Native American Code of Ethics & Perspective & Native American Commandments
- Native American Code of Ethics
NATIVE AMERICAN SPIRITUALISM
Native American Code Of Ethics
1.`` Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great
Spirit will listen, if you only speak.
2.`` Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. Ignorance,
conceit, anger, jealousy, and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that
they will find guidance.
3.`` Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make
your path for you. It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk
it with you, but no one can walk it for you.
4.`` Treat the guests in your home with much consideration. Serve
them the best food, give them the best bed and treat them with
respect and honor.
5.`` Do not take what is not yours whether from a person, a
community, the wilderness or from a culture. It was not earned nor
given. It is not yours.
6.`` Respect all things that are placed upon this earth - whether it
be people or plant.
7.`` Honor other people's thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt
another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to
8.`` Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative energy that you
put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.
9.`` All persons make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven.
10.`` Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit.
11.`` Nature is not FOR us, it is a PART of us. They are part of your
12.`` Children are the seeds of our future. Plant love in their
hearts and water them with wisdom and life's lessons. When they are
grown, give them space to grow.
13.`` Avoid hurting the hearts of others. The poison of your pain
will return to you.
14.`` Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of ones will
within this universe.
15.`` Keep yourself balanced. Your Mental self, Spiritual self,
Emotional self, and Physical self - all need to be strong, pure and
healthy. Work out the body to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in
spirit to cure emotional ails.
16.`` Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will
react. Be responsible for your own actions.
17.`` Respect the privacy and personal space of others. Do not touch
the personal property of others - especially sacred and religious
objects. This is forbidden.
18.`` Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others
if you cannot nurture and help yourself first.
19.`` Respect others religious beliefs. Do not force your belief on
20.`` Share your good fortune with others. Participate in charity.
~~~~~~~The Native Americans have a saying..
What is Life? Life is the flash of the firefly at night. Or the
breath of the buffalo on a cold winter's morning. Life is like the
small shadow that runs along the tops of the grasses until it gets
lost. It is not long nor is it short. It is just Life. Author Unknown
Native American Perspective
Conflict, Chaos and Choices
by Asanee-watchew-Iskwiw (Lorraine Sinclair)
Every issue that I have ever been involved with, I've seen and
experience conflict of perspective and action. My experience has
primarily been with the environmental movement and the Native
political and spiritual movements.
Everyone has their own motives and plans for action. The action plans
often differ which can really test an individual's motives. Each
person has to ask themselves on a regular basis, "Why am I doing this
work and what do I hope to achieve?"
I would assume that most social planners, activists and other
facilitators of change desire a world of equality, justice and
perhaps even peace and harmony. The reality is that we are all human
beings with a rough and smooth side. I believe that it is the smooth
side of all of us that sustain our motives while it is the rough side
which bears the burden of conflict.
The impetus for our motives is based upon our experiences, our own
dirt and a burning desire to do something to make the world a better
place. Unfortunately our dirt gets in the way of making the world a
better place. When we all know what dirt belongs to who and we begin
to claim our own dirt, it will be a beginning of peace and harmony.
And regardless of whose dirt it is, it all stinks.
A common peace of dirt I keep running across in my travels is ego and
control. Ego is good - to know who you are and what you stand for and
remaining true to that. However, when one strong ego is challenged by
another strong ego; refusal to put yourself in the other person's
moccasins results in conflict. When two strong egos collide,
stubbornness takes over. The conflict then moves to a place of
control and the issues lay in limbo while two or more people struggle
for power. Conflict is easy enough to avoid; just run away and let
someone else handle it. Or stand there in your rightness and battle
it out until resolution is reached.
We all want and truly believe we are right. And we are...for
ourselves. We each carry our own truth based on our experiences and
it is not for another person to say that so and so is wrong. They,
like me, came to their truth as a result of their own path in life.
So, how do we resolve conflict?
I have to keep going back to the Native traditional teachings which
remind me of a bigger picture. The teaching that motivates me on a
personal level is that the healing of Mother Earth begins with ME.
Not my neighbour, my friend or the other guy, but ME.
It then becomes my responsibility to take the time to examine my own
behaviour and how I might have contributed to conflict. When I can
identify my own dirt with complete honesty, I can then take the next
step. For me that lesson embodies humility. Humility is understanding
that we are all imperfect human beings. Humility ensures that do not
ever place ourselves above another. It reminds us that we are all
teachers and students alike. Humility teaches us that we are all
mirrors of our beauty and dirt.
