The 10 Most Terrifying Native American Legends

In nearly all cultures, myths and legends can serve as cautionary tales, keeping one foot in practical reality and the other in the realm of the supernatural… and it’s no surprise that the most effective cautionary tales are also the scariest.

The ancient lore of the indigenous peoples of North America are as varied and far-reaching as the continent itself, and unless you’re well-versed in native lore, you might not realize how many of those tales are populated by horrifying spirits, ghosts, witches, demons and monsters… and since we’re in the scare business, we’re going to share the most nightmarish ones with you.

Many of the frightening creatures listed below span multiple tribes — and in some cases, hundreds of generations. So if you investigate their origins further, you’ll see they have many different names and traits, depending on where their tales are told.

In other words, there are evil forces lurking everywhere… so you’d better do your homework!

Camazotz: The Death Bat

This ferocious creature originates with the ancient Mayans, who depicted him as a powerful god-monster from the hellish domain of Xibalba, where he presides over swarms of bloodthirsty vampire bats. Though powerful enough to destroy entire civilizations, Camazotz made a treaty with human beings to bring them fire… but in exchange, he demanded human sacrifices.

Chenoo: The Ice Giant

Though some tales describe the Chenoo as a Bigfoot-like creature, the original legend from the Wabanaki people tells that he was once a human, but at some point committed a horrible crime, for which the gods cursed him and turned his heart to ice. His frozen spirit was then trapped within the body of a lumbering, troll-like monster, who devours any human he can get his hands on.

Kanontsistonties: The Flying Heads

Iroquois myths include some nightmarish tales, but the Flying Heads are the creepiest by a long shot. There are many stories about these evil creatures, most of which portray them as a kind of vampire, and they vary in size from tiny to humongous. The most familiar story involves one of the beasts attacking a woman who was roasting chestnuts; the creature accidentally ingested a hot coal from the fire, which burned it to ashes.

Mishipeshu: The Water-Panther

The story of the Water-Panther spans multiple tribes, including Cree, Algonquin, Ojibwe, and Shawnee. It’s usually described as a giant dragon-like feline, and the most common element is the monster’s aquatic habitat; it lurks in lakes and rivers, waiting for humans to come close to the water, then pulls them under and drowns them. It’s even said to have a snaky, prehensile tail that aids it in snaring its prey.

Yee Naaldlooshii: The Skinwalker

Known mainly to Navajo folklore, the Skinwalker is essentially the North American equivalent of the werewolf. In most tales, the creature is a magical or cursed human being — usually a shaman who takes part in a heretical ceremony designed to summon evil forces, so that he may take on the characteristics of an animal. That animal can take many forms, including wolves, bears and birds. If the shaman stays too long in animal form, he can lose his humanity completely — which makes him even more dangerous.

Skudakumooch: The Ghost-Witch

One of the scariest figures in Passamaquoddy and Micmac mythology, the Ghost-Witch is often said to be born from the dead body of a shaman who practiced black magic; the demonic entity then emerges each night with murder on its mind. They can be killed with fire, but beware if approaching one: simply making eye contact or hearing the witch’s voice can bring a diabolical curse down on the unwary.

Tah-tah-kle’-ah: The Owl-Women

From the Yakama tribe come tales of five supernatural women who resemble giant owls, dwelling in caves by day and flying out at night to prey on all manner of creatures — including humans. In fact, they are said to prefer the taste of children. Legend has it they can hunt humans by mimicking their language. The owl itself is a symbol of death in many native cultures, so owl-women are essentially a walking embodiment of death itself.

Teihiihan: The Little Cannibals

Among the most dreaded figures in Cheyenne and Arapaho legends (and more), these savage humanoids may be child-sized, but they’re incredibly strong, and often attack in large numbers. According to some myths, the Teihiihan were fearsome warriors in a previous life, resurrected as dwarves after dying in battle. Most of those tales say they were finally wiped out by an alliance of several tribes.

