June 22, 2006
Many people, some colonized natives too, have 'conqueror mindset' whether they recognize it in themselves or not. We're all brain-washed to some degree, it's ok to just admit it. I do get rather bored and tired of those who feel 'native ways' are 'religion'. Considering there is no word for that in indigenous languages it can perhaps best be summarized as 'philosophy' for those who don't quite understand. In better context, it's a way of living, breathing and feeling.....it's just a way, that's all, a way of living. No , you don't have to be 'native' to understand this because many non-natives can 'just be'. There's a big clue right there.
Yes, I have some semblances of conqueror brainwashing. I'm not afraid to admit it.
The spirit world: I can't help you if you are not sensitive to it. Everything has life in my way of 'being'. When humans or animals die, what happens to their 'energy'? Science is coming closer to tracing this and one day, one day, there will be 'proof' of what are called spirits. I'm sure it will be given a different name. Until then, the insensitive can write it off as primitive beliefs, which is quite condesceding and, 'conqueror mindset'. Even if you view it all as hogwash, does it harm you that some think this way...does it harm others? I think not, but to launch out and condemn those who do have these 'beliefs' does do harm. Think about it.
Many also view Creation Stories of Indigenous people as 'just stories'. This is shallow thought and some reflection upon it , and I mean delving deep, will show you otherwise.
Excuse me, I have to go do some primitive smudging now to call upon Spirits. How Neandrathal of me.
Could write more about this, but will have to do it another time..
I'm going to do so smudging too... You know how it is with us "Neanderthals"... :)
please put down your sage and sweetgrass and come out with your hands not on your heart. you are in heresy of superior minds and will be charged accordingly.
sit in the front row of the theatre. we will clamp your eyes open and make you watch science flicks for days straight. again, i repeat, you are a heretic to the ivory tower.
Nice to 'meet' you! Happy smudging ;-)
how's hornby these days....hope not overrun by 'gumboot yuppies' like bowen :)
I'll just repeat what I said there, as has been told to me, that there are certain subjects that aren't really appropriate for discussion on the internet. Such discussions should take place, face to face, over a meal, sharing tobacco - ya know?
There are simply too many jerks out here in blogoland who would use ANY knowledge we give them about ceremonial things to profane them in some fashion. I'm not willing to be a party to that.
I will say this, in our way of life, what you are talking about... "this work"... (that's the english word for it "the work") is not something to be trifled with, dabbled with or picked up lightly or dealt with lightly.
Also, one is supposed to be a certain age before they pick up certain kinds of this "work". That every stage of life that a human being goes thru contains lessons, and when we are ready it's not even a question of us chosing that work -- that "work" chooses us if that's what we are supposed to do with our life.
On one side of my family I could next year, when I reach the age of 35, enter the Seyowun, or Spirit Dance. Or, I could go with the other side of my family and pick up the Shulmustus.
But I have been told by people much older, and wiser that this is not my time to delve into this sort of thing.
That I have other 'work' that has been put in front of me and nobody is doing that work, that desperately needs to be done.
Or in the words of my grampa -- when talking about the "Shna'aam" ("work") "Everybody wants my songs, everybody wants to be a Shna'aam, but they've lost it, and they don't know how to live their lives in such a way that they could really do it right. So I'm going to take most of my songs to the grave."
And he did.
I don't know how it is for other cultures of Aboriginal Peoples, I only know what it's like for my peoples. And even within this subset of the Cowichan Valley Tribes or Nations, people do not talk openly about "the work" nor do they share their family work, or areas of expertise. Let alone to non-Hulmuhwh Mustimuhwx, or non-natives.
The saddest thing I find about the creation story in our culture is that there are so many different versions of it, and many of these versions have been infused with good old Christianity -- where people don't even refer to Haals (who supposedly dropped us from the Sky into this valley) as "The Transformer" -- which is what his name was, but instead they refer to him as "The Creator".
There is no "creator" in our mythology -- except the one that was planted there by Christian missionaries.
It's a tangled mess. Now do you see why I don't even want to talk about it?
