American Indian Religious Freedom Act

American Indian Religious Freedom Act

In 1978, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed by Congress reestablishing the right of Native people to practice their religion. Many ceremonies had been made a federal offense at the end of the nineteenth century. This new and powerful voice gave birth to a resurgence of interest in earth based spirituality and shamanism. For the first time since the publication of Black Elk Speaks, originally published in 1932, John G. Neihardt, information about philosophy, rituals, chants, and symbology was shared in a public way. The Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, and Cherokee providing the most outspoken teachers who encouraged All people to seek harmony with the earth.

51qHFOum-xL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_On Easter in 1986, I had to honor of attending a Sweat Lodge Ceremony with Wallace Black Elk, Black Elks grandson. I transcribed this from his teachings that day.

Without Mother Earth we have no place to go, so that is why I am telling you this now. The Wheel must become your heart. Offer stones, fire, water, breath, but the greatest offering is that of your Self. You are standing on the same universe on which I am standing. We are no different. I say it this way so you will learn, because you have a lot to learn. There will be countless people who will hear these words and will know the truth. Out of nowhere, Earth People will rise and will help our world. Medicine People will now assist you and be your guides. They will comfort you, heal you and console you. I tell you this for courage, for you will need courage. I tell you this because I love you as I love the earth.” — Wallace Black Elk,


You don’t stand a chance
against our prayers
You don’t stand a chance
against our love.
We shall live again.
We shall live again.

— Robbie Robertson – Ghost Dance
Music for Native Americans

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