Uktena: The Horned Serpent

Cherokee legends prominently feature this dragon-like behemoth, which is believed to have originated as a human, taking the serpentine shape to seek vengeance on those who wronged them. Much like the dragons of European myth, there are stories of men proving their bravery by confronting one of the powerful beasts, who are also lightning-fast and can devour a person in one bite.

Wendigo: The Evil That Devours

Arguably the most powerful and deadly creature in North American folklore, the Wendigo appears in many tribal legends, but the best-known description comes from communities surrounding the Great Lakes region. Many of the legends are cautionary tales enforcing taboos against cannibalism, by claiming that any human who eats another’s flesh will be transformed into a creature of pure evil — a form of Manitou cursed with insatiable appetite. Not even loved ones are safe from their eternal hunger.

DNA Testing Proves Native American Genealogy To Be Among the Most Unique in the World

The systematic destruction of the Native Americans, First Nations, Metis and Inuit people and their entire way of life was not only one of recorded history’s greatest tragedies, but, as with the slave trade, deeply spiritually wounding to all involved. The utter decimation of their culture is one of the most shameful aspects of our history, the extent of the damage still being down-played and denied entry into textbooks and history-lessons to this day.

The inability of governments everywhere to come to grips with their dark past and allow the aboriginals who are native to this land – as well as the descendants of everyone else involved – the healing required to move forward is not only a denial of basic human rights, but a tell-tale sign of the type of current racism, economic neglect and mistreatment that would surely come to light were they to do so.

Yet many groups and factions still persist, such as Idle No More and AIM, working to bring attention to both the current and historical injustices in order to move forward in a positive manner. The importance of such efforts cannot be overstated. The threads of these ancient cultures – having existed here for tens of thousands of years prior to the arrival of the ‘pioneers’ – no matter how tenuous they may currently be, must be preserved, strengthened and woven back into a quilt that tells the unique story of not only their past, but of their bright future as well.

The reasons for this run much deeper than one may suppose. The genealogy of western aboriginals has been of great interest to certain research groups for a number of years. Recent findings have proven something that many long suspected: that, genetically, the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas are amongst the most unique in all the world. {WP}

For two decades, researchers have been using a growing volume of genetic data to debate whether ancestors of Native Americans emigrated to the New World in one wave or successive waves, or from one ancestral Asian population or a number of different populations.

Now, after painstakingly comparing DNA samples from people in dozens of modern-day Native American and Eurasian groups, an international team of scientists thinks it can put the matter to rest: virtually without exception, the new evidence supports the single ancestral population theory.

“Our work provides strong evidence that, in general, Native Americans are more closely related to each other than to any other existing Asian populations, except those that live at the very edge of the Bering Strait,” said Kari Britt Schroeder, a lecturer at the University of California, Davis, and the first author on the paper describing the study.

“While earlier studies have already supported this conclusion, what’s different about our work is that it provides the first solid data that simply cannot be reconciled with multiple ancestral populations,” said Schroeder, who was a Ph.D. student in anthropology at the university when she did the research.

The study is published in the May issue of the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.

The team’s work follows up on earlier studies by several of its members who found a unique variant (an allele) of a genetic marker in the DNA of modern-day Native American people. Dubbed the “9-repeat allele,” the variant (which does not have a biological function), occurred in all of the 41 populations that they sampled from Alaska to the southern tip of Chile, as well as in Inuit from Greenland and the Chukchi and Koryak people native to the Asian (western) side of the Bering Strait. Yet this allele was absent in all 54 of the Eurasian, African and Oceanian groups the team sampled.

Overall, among the 908 people who were in the 44 groups in which the allele was found, more than one out of three had the variant.

In these earlier studies, the researchers concluded that the most straightforward explanation for the distribution of the 9-repeat allele was that all modern Native Americans, Greenlanders and western Beringians descend from a common founding population. Furthermore, the fact that the allele was absent in other Asian populations most likely meant that America’s ancestral founders had been isolated from the rest of Asia for thousands of years before they moved into the New World: that is, for a period of time that was long enough to allow the allele to originate in, and spread throughout, the isolated population.

