NATIVE TRADITIONS OF ACCEPTANCE & INCLUSION

Reflection for Native American Heritage Month

By Ghost Dancer

Native peoples have a hard time dealing with some of the practices and understandings of other peoples. By this I mean, most Native feel that other people must not think for themselves and are programmed as a whole rather than in freedom of the individual. I would like to share some reflections on these concepts and in hopes it will unlock some minds and hearts to be free.

First, when did anything become born evil? Does anyone honestly believe that the Creator purposely created anything to be evil? Then why, throughout history have people labeled certain people, animals, plants, winds, water, etc. as being evil? Now don’t sit there and say, oh it is just an expression. Really?

Well let’s look at history. How many places in books, movies, teachings, and religious belief is the wolf portrayed as being something of the devil or just evil? Now, I personally have lived with real live wolves, have hunted with them, laid down and slept with them and eaten with them. No wolf targets out humans or wants to hurt or eat a human, yet the wolf has this label on it. Many religious beliefs portray the wolf as being this evil spawn. When native peoples honor the wolf they honor its loyalty to family, loyalty to the pack, its loving ways. Every wolf gives love to every member of the pack each day. They mostly live by hunting deer, elk, buffalo, rabbits, mice, birds, or fish, but they are never cruel and don’t torture what they hunt. They do this for food only.

Wolves do fight to protect their families, territory, etc. and for their food. The wolves taught us Native peoples how to hunt as a group, how to hide, evade, and even how to live as a group of people. They also taught us how to reaffirm our love for each other every single day, how to play, love our children, and teach our children. Every member of the pack protects and plays with the pups. Traditionally, no Native will hunt a wolf or harm one.

Now let’s look at some other examples. A child is born deformed, has a disease or is mentally handicapped. Many cultures throughout history have labeled such a child a devil’s child, and would order the child killed. Even now some teach that this child is born evil, or in sin etc. So I ask you, did the Creator create this child as evil?

I say no. Is this the child’s fault? No. Some children may be born this way because of what the parents have done – drugs or alcohol or exposure to chemicals or radiation. So why label the child as something evil as many religions have done throughout history. Traditionally, Native peoples believe such a child is a special child and is here being taught or teaching us through their lives what Spirit wants us to see and learn.

Children born as homosexual would be evident at an early age and would be noted. Sexual preference was their choice; their free will. War women usually were very dominant women and would be accepted in the men’s societies. They usually had women or even a male who chose to be a woman as a mate. Not all males were strong, some had feminine ways and would not be accepted in the men’s societies, but they would be accepted in the female societies. These too were special people and fully accepted as members of society.

Now let’s look at a problem that really gets me upset: Women! Throughout history and even today, religious and social propaganda programs us to believe that women are lesser human beings, subservient to men. This is totally insane! Many even label the woman as cursed by the Creator and say she has a curse on her because of what a book and religions say because she has a menstrual cycle, what we Native peoples call a moon time.

Now let’s look at this closely. The Creator chose women to bring forth life into this world, by blessing them with the Love of giving Birth! Not a man who is so egotistical that he could never be responsible enough to carry the life in his belly for 9 months or have the love to willingly be able to endure so much pain. Creator is wise and knows the true gifts and abilities that we all have. Creator chose women to be able to do this – NOT men – because their strength in Love, beauty, enduring patience, forgiveness, humbleness, and generosity is what they have to offer to bring forth in the child.

Now when I hear or read that women are inferior, weak, or evil, or meant to be silent, or to be subservient, it makes me wonder on whose authority is this ordered? Who proclaimed that women must be treated this way? I know for a fact the Creator surely did not. So who wrote that in the religious books and told religious leaders to preach and proclaim this to be truth? Whose agenda is this?

Many proclaim that a woman is cursed because of her moon cycle, but really it isn’t a curse; it is a gift from the Creator. It is a gift to purify herself from within that no man has ever been given. Now traditionally, many tribes had a moon hut. This was so the woman who is on her moon would not OVER POWER a man’s spirit or his medicine, or power bundles, weapons etc. because a woman who is on her moon is very powerful. Her body is in pain, yet is aroused at the same time. Her medicine is so strong she becomes aggressive, same as doe or a mare in heat. To protect her and the men, she goes to the hut to rest and learn more about herself. Many times an elder clan mother is there to teach her of these things.

Now many others don’t believe or practice the way traditional Native peoples do, but we had a system that worked beautifully. We had Clan Mothers, representing all the clans; we had our Beloved Women, we had our councils that listened to the needs of the clan mothers and made sure their wishes were fulfilled and met. No wars, no actions, could ever start or happen unless the clan mothers ordered it! All life revolved around the tradition of the clan mothers and all females being in control. Men, ALL MEN, took their orders from the clan mothers. Even the Miccos all answered to the clan mothers. All the kings answered to the clan mothers!  Even those people who had special gifts conferred with the clan mothers in all matters.

Everything worked for the benefit of the people to maintain order, balance, love, and happiness for all. Justice was issued out by the clan mothers – true justice – not like today. Every action and every decision was designed to restore balance and harmony. This was all done by the women. The women owned all the property, homes and gardens and the women were responsible for dispersing the crops and trade goods. If all could be this way today the world would be a better world!

Respectfully, Ghost

Published by Sings Many Songs

I'm Edna Peirce Dixon, an 80-something child of the great depression and WWII. Throughout my life I have been a seeker, an outsider, never quite belonging anywhere, still always looking through cracks in the fences of life, questioning, challenging, learning, trying to make sense of the world and its conventions. An R.N. by profession, I'm mostly a lifelong student with a love of writing and interests in history and genealogy. In my golden years some unexpected things happened that led me down unfamiliar paths with new challenges, opportunities and lessons to learn. This became the magic elixir that keeps me seeking, keeps me growing, keeps me alive.

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