I have, over the course of my life and over time in several different social networks, encountered many people who claim to have at one time been in contact with a nonspecific "Indian Warrior" or "Indian Shaman." This person could be of Native or non-native lineage, and the spirit is sometimes their "Spirit Guide" and sometimes just plain visiting them. While I care not who specifically is receiving these spirits' messages, I do care that the messages be authentic and realistic.
People often ask m: "who are you to question someone's spiritual encounters? Why do you have the right to validate my spirit guide? Why do I have to prove anything to you?"
Because this is my culture/relatives/spirits/descendants you are dealing with.
Many people believe my culture to be antiquated: a dying or dead relic of something once beautiful and pure. We are a connection to the old ways, a conduit to the earth and all its mysteries. While not the worst stereotype a people has, it doesn't make it any less false. When I was in 8th grade my Spanish teacher told the entire class in lecture: "I prefer the Natives of Mexico to those of our country...those Natives still have culture."
And this seems to be a prevailing problem. We DO still have a culture and it is growing, changing, and thriving. Do we still have connections to our old ways? Absolutely. We proudly uphold them. But does this mean we are dead or that change is bad? No! Even in the times before contact we adopted new dances, new prayers, new ways of being from tribes nearest us. We were always changing, just like any people. Why shouldn't first nations people have the same range of interests and abilities of anyone else?
I've been visited by First Nations spirits...but they were nothing like the "typical" visit I always hear of.I was once visited by a middle-aged Native man with slick, short , black hair, a gold member's only jacket, and stiff light-wash jeans. He wasn't a warrior. He wasn't a medicine person. He was a guy, a guy who happened to be Native. How come no one else has these sort of experiences? It would be like if every White spirit I met were a priest or a soldier: it simply doesn't make sense that it would be the case every single time.
So why would someone potentially "fake" a First Nations Spirit visit? There are many reasons.
- As I stated earlier many people believe we hold a connection to the earth and nature. We do, but not because it is genetically a part of us. Our culture emphasizes its importance and integrates it into our every day lives...but any society, culture, or person is just as capable of accomplishing that.
- Many feel that a connection to an "older" pagan spirituality like Native spirituality validates their path. Older does not mean better or more valid.
- Many assume our spirituality is pure of outside influences or change and remains in its undiluted, original form. No, it does not. Things happen, people. The world changes around us and so must our culture and spirituality. We must adapt and with new surroundings comes new beliefs. Not to mention all the outside influences around us, some of them also tribal.
So why do *I* feel qualified to demand explanations, elaborations, or evidence?
-I AM Native. These people you're talking about...they are my family or relatives of friends I consider my family. These "spirit guides" aren't accessories, they're people. Visits from Native spirits are equally important and should be respected. I come from a highly used and under-exposed culture. People think because our representation is low that they can go where they want and say what they want and no one will be there to question it. I have made it my job at RP and throughout my life to break down the absolutely WALL of falsehood around my people and provide reality. I resent my people being used as a tool or a conversation piece.
So if you DO make such claims, prepare to make the rounds with me. If your intentions are good and your spirituality informed you will have nothing to hide. I must protect the truth of my culture to prevent further misinformation and use of us.
I trust most will appreciate and encourage my efforts :).
Miigwech Bizindawiiyeg (thank you for listening),
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