As strong as this evidence was, however, it was not foolproof. There were two other plausible explanations for the widespread distribution of the allele in the Americas.

If the 9-repeat allele had arisen as a mutation multiple times, its presence throughout the Americas would not indicate shared ancestry. Alternatively, if there had been two or more different ancestral founding groups and only one of them had carried the 9-repeat allele, certain circumstances could have prompted it to cross into the other groups and become widespread. Say that there was a second allele – one situated very close to the 9-repeat allele on the DNA strand – that conferred a strong advantage to humans who carried it. Natural selection would carry this allele into new populations and because of the mechanics of inheritance, long stretches of DNA surrounding it, including the functionless 9-repeat allele, would be carried along with the beneficial allele.

To rule out these possibilities, the research team, which was headed by Noah Rosenberg at the University of Michigan, scrutinized DNA samples of people from 31 modern-day Asian populations, 19 Native American, one Greenlandic and two western Beringian populations.

They found that in each sample that contained the 9-repeat allele, short stretches of DNA on either side of it were characterized by a distinct pattern of base pairs, a pattern they seldom observed in people without the allele. “If natural selection had promoted the spread of a neighboring advantageous allele, we would expect to see longer stretches of DNA than this with a similarly distinct pattern,” Schroeder said. “And we would also have expected to see the pattern in a high frequency even among people who do not carry the 9-repeat allele. So we can now consider the positive selection possibility unlikely.”

The results also ruled out the multiple mutations hypothesis. If that had been the case, there would have been myriad DNA patterns surrounding the allele rather than the identical characteristic signature the team discovered.

“There are a number of really strong papers based on mitochondrial DNA – which is passed from mother to daughter – and Y-chromosome DNA – which is passed from father to son – that have also supported a single ancestral population,” Schroeder said. “But this is the first definitive evidence we have that comes from DNA that is carried by both sexes.”

Other authors of the study are David G. Smith, a professor of anthropology at UC Davis; Mattias Jacobsson, University of Michigan and Uppsala University in Sweden; Michael H. Crawford, University of Kansas; Theodore Schurr, University of Pennsylvania; Simina Boca, Johns Hopkins University; Donald F. Conrad and Jonathan Pritchard, University of Chicago; Raul Tito and Ripan Malhi, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Ludmilla Osipova, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk; Larissa Tarskaia, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow; Sergey Zhadanov, University of Pennsylvania and Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk; and Jeffrey D. Wall, UC San Francisco.

School Forces Native American Girl To Remove Medicine Pouch

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A Wisconsin middle school student has been banned from wearing a traditional Native American medicine pouch.

The 13-year-old Menominee student was forced by her school principal to remove the medicine pouch, which was constructed and filled with traditional symbolic indigenous plants.

It all happened back on October 21. That’s when Rosella “Rose” Kaquatosh was pulled from the lunch line at her school for wearing the pouch outside of her clothing.

A kitchen employee at the Gresham Middle School was the first to demand that Kaquatosh remove the pouch.

“She saw her pouch [and] she started hollering at her, saying ‘take it off!’” Kaquatosh’s grandmother, Karen Gardner, told ICTMN.

“[Kaquatosh] felt bullied. She told her it was ceremonial pouch. [She] explained that she needed it to pray. She prays about four times a day. She respects the sacredness of the pouch.”

Kaquatosh tried to explain to the paranoid school officials that the tobacco leaf within the pouch was sacred, and was not for recreational use – nor was it in a form that could be chewed or smoked for such use.

Gardner said that she was ordered to tuck the pouch away, which indicated the problem was not with the contents of the pouch, but by her pride in her Native culture being on display.

Later, the school principal forced her to remove the pouch entirely.

