One of the projects I’m working on is finding choral music that teaches the lessons of the traditional religious leaders to use at Camps or Schools. Hal Leonard Corporation.
I find a song on every subject of learning. To sing is one of the lessons of the traditional religious leaders. Songs also help to set your mind to the things we need to do in life.
Another project I call Recommended Reading. I look for good books on Native American religion and philosophy and read them. ‘Going Native’ celebrates a festival of life on earth. I am giving you this information so that you can send your kids or yourself on the path of power to heal this earth.
I call it the Native Orthodox path. I use the term ‘Go Native’ as to make your path on earth and to harmonize yourself with your surroundings. It’s important to learn about and be sensitive to the local traditions of each place on earth that you visit. When you’re hiking in the mountains on trails made by our ancestors, sometimes you look at firebreaks and think that is an easier path.
Keeps this in mind while I give you this information. Ask permission and give thanks before you start your journey, and say a prayer with the earth, and all her communities, and to all my relations.
Learn music to play in this human plan, to sing words are powerful. With the song it gives more power to set the mind. Music feeds the soul. Learn to dance the dances of your culture, or community.
Create and make something. Learn art so that you can see with the mind of an artist. Appreciate God’s creation and mother Earth so you can start the healing for the earth and all her communities. Become a rainbow warrior. Teach yourself and your kids the martial arts of peace. Aikido and Tai Chi are examples. I say learn to dance.
Take yourself and your kids to camp once, twice a week, or each year to be with nature. You can volunteer or work at a camp. Volunteer work in your community at least one weekend a month.
Plant something. Grow corn or sun flowers. Feed the world. Plant avocados, stop throwing the seeds away and grow them.
Give up using foam cups once a day, once a week, once a year, and for life. “If you are using sterol foam cups, then you’re not getting the message,” Sun Bear used to say. These are some of the teachings of the traditional religious leaders from the World’s Rim.
At camp most Native orthodox ceremonies start with a call to the campfire, a song. All while lighting the fire. Prayers with the sacred pipe, flag songs, introductions, a camp fire story, more songs, and a skit.
That is the pattern for the campfire ceremonies meetings of Your Hungry Coyote. ‘Your’ is for the camper, ‘Hungry’ is for the hunger of knowledge and food, ‘Coyote’ is for the singing. This was the name given to me at camp by “Ataloa” McClendon (Chickasaw).
We use tobacco as an offering at all ceremonies. You can put a pinch on the ground or blow it off your hands, but when you light it you need to say a prayer. You’re supposed to be addicted to prayer, not tobacco.
The Calumet sacred pipe are dedicated to peace, friendship, and love of humanity. That’s why we pray with them at camp. In the city we use the Abalone shell to bless the events when we cannot use the sacred pipe. For conversations we use the pipe stem as a talking stick and put it away until we can use it with the sacred Pipestone and then the words are blessed.
This is also a teaching of the traditional religious leaders from the world’s rim. We recommend Earth Prayers and Life Prayers by Elizabeth Roberts.