beauty of a people who so often has been misrepresented in media (ie..the old western movies, etc). And it is also, serving to bring back "lost" members of their tribe. People whom through marriages, not only lost trace of their bloodlines, but also lost touch with their roots. The reawakening of interest in Native practices, gets them interested in their own roots, once again, and may help to strengthen the bloodlines of the tribes once more.

                There are politically radical groups within Native American Society, who are angry, and hurt, with good reason. Conditions on the Reservations today, are not too much better than they were 100 years ago. And the predjudice they face from government agencies, and from "police"..and from "white" citezens of the surrounding area, is still a very real situation for them. I understand why they would be angry, and upset. And so I cannot say that they are entirely wrong, in trying to preserve for themselves, that which is so often misunderstood by white society.

                A good link, which you might choose to check out regarding this matter..is http://www.Russellmeans.com

                He is another who is of the opinion, that the wholesale "Selling" of native beliefs is wrong.

                One more little bit of info I would like to share here, is that in CT, the mashentucket pequot, and the schaticoke tribes, have been embroiled in battles for years, over the auctioning of their artifacts to museums and personal collectors. Archeological digs have turned up hundreds of beautifully woven baskets, and pieces of pottery. However, instead of being returned to the people of the tribes who created them....They are being auctioned to the highest bidder. Most of whom have little to NO native blood in them, or to museums, who wish to put them on display.

                GRRRRR..this one makes me particularly irate.

                I'll stop ranting now!
                Lucas Michael, you are with me still. Not a day will go by that I won't remember. Lucas Michael Demascena con. 5/15, dec. 6/29. Wait for me.

                Forum Guide- History Forum

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                • #23
                  I've been lurking on these boards for a while. And pardon me for being rude, but does anybody believe in doing a little research on a topic before you talk about it?

                  Like, the first thing I want to know when I encounter "Declaration of War Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality" is "Is this genuine or is this more Internet BS?" Two minutes at Google.com revealed that "War" was declared at the Lakota Summit V in June, 1993. This is not exactly fresh news. And like most declarations of war, it has specific historical roots. Another couple minutes looking up the Lakota Summit V would take you to this article (among others):

                  http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/users/sho.../warlakot.html

                  There's been a lot of dialog on this subject in the last eight years. PanGaia did a whole issue on indigenous spirtual practices last year and the exploitation of spirituality was discussed in some detail. For a fresh article on the subject, you might want to read Kay Yount's piece on Beliefnet:

                  http://www.beliefnet.com/story/83/story_8363_1.html

                  I have extremely mixed feelings on the subject, and would be interested in some thoughtful conversation on what can be used and what can't.

                  Sophie

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                  • #24
                    Danu, thanks for your thoughtful post!! I feel the same. :D
                    ~ Mairwen

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                    • #25
                      I enjoy practicing First Nations Traditions, and I hope to
                      learn more from an Elder.
                      I deeply respect Native Traditions, and I strongly believe that
                      we need to return to that lifestyle, to living in total harmony
                      with Nature.
                      They are right when they say that most white people need to
                      come to their senses.


                      Patriarchy had a specific beginning in history.
                      It will also have an end.

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                      • #26
                        You're welcome Mairwen, and thank you
                        Lucas Michael, you are with me still. Not a day will go by that I won't remember. Lucas Michael Demascena con. 5/15, dec. 6/29. Wait for me.

                        Forum Guide- History Forum

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Danustouch


                          However, there are those who HONESTLY seek the wisdom, which is evident in their practices. Who HONESTLY seek to know the mysteries of these strong, and proud peoples.
                          The Lakota declared war on these individuals already. Because they are not true indians by blood. Now, who was the racist again? Yep, got it in one. The Lakota.
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                          Cast out of Olympus by the Site Gods
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                          AIM: MayKen007
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                          • #28
                            Re: other things to get

                            Originally posted by Happydog
                            Keep in mind that Native American groups are as divided among themselves as us Pagans are.
                            True enough. And the Indians have NEVER been unified in anything, which was the key to their downfall. If the Indians had done the smart thing and established a cohesive government, and become a true nation, they might have been able to stand against the white invaders back in the 16 and 1700's. Then again, the Incas were pretty well organized and they got spanked something awful by the Spanish......
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            Cast out of Olympus by the Site Gods
                            Email: [email protected]
                            AIM: MayKen007
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            No community rules for you!

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                            • #29
                              Look, all in all I have mixed feelings about this...
                              1) I agree that religion should be 'free' to all serious seekers
                              2) One should not destory a religions culture and structure, taking things out of context... ex.. by saying I am doing the Sun Dance of the Lakota, when I do not practice their beliefs... I feel as if I just stole something from them... why not call it somethingelse?? Where is the harm in that?
                              3) Knowledge is power, Lakota should educate people in their believes as with other NA tribes
                              Sorry if I offend
                              On the otherside, my family comes from an Indain background, our tribe has lost their practices due to circumstances of the past, inwhich I blame no one for. At our family reunion, we had to 'borrow' a shaman. (don't worry, we put him back), I would love to see 'us' get a base practice back, but I won't want to take the believes of others to accomplish it. Their believes are their history... doesn't anyone of you remember old history books? Mine painted the wrong picture of NA. So wrong, that I was outcasted at school... and I have red hair and pale skin.
                              Guess all in all.. if you take things from other places.. have alittle respect for it...
                              here's a great word that I used often....elcectic
                              marevard, Queen of Krash

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