Members of the local Native American community in the Gresham area attended a school board meeting about the school abuse of power and suppression of Native culture.

All that Rosella “Rose” Kaquatosh and her family want is an apology.

“They didn’t say they would send any,” she explained.

Urgent Message from Keeper of Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

I, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Nations, ask you to understand an Indigenous perspective on what has happened in America, what we call “Turtle Island.” My words seek to unite the global community through a message from our sacred ceremonies to unite spiritually, each in our ways of beliefs in the Creator.
We have been warned from ancient prophecies of these times we live in today, but have also been given a vital message about a solution to turn these terrible times.
To understand the depth of this message, you must recognize the importance of Sacred Sites and realize the interconnectedness of what is happening today, in the reflection of the continued massacres that are occurring on other lands and our own Americas.
I have been learning about these important issues since the age of 12 when I received the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle and its teachings. Our people have strived to protect Sacred Sites from the beginning of time. These places have been violated for centuries and have brought us to the predicament that we are in at the global level.
Look around you. Our Mother Earth is very ill from these violations, and we are on the brink of destroying the possibility of a healthy and nurturing survival for generations to come, our children’s children.
Our ancestors have been trying to protect our Sacred Site called the Sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, “Heart of Everything That Is,” from continued violations. Our ancestors never saw a satellite view of this site, but now that those pictures are available, we see that it is in the shape of a heart and, when fast-forwarded, it looks like a heart pumping.
The Diné have been protecting Big Mountain, calling it the liver of the earth, and we are suffering and going to suffer more from the extraction of the coal there and the poisoning processes used in doing so.
The Aborigines have warned of the contaminating effects of global warming on the Coral Reefs, which they see as Mother Earth’s blood purifier.
The indigenous people of the rainforest say that the rainforests are the lungs of the planet and need protection.
The Gwich’in Nation in Alaska has had to face oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain, also known to the Gwich’in as “Where life begins.”
The coastal plain is the birthplace of many life forms of the animal nations. The death of these animal nations will destroy indigenous nations in this territory.
As these destructive developments continue all over the world, we will witness much more extinct animal, plant, and human nations, because of humankind’s misuse of power and their lack of understanding of the “balance of life.”
The Indigenous people warn that these negative developments will cause havoc globally. There are many, many more original teachings and knowledge about Mother Earth’s Sacred Sites, her chakras, and connections to our spirit that will surely affect our future generations.
There needs to be a fast move toward other forms of energy that are safe for all Nations upon Mother Earth. We need to understand the types of minds that are continuing to destroy the spirit of our whole global community. Unless we do this, the powers of destruction will overwhelm us.
Our Ancestors foretold that water would someday be for sale. This Prophecy was hard to believe! The water was plentiful, pure, full of energy, nutrition, and spirit. Today we have to buy clean water, and even then the nutritional minerals have been taken out; it’s just clear liquid. Someday water will be like gold, too expensive to afford.
Not everyone will have the right to drink safe water. We fail to appreciate and honor our Sacred Sites, ripping out the minerals and gifts that lay underneath them as if Mother Earth were simply a resource, instead of the source of life itself.
Attacking nations and using more resources to carry out destruction in the name of peace is not the answer! We need to understand how all these decisions affect the global nation; we will not be immune to its repercussions. Allowing continual contamination of our food and land is affecting the way we think.
A “disease of the mind” has set in world leaders and many members of our global community, with their belief that a solution of retaliation and destruction of peoples will bring peace.
In our Prophecies it is told that we are now at the crossroads: Either unites spiritually as a global nation or faced with chaos, disasters, diseases, and tears from our relatives’ eyes.
We are the only species that is destroying the source of life, meaning Mother Earth, in the name of power, mineral resources, and ownership of land. Using chemicals and methods of warfare that are doing irreversible damage, as Mother Earth is becoming tired and cannot sustain any more impacts of war.
I ask you to join me in this endeavor. Our vision is for the peoples of all continents, regardless of their beliefs in the Creator, to come together as one at their Sacred Sites

 

Native American actress Julia Jones Walk off Set of Adam Sandler Movie After Insults to Women, Elders

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In April, a dozen Native American actors walked off the set of the Ridiculous 6, a forthcoming Adam Sandler film, due to offensive and insensitive stereotyping of their already underrepresented race — for example, female Native characters were named Beaver’s Breath and No Bra.

