Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Non-Indian Defends Sweat Lodge Desecration

Caveat Emptor: Don't pay to pray. Tamarack Song is a fraud and his sweat lodge ceremony a violation of Native spiritual practices.

The dangers involved in phony sweatlodges are explained here on the NAFPS website.

From: "Nature's Pace Sanctuary"
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 12:34:16 -0600
Subject: RE: [Teaching_Drum] Re: New Age Definition

I have also visited Teaching Drum several times. I am highly put off by your diatribes against the school and Tamarack in particular. Clearly, either you haven't read the information presented clearly in this forum or you choose to ignore it. To state that Tamarack "owns and profits" from the school's land is untrue and misleading. As has been mentioned before (many times!) in this forum: Teaching Drum is a 501C3 Non-Profit organization. Tamarack (and many of the staff) lives very authentic lives that are very friendly to Mother Earth. I feel that any ceremonies that are performed at Teaching Drum are done with reverence and with the intent to be in Balance and connected to all of our Relations. Not all Native Americans are against white people (or any non-Native peoples) participating in Sweat Lodge or other Ceremonies as long as it is done with a prayerful and reverent attitude. I myself (a white man) have participated in Sweat Lodge ceremonies that were led by a Reservation Indian. His intent was to teach us the ceremony so we could conduct it in a proper and Sacred manner. There are Native Elders on both sides of the fence, but many Elders believe that only with the help of ALL the races can we save theEarth (and it's inhabitants) from destruction.

I think that unless you are Ojibwa yourself, you should let the Ojibwa confront this issue if they feel it is justified. In view of Tamarack's studies and involvement with those folks, I doubt they feel as though you do.

Lastly, this is a forum to discuss living and practicing Native skills living in balance. This is not the place to shoot your hollow arrows at Tamarack or Teaching Drum. After all, this list is sponsored by the very hand you are biting. This list is free to all of us who choose to use it. The amount of time and effort put into maintaining the forum is sizeable. If I remember correctly no one from TD gets paid for working on this site, it is a volunteer job.

I believe Tamarack has been very kind in not monitoring these sorts of posts. I for one would be in full support of having your posts "pre monitored" before being sent to the list, and any untrue accusations "cleansed". Or, just banning your posts outright would be fine to. Instead of allowing this negative energy and wrath you spew out, please put some effort behind harmony and balance and understanding

The Old Buzzard.

The Reply:

Yes, they do practice Ojibway culture both materially and spiritually at the Teaching Drum. They also engage in sweat lodges, which is a sacred American Indian religious practice. When I was visiting there, a terrible storm came one night and blew a tree down so close to one of these lodges that it almost destroyed the structure. I recall Tamarack having admitted that it was a sign that violations against this sacred ceremony had been committed.

To do these things on Ojibway land without further educating people about the abysmal conditions facing Ojibway people in the Teaching Drum's area is an act of cultural imperialism. It is racist at its core. Once again, white folks are putting themselves above the law. That land the Drum is on is bound by treaty to the Ojibway people. Somebody needs to "awaken" themselves to the domestic and international laws that do indeed bind us to honor any agreements our ancestors made with American Indian people.

To try to put yourself beyond those treaty laws by claiming you have no particular ties to the land you are standing on is a deeply political act. Once again a white man says: the law does not apply to me. It is especially offensive when coming from a white man who owns and profits from a very particular piece of land that was never his to buy and sell or profit from in the first place.


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