Look. I am open minded about the fact that there may be other life-forms out there in the universe, (the star people) and such people or one in particular (whom are legends called Haals -- the transformer--) may have indeed PUT the first 12 Cowichan people in this valley. But I would need to see a Star Nation dweller, before I would put my faith 100% into the mythology.
And --In my family -- on my grandfather's side, we even carry one of those names, a name which goes back to the beginning of our oral history.
My Grandmother's grandmother was an extremely respected healer, who also did special work in a spiritual capacity. I won't get into specifics here. Like I said, maybe in person, and over a meal, sharing tobacco.
But as I have said -- I am not into "the work", or "Sh'naam" as it's called here. I know lots of people who practice it, and do it.
I've even had people hire other people to do it on me, because of the work I have done to try and clean up the band office.
But try explaining this to non-natives, and they would laugh at the idea and mock me for even mentioning it. It is something that is so foreign to these "other people" that it's not a suitable topic of conversation.
But it is so very common in our culture that when I speak to a new group of poeple who call up asking for help about accountability from the DIA and their elected Indian Act chiefs, it's generally one of the first topics that comes up in discussion. That and protection.
In Aboriginal Politics, there is always spiritual warfare that goes along with political warfare. That's just the way it is.
But I have been told that the best defence against this kind of thing, (aside from the protections which I am sure you are well aware of) is to keep a strong mind. And by that, it means to refuse to dwell upon those who may be trying to use "this work" against you.
Even saying this much, is saying too much on an open forum like this.
I can just see what some yahoo Christian Fundamentalists would make of this conversation.
So do me a favour... after you have read this -- delete it, and maybe if you want, let's talk in person or on the phone.
I can call you anytime you want, (I have free Long Distance) and we can discuss this at length.
It was not my intent to mock, humiliate or hurt you with my words on CCs blog. I am truly sorry that what I said offended you.
In the end, the thing to remember is you are both working toward the same end. Don't lose sight of the common ground you both cherish, which can be hidden behind the mountains of difference. Just keep talking your way over the mountains.
megahan, in time you will see why your comments offended me. it wasn't 'your beliefs' as such, it was that you commented on an a post that attack of my beliefs which lent no support for my ways. this will sit deeper with you as time goes by. we can move on while the dust settles and all learn more from this )note - doesn't mean i'm not cheeky and won't create a post that ridicules the attacker some more :O )
as cheeze points out there is indeed a legitimate forum to use the internet to disuss these issues. as pointed out on you site meaghan, i never went into detail. if you choose not to discuss this here, that is your righ.
paul martin brought to the forefront ceremonial smudging when he was inaugurated. i think the average canadian non-native is welll aware of the practises of natives to some degree, and many partake themselves. when our new local municipal coucnil was inaugurated a squamish nation holy man (don't know a better non-native word) and healer came over to smudge and say prayers.
it is also 'the quicking' or 'time of the white eagle', different names for different nations and tribes. these are the prophecies and they entail sharing the ways to a large degree to help bring the world to a new, better place. not much different from the long mayan calendar.
when someone who distains my beliefs does so i still walk tall with my beliefs. but that person has just opened a door , a door which makes them subject to questioning or ridicule. if it doesn't open their eyes to their own hypocracy then it at least can open other's eyes to that person (though i suspect many can see for themselves).
thank you cheeze for your end comments.
despite cc's post, i would help him if he needed it from me. i love hiim, like i love everyone......i just don't always like everyone. but cc was not brave enough to post that comment on his site and deleted another i made.
another case of being able to dish it out but not able to take it. pity.
(...which itself is unusual, in that CW and I haven't agreed on anything since the whole Chunky Soup "spoon or fork" debate of '87. You picked spoon, right CW?)
nice to see you two agree....is that celine dion i hear singing in the background :)
havril, i'll take you to a cree sweatlodge near hope, b.c. iffin ya want more then book reading.
it's just that, it's just that (sob sob) it was so moving to see you and the whiz of cheeze agree. shit, here comes the landlord, back to weedeating!!!!
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