Julia Jones, one of the Native American stars of the film, was not one of them.
In her powerful op-ed in Tuesday’s edition of Lenny, Lena Dunham’s newsletter, Jones shines a necessary spotlight on the racism that indigenous actors like her face — and her decision to stay on set rather protest with her fellow Native American cast members.

This Native American Actress’ Powerful Lenny Piece Takes on Hollywood Racism
Source: Mic/AP

Jones describes the experience of working on the controversial comedy as bittersweet: She was happy to see Native American roles in Hollywood but was dismayed at the offense it caused some of her colleagues.

“Some light was shed at a party the other night,” Jones wrote in the op-ed. “I met an established comedy writer who said, ‘I’m excited to see the Ridiculous 6, but every writers’ room knows that you can’t do three things: say ‘fag’ or ‘retard’ and write about Native Americans. I mean, what did they expect?’” And that pretty much sums up the problem her people face, Jones noted.

The problem is “systemic, the result of a history of genocide, marginalization, injustice and disrespect,” she added. “And because it is not often reported or represented accurately by Hollywood or in the media, mainstream America seems not to be aware of the extent of the abuse or of its lingering and very active residual effects.”

Diversity — or lack thereof — remains a pervasive problem in Hollywood, from the #OscarsSoWhite controversy to the dearth of roles for people of color. However, it has become an increasingly public issue, featuring prominently in Chris Rocks’ opening monologue while he hosted the Academy Awards, for example. And the ubiquity of addressing this problem in and of itself indicates the tide might be shifting.

The Native American tribe the government has tried to erase: Nisenan people are trying to keep thousands of years of history alive while living in poverty because they don’t get federal assistance

The Nisenan people once inhabited the valleys of Central California once had a population in the thousands – but following the California Gold Rush in the nineteenth century, they were decimated, with the numbers dwindling significantly as white settlers took their land.

While 562 Native American tribes have federal recognition – the Nisenan tribe is not among them.

Federal recognition brings protection for reservations and federal support – something that the Nisenan do not have access to.

Photographer Avery Leigh White visited the small tribe, attempting to capture their ancient customs and traditions on film for posterity.

The US government recognizes 562 Native American tribes - the Nisenan are not one, but they're fighting for it

The US government recognizes 562 Native American tribes – the Nisenan are not one, but they’re fighting for it

With a population of over 7,000 before the California Gold Rush, the Nisenan tribe's numbers are now under 150 (Tribe member Greg Red Horse does a traditional dance, above)

With a population of over 7,000 before the California Gold Rush, the Nisenan tribe’s numbers are now under 150 (Tribe member Greg Red Horse does a traditional dance, above)

Tribal Council Secretary Shelly Covert says the tribe is trying to raise their profile in an attempt at formal recognition.

‘We had an entire society that was here thousands of years before the Gold Rush. I’ve been trying to raise our tribe’s visibility but it’s really tough,’ she said.

‘I’ve always been told by my elders that when we speak our language, other beings understand: the water, the trees, the animals.

‘We must use our language, as that is our direct connection to Mother Earth. Using our songs, our dances, and our ceremonial lifeways brings it full circle,’ tribe member Wanda Batchelor told VICE.

According to Covert in the report, with nearly 87 percent of the tribe at or below the poverty line, without recognition, tribe members miss out on ‘federal health and housing services, education programs, job assistance programs, etc’.

‘Our culture is so fragile right now. Every time we lose an elder, we have to wonder: What are the things we didn’t ask her, the things that aren’t in a book somewhere, the things that aren’t in a curriculum yet?’ Covert added.

