Spirit Walk Ministry
“an athenaeum along the mystic path”
If you have found your way to this web page in search of information on Native American spirituality it is likely that you have already visited many other sites and found little to satisfy you.
Most of the information available on Native Americans is so distorted, that after years of malicious propaganda, unsound research and deliberate misrepresentation, most Americans know more about the people of ancient Egypt than they do about the indigenous people who live amongst them.
There are many people who wish to learn about traditional Native American beliefs as part of a longing to return to a spiritual connection with the environment and Mother Nature and many of them are trying to do this on the Internet. Unfortunately, besides the massive amount of bad information from biased generalizations and inaccurate historical accounts, the Internet is infected with charlatans masquerading as Native Americans in order to scam money out of people seeking an authentic Native American spiritual experience.
If a true Native American Indian spiritual experience is what you sincerely seek, then your main problem is going to be in trying to determine which are authentic and reliable sources and which are only hucksters looking to take your money.
Most Native Americans are happy to have the opportunity to talk about their beliefs and spiritual practices, both to enlighten the public and to correct the historically inaccurate information about their ancestors. However, there are many ill-informed people of Indian descent who think they know a lot more than they do; along with unscrupulous non-Indians willing to pretend they're something they're not in order to make a quick buck. Sadly, there are also those in the Native American community who are sometimes willing to distort the facts in order to promote a political agenda. It is not easy to separate the authentic sources of information from the pretenders and there are a few things for you to watch out for while you search.
Be wary of anyone offering to allow you to participate in Native American religious ceremonies, such as a sweat lodge, for a fee. The inclusion of a non-Indian in spiritual activities is a unique privilege that is offered only to those individuals that have developed a special relationship with members of the tribe. Authentic Indians may seek to educate strangers who come seeking enlightenment, but actually adopting an outsider into their culture is rarely done and only after knowing the person for some time.
While selling dream catchers or medicine bags may be acceptable, be wary of anyone who is trying to charge you a fee for smudging or blessing anything. While it is a courtesy to thank one who does these things for you with some sort of “gift”, it is not acceptable for authentic holy people to perform these rituals for a price.
When someone claiming to be an authentic Native American shaman offers to show you his or her diploma from a shaman school, walk away! Shamanism comes out of a shamanic experience and not a shamanic curriculum. You cannot certify an authentic holy person and an authentic holy person wouldn’t certify you either. No one who truly believed Native American spirituality would make these pronouncements and those who do either don’t know very much about the matter or are just doing so in order to rip you off.
Many people who come to Native American spirituality do so because they are looking for a new religion are these are usually needy individuals looking for love and acceptance and not really seeking spiritual truth. Native American spiritual practice is not an evangelical revival. It is a personal cultural experience. You cannot convert to being “Native American”' as you might convert to being “Catholic”. That kind of shortcut does not exist. If you are looking to be “saved” you should look elsewhere for salvation.
If you are trying to learn about Native American spiritual traditions because you are of Native American descent and wish to reconnect with the traditions of your ancestors then go to their tribe and reconnect with their other descendants.
What is of importance for non-Indians to comprehend is that Indian tribes are "extended families" and just like your family, their reason for being is not to serve as rehab facilities for outsiders seeking a place to go to work out their problems. If you are a non-Indian, sincerely interested in trying to learn about Native American spiritual traditions, you need to undestand what it means to ask to become a part of that experience. Connecting, on a personal level, with a tribal community will not be easy. You will have to convince the people of that tribe that you are genuine in your desire to learn and if you approach them with humility and patience you may eventually be accepted. You cannot force your way into a Native American spiritual community. The only way you will ever become part of their spiritual tradition is for the community to invite you to join them. .