Native American Traditions

MSU researcher merges science with Native American tradition

March 30, 2020

When Michigan State University graduate student Jared Gregorini studies in the forest, he often leaves a tobacco plant in it before he starts.

This is because Gregorini, also known as Leading Crow, is a Native American.

Before becoming a biological conservation researcher, he worked with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians as an assistant biologist.  He is from Ontario, but his research focuses on Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula, an environment similar to Ontario’s.

The plant Gregorini gives to the forest is usually tobacco, which is...

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President Nixon and the sacred lake: Bill preserves history

February 7, 2020

It was 1970, the U.S. president was Richard Nixon and members of a small Native American community in northern New Mexico traveled to Washington to press their case for reclaiming a sacred alpine lake from federal control.

The story of the return of Blue Lake and 75 square miles (195 square kilometers) of surrounding national forest land to the people of Taos Pueblo — finalized with Nixon’s signature in December 1970 — is being retold 50 years later, as tribal leaders and state legislators look for ways to preserve documentation and memories of the landmark victory for...

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Native Traditions in Boston

Native Americans from several dozen tribes have inhabited what we call Greater Boston for at least 10,000 years. Despite centuries of ill treatment, coerced conversion attempts, social marginalization, and painful acculturation, the complex nature-based spiritual traditions of nearly thirty distinct tribes and bands survive in New England today. The more than 6,000 Native Americans who call Greater Boston home are active through a range of social and community organizations. Throughout the year, a variety of Native ceremonies, rituals and pow wows attract anywhere from a few dozen to...

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Tohono O’odham historic sites at risk over border wall construction

January 21, 2020

The leader of the Tohono O’odham Nation is once again vowing to fight against the construction of new border fencing along their ancestral lands in southwestern Arizona, as works crews encroach sites of historical and cultural significance to the O’odham people.

Some of the key locations include an ancient burial site located in the immediate vicinity of existing border barriers, as well as Quitobaquito Springs — the only natural source of water for dozens of miles around — where construction crews discovered in October fragments of human remains...

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Sheridan VA employs sweat ceremonies in holistic health program

January 2, 2020
From the sacred circle on the outskirts of the Sheridan VA campus, the historic brick buildings that were once known as Fort Mackenzie are obscured by trees covered in blooms of hoar frost. A light snow materializes and mingles with floating specks of ash. The ash comes from a large fire banked against cinder blocks and covered in a layer of igneous rocks. Five-gallon buckets of water sit nearby, some with bundles of grass soaking inside. Others line the edge of a small domed structure covered in blankets: the sweat lodge. Source: ... Read more about Sheridan VA employs sweat ceremonies in holistic health program

Trinity Episcopal holds Native American worship service

November 22, 2019
On Sunday in commemoration of Native American Heritage Month, Trinity Episcopal Church of Redlands held its 11th annual Native American Worship Service. As the program stated, the unique service was designed to “reflect the respectful integration of elements of Native American culture and tradition within the context of the Episcopal Church's liturgy.” The service was well attended; colorful in both flavor and proceedings. Source: ... Read more about Trinity Episcopal holds Native American worship service

Understanding Native American religion is important for resolving the Dakota Access Pipeline crisis

November 14, 2019
In recent weeks, protests against the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline across North Dakota have escalated. Native American elders, families and children have set up tipis and tents on a campsite near the pipeline’s path in the hope of stopping the pipeline’s construction.
Dave Archambault Jr., the leader of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that is leading the efforts to stop...
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Midway ISD offers to settle religious rights suit stating Cherokee student forced to remove eagle feather graduation cap

November 4, 2019
The Midway Independent School District has offered to settle a lawsuit alleging it violated the religious rights of a student who is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
During last year’s commencement ceremony, an assistant principal required the student to remove a graduation cap bedecked with traditional Cherokee beads and a sacred eagle feather, according to the lawsuit, which remains pending in 414th District Court.
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Medicine Leader

The English term “medicine man” is used to refer to a shamanistic spiritual leader in one of the Native American traditions. Although the term is considered outdated by most scholars since it only refers to one aspect of the activities of these ritual officiants, it is still commonly used by the general public.

Native American

Each of the many Native American nations has its own distinctive life-ways, although there are some widely-shared characteristics. most Native life-ways are primarily transmitted through oral traditions; they are oriented toward living in relation to a specific landscape; and they share a vital interest in the spirit world, in visionary and dream experience, and in th. transformative power of music and dance.

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