The Ninsenan tribe (with tribal council chairman Richard Johnson pictured above) has 87 percent of their members at or below the poverty line

The Ninsenan tribe (with tribal council chairman Richard Johnson pictured above) has 87 percent of their members at or below the poverty line

This turtle shell rattle is used in traditional Nisenan ceremonies

This turtle shell rattle is used in traditional Nisenan ceremonies

Without federal assistance from tribal recognition, many tribe members do not have access to healthcare, housing services, and more

Without federal assistance from tribal recognition, many tribe members do not have access to healthcare, housing services, and more

Tribe members Shelly Covert (left) and her mother, Virginia Covert (right)

Tribe members Shelly Covert (left) and her mother, Virginia Covert (right)

Tribe members Wanda Batchelor (left) and her mother Rose Batchelor (right)

Tribe members Wanda Batchelor (left) and her mother Rose Batchelor (right)

Tribe member Michael Ramirez (left) and tribal council treasurer Lorena Davis (right)

Tribe member Michael Ramirez (left) and tribal council treasurer Lorena Davis (right)

Tribe members Karen and Lily McCluskey (left) and Jessica and Natalie Thomas (right)

Tribe members Karen and Lily McCluskey (left) and Jessica and Natalie Thomas (right)

Tribe members Sarah Thomas (left) and Clyde Prout (right)

Tribe members Sarah Thomas (left) and Clyde Prout (right)

In Nisenan culture, jewelry was a sign of status and wealth within a tribal community

In Nisenan culture, jewelry was a sign of status and wealth within a tribal community

American Indian Language Facts.

Preceding the landing in the Americas of European pilgrims more than 1,000 dialects were talked by the Native Americans who lived in North and South America. Today the greater part of these dialects have turned out to be wiped out with just a couple still talked; for the most part by tribe seniors.

On this page is a rundown of actualities about Native American Language composed for both children and grown-ups. This data incorporates which dialects are as yet talked, how complex these dialects are, the reason these dialects are imperative to safeguarding Native American culture, and what measures are being taken to protect American Indian dialects.

Interesting Native American Language Facts
– Native American languages were often very complex; even compared to modern day languages.
– There were major differences in the numerous languages spoken in the Americas prior to contact with Europeans. Often tribes living just a few miles apart could not communicate with each other verbally due to differences in grammar.
– Native American tribes that could not communicate verbally due to differences in language often used sign language to communication. This sign language was often quite complex with numerous hand signs representing various words or things.
– Prior to European contact none of the people native to America developed a system of writing.
– In the United States only eight surviving Native American languages have a significant number of speakers; they are Navajo (by far the largest population of speakers), Cree, Ojibwa, Dakota, Cherokee, Apache, Choctaw, and Blackfoot.
– There were historically numerous Native American language families; which are similar languages with originated from a common language. These language families included Algonquin, Iroquoian, Salishan, Siouan, Muskogean, Sahaptian, Kiowa-Tanoan, and Caddoanand Athabaskan.
– In the 1800s and early 1900s the United States government implemented several policies which contributed to the extinction of Native American languages. Many Indian children were sent to schools, run by the government, where they were not allowed to speak their native languages. The goal of these policies was to assimilate Native American Indians into the culture of the U.S.
– Native American languages played a key role in helping the Allies win World War II. Native Americans, mostly Navajo, who became known as “code talkers” were used to send important secret military messages. Enemy intelligence soldiers could not decipher these messages.

Preservation of Native American Languages
– In the mid-1900s people started to realize the importance of preserving Native American languages. It was realized that with the extinction of a language came a certain loss of those people’s culture and history.
– In 1990 the U.S. Congress passed the Native American Languages Act which states that it will be the government’s policy to “preserve, protect, and promote the rights and freedom of Native Americans to use, practice, and develop Native American languages”.
– In 2006, with the passing of the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act, federal money grants were made available to Native American language programs.
– In October of 2014 the governor of Alaska signed into law House Bill 216. This bill officially recognizes the twenty indigenous languages in Alaska. The importance of this bill is that these languages are now officially recognized therefore aiding efforts to preserve the languages. Alaska is the 2nd state to officially recognize native languages; Hawaii was the first.

