An Introduction to Native American Spiritual Practice

Native American Teachings
Native American Teachings
Public group


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Some 35 years ago I set out on a journey back to my Turtle Island heritage: We are Ani'ynuwi'ya, those you call Cherokee. This journey continues to show me what truly matters in this Life. While most of common culture pursues a life of materiality, the Earth little more than a "resource" to be exploited, this Red Road journey has showed me how our very existence depends on the Earth in its pristine condition. But those days are long gone.

Action is required if we are to leave anything more than a pile of ashes for that seventh generation. That action is given power through ceremony and a clear understanding of what our relationship with the Earth needs to be. And so, this talk touches on those practices that can inform right action and empower beneficial, restorative outcomes. These practices, and learning how to apply them, are available to you here in south Florida.

Topics will include the following, as well as any questions you might have:

An understanding of prayer and the canunpah (cha-nuhn-pah; sacred pipe) are basic to having a full experience when participating in ceremony and we will discuss these in some detail.

There will be comment on what ceremony is, as many people are not clear on this. (Ceremony is not ritual.) There will be a discussion of initi, what common culture knows as "sweat lodge." There are a number of lodges operating in south Florida and people who come in a good way are welcome to participate in this ceremony.

We will touch on language structures which account for the enormous cultural differences between industrial society and indigenous society. (Don't panic. This isn't an English class...)

And we will spend a little time on an overview of sundance as we are seeing a growing number of people from south FL supporting this ceremony (all sundances are out of state.)

If you intend pursuing Native American (Red Road) spirituality, which encourages a deep connection to the Earth, this is a good place to start. Bring your questions and get the answers you need.

Rick McBride is mixedblood Ani'yunwi'ya (Cherokee) who has walked the Red Road ceremonially for over 35 years. He was named Cante Lute (Schan-tay Lou-tuh) by the spirits through his sundance chief, which means Red Heart. He completed his 17th sundance on the Cheyenne River Res. in South Dakota this summer and is traditionally trained and authorized to lead ceremonies, such as initi (purification lodge), prayer with the Canunpah (Pipe), drum healing and so forth. It has taken him years of dedicated interaction with many Elders, as well as his activities as a ceremonial leader to get to this place in his life.