Are You Teaching Native American Spiritual Practices?
Great Plains teaches a wisdom path with roots common to all our ancestors, including indigenous European, Asian and African cultures. Our programs are not focused on Native American culture and we do not co-opt Indian spirituality or charge fees for sacred ceremony, sweat lodges, or blessings. Jeff does not claim American Indian heritage, call himself a “shaman”, or have a grandmother who was a Cherokee princess. His own ancestors came from the Celtic tribes of central Europe and the Anglo-Celtic Isles.
Because of the harm non-Indians have done misappropriating Native culture, Jeff has worked hard to do something different. He has reached out to indigenous elders of North and South America willing to share their traditional ways with him. These include spiritual leaders of the Oglala Lakota people in South Dakota, First Nation Cree elders in Alberta, Canada, the Quechua Taita Iachak of South America (Peru), the Cherokee path of his first teacher Mikkal, and the modern Mexican Toltec system. Each year Jeff is invited back to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota to meet with respected elders like Henry Red Cloud to share culture, provide volunteer work, and learn from the Lakota people (see our Pine Ridge program).
The purpose of our programs at Great Plains is not to "play Indian" or teach native spiritual practices. The purpose is to reconnect human beings with the core things we all share: the heart, the earth, and the Spirit world. We learn the nature based, earth-honoring wisdom shared by all of our ancestors, around the world: how to open our hearts, and walk a good path that honors the Creator and Mother Earth.
All are welcome at our programs at Great Plains. Every human being, regardless of culture or bloodline, comes from indigenous ancestors somewhere on the living earth. And every human being has a responsibility to honor the Creator and protect the Earth Mother.
This is what I have learned from my indigenous brothers and sisters. I am deeply grateful for their teachings.