Native Legend Describes Where Our Soul Goes When We Dream.

Dreaming was an extremely important part of the Native Culture. It was woven deep into their tradition and their spiritual practice. Children would be taught to remember their dreams from an early age so that they could decode them and extract guidance from them.
But where does the soul go when we dream? Does it remain in our body as our minds explore the dream world? Or does it come with us into the dream world and explore alongside the mind?

These questions imply that we only have one soul. But according to Native Americans, we have 3 souls. First is the ego-soul, which is embodied in the breath. The second is the body-soul, which gives the body energy and life force during the waking state. And the third is the free-soul which is the soul that leaves the body during dreams and trances.

So as we can see, the Native Americans believed that a part of the soul literally goes and explores other dimensions (which we will look at more fully in a bit). It operates as the physical body sleeps. The other two aspects of the soul remain attached to the body as the free-soul traveled the dream world.

The Dream World

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According the Native Americans, the mind does not dream anything. Neither does the body. Chippewa elder John Thunderbird explains it this way:

“Your soul dreams those dreams; not your body, not your mind. Those dreams come true.” “The soul travels all over the world when you dream.”

They believe that a portion of the soul disconnects from the the physical body and travels the dream world, where it then communicates with other spirits of other human souls. In the dream world, you can also communicate with non-human animals as well. The dream world is just as real as the physical world.

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It is by experiencing the realness of the dream world that we appreciate the dream-ness of the real world. A big part of Native philosophy was understanding that life itself was just one big Dream, and it is through dreaming that we remember how impermanent this world really is. In the minds of Native Americans, there is no difference in terms of importance between the dream world and waking life.

In fact, if someone got bit by an animal or was sick in the dream world, they would be treated for it back in waking life by a Medicine Man. Our Spiritual Mentors (spirit guides, guardian angels, etc.) communicate with us through dream symbolism. Dreaming is a time of receiving spiritual and psychic transmission. When you wake up from a dream journey as a Native American, it would be time to go approach and Elder and tell them about your dreams. They would then interpret them, tell you what Spirit is trying to show you, and then would leave you with words of advice to take with you.

Similar to how we go to therapists and teachers for problems we experience in waking life, Natives would approach experts and therapists for what they were experiencing in their dreams. They were not dismissed as being random activities of the subconscious mind, or meaningless neurchemical firings. Some say that life is a schoolhouse for the soul. The Natives believed this as well, but they also believe we visit a second schoolhouse for our soul each night as we enter into the dream world.

Looking at dreams in a new light

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Contrary to our modern world where profound dreams are usually followed up by a bowl of cereal and CNN, dreams in the Native American culture were just as important as anything in waking life. In fact, sometimes dreams were even looked at as more important. This is because you were travelling there with a part of your soul for the purpose of receiving spiritual guidance, gaining insights into the future, and connecting with Spirit.

The dream world is a real world. In the background of New Age and New Spirituality, we may say that Natives believe the dream world to be an astral plane that our souls go to each night for the purpose of self-exploration and growth. Dreams were no joke, and were not to be taken lightly. They were thought of as the main communication medium where Spirit could give us guidance without infringing upon our free will. Because Spirit cannot interfere with our souls development, it has to allow us to make our own mistakes and learn our lessons. But by communicating to us through dreams and dream symbolism, we can receive guidance while maintaining our free will.

So, where do our souls go when we dream? One of our souls goes to a spiritual plane guided by our Spiritual Mentors to help us evolve, while the other two remain in the body keeping it alive. If the Natives were right and one of our souls travels to a spiritual schoolhouse each night, it would be wise to start reflecting on the dreams you have each night. They may just hold the answers you are looking for.