When we forget this teaching, we'll be reminded by the grandfathers
in some aspect of our lives. How we handle the on-going lesson of
humility determines our contribution to world peace and harmony.
It takes a bigger person to put the ego aside, step out of the way
and let Creator's will be done. Creator gave each one of us the
breath of life through spirit and He gives us the power of choice.
And there are times when we need to choose to get out of the way to
allow Creator's will to be done.
From what I understand of traditional community-building - the power
and strength of an individual was important but NEVER to the
detriment of the community.
Choosing the leadership in the community was based on acknowledging
the individual(s) who embraced the principles of honesty, humility,
patience, faith, kindness and sharing. When a person lived by these
principles and had the experience of leadership, wisdom was the
outcome. And it was that wisdom which determined the value of the
leader to the community.
Honest communication was and is the road to resolution of conflict.
The mediator(s) should be the rest of the community who try to
maintain objectivity. In other words (as Milton keeps reminding
us), "keep the personal out of it, and remember the issue". It's
pretty tough to keep the personal out of it when we disagree with one
another. But we need to try.
Unfortunately, being the human that we are, we choose sides, pass
judgement and gossip to one another about our position and opinions.
There are many times when I get frustrated with other groups and
individuals who ultimately have the same motives as I yet choose
different methods of facilitating change. There have even been times
when I've said to myself (on my high horse), "How can we ever achieve
peace and harmony, when I'm surrounded by assholes?" There have also
been times when I've needed to take time out to re- examine my self
and do some personal healing. I think if we all just worked on
healing ourselves, change would happen naturally. And it is
happening. It's just not happening as fast or in quite the way as
some of us would like.
I have to share some of what I've learned from wise people in my life
My mother brought us up in our family to "get along with each other."
It didn't matter that we were (and are) six different and strong-
minded individuals with six different opinions; we had to learn to
get along. And sometimes you have to "fight it out" to learn to get
along. With learning to "get along" came the basis of my learning
respect of others.
My dad taught us timing and patience in his 30 plus years in
politics. Far too many times, his political adversaries stabbed him
in the back and family members urged him to retaliate or fight
back. "Keyam" was his response. Keyam in Cree means, "it is not the
right time yet"; "let it be". He always believed the truth would
eventually come out and he wouldn't "lower" himself to fight dirty.
Through it all, many of the back-stabbers have fallen by the wayside,
but dad has maintained his integrity.
There are two men friends - Ray and Ken - who constantly remind me of
the short time we have on this earth to live. Ray learned that he was
Metis and was in search of his roots when I met him in 1979. He was
diagnosed with multiple sclerosis that same year and within a few
short years was in a wheelchair. He has been completely paralysed and
blind for more than 10 years now. He has learned more about living
and spirituality than anyone I know. All he has is his mind and
spirit and he has made good use of the time to know himself and the
Greater Truth and continue to grow.
Ken is an Indian man who was diagnosed HIV positive about 4 years
ago. We became friends 2 years ago. He shares my love of Mother
Earth - we have laid together on a hill wrapped in our sleeping bags
watching the falling stars and just being happy with the Universe.
Ken know his death is imminent and he lives each day growing and
changing. Through him, the world around him grows and changes.
And finally, Chief Robert Smallboy who, in 1981, saw my heart and
Pointing me in the direction of protecting and defending Mother
Earth. Mother Earth is the common ground we all seek.
We are living in very confusing and dangerous times. Everything that
happens to each of us in our personal lives is a test and opportunity
for growth and change. When we face these tests with courage and
integrity, it is another small step towards building community. Each
time one of us falls and is hurt, it affects the rest of the
community. We all need to accept the responsibility of extending a
hand to help a brother or sister who has fallen.
An obstacle that we, as human beings, have to learn to overcome is
that we are living in a world of many different Nations and ways of
doing things. Non-natives have their own way which is important to
understand because it often doesn't mesh with the Native way. And how
are we ever going to teach them our way of seeing and doing things if
we can't even get along with each other? The choice is ours.
Lorraine Sinclair (Asanee-watchew-Iskwiw - Mountain Woman)
Mother Earth Healing Society