This 13-Year-Old Indigenous Girl Has Been Nominated for a Global Peace Prize

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Peltier has been recognized internationally for her work. In 2015, she was invited to the Children’s Climate Conference in Sweden.

Autumn Peltier already has years of advocacy behind her. She’s met the prime minister, she’s attended the Assembly of First Nations Annual General Assembly and she’s marched on the highway in the name of water protection. At just 13 years old, Peltier is now a nominee for the International Children’s Peace Prize.

The 151 nominees for the International Children’s Peace Prize were recently announced and the only Canadian candidate is this Anishinaabe teen from Wikwemikong First Nation.

Peltier has been advocating for clean drinking water since she was about 8 years old and is already considered a water protector — just like her aunt Josephine Mandamin, who received the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation in 2016.

Launched in 2005, the International Children’s Peace Prize is awarded to a child who has worked to improve children’s lives around the world.

The point of the conference was gather children from 32 countries to draft their demands to the leaders of the world. The communique was then delivered to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

“I like to share that water is really sacred. Water is life. Mother Earth doesn’t need us, we need her,”

Peltier was asked to introduce Justin Trudeau at the Assembly of First Nations Annual General Assembly in 2016. She had prepared a speech for him, but was only given a few moments to interact with him.

“I said ‘I’m very unhappy with the choices you’ve made’,” Peltier recalled. “And he said ‘I understand that.’ And then I started crying and then after that, all I got to say is, ‘The pipelines,’” the teen told The

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She said that Trudeau responded by promising that he would protect the water.

Among her inspirational feats, Autumn launched a national call to action in November last year. She invited everyone to participate in the shutdown of highways across Canada for an hour on Dec. 5 as a way to promote water protection. She stood with her mother on a highway in Espanola, Ont.

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“I cry watching video for Standing Rock,” Autumn said in her call to action, “We shouldn’t have to fight for our water, we should just be able to have clean drinking water.”

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“You were only given one planet. And we’re destroying it,” she pleaded. “It’s not just in North America where we need clean drinking water, it’s all over the world.” 

Tulsa City Council votes to recognize Native American Day on Columbus Day

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The second Monday in October will be recognized by the city of Tulsa as Native American Day.

The City Council on Wednesday passed a resolution at the behest of the Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission.

The group had proposed renaming Columbus Day, “as several cities and states in the United States (Albuquerque, Minneapolis, Seattle, California, North Dakota) have enacted laws re-naming Columbus Day as ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ or ‘Native American Day’ in honor of the Native peoples and their contributions to American culture,” according to supporting information submitted March 8 for the council resolution.

“Some cities have done this, but we are not,” a city spokeswoman told the Tulsa World. “Tulsa is recognizing Native American Day on the same day as Columbus Day but not doing anything to the designation of Columbus Day.”

The council voted unanimously to approve the resolution with the modification of establishing the recognition of Native American Day without renaming the holiday.

Robert Anquoe, vice-chairman of the Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission and a mayoral appointee, said the effort to create Native American Day in Tulsa has been a long time coming. When he chaired the commission two years ago, he reintroduced discussion that had began within city committees “long before that.”

“They really did some good work,” Anquoe said, adding that the goal in Tulsa was never to replace Columbus Day. The language of the Tulsa resolution notes only that “all too often, an inaccurate portrayal of history is taught in our school systems that Columbus and the Europeans were the first peoples to ‘discover’ America.”

Columbus Day will remain a federal holiday, with Tulsa city offices remaining open that day, Oct. 9 this year.

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Anquoe said the tribes have been supportive through this effort and are excited to see the resolution passed. He said an event celebrating Native American Day in Tulsa would be “probably pretty simple this year being that it’s such short notice,” but the commission will call a special meeting to plan.

“We’re proud of the city of Tulsa, proud of our Native heritage, and we just want to express that and share that with the community,” Anquoe said.