STANDING BEAR SPEAKS
We are Standing Bear and who will speak to you
about things important to our people.
American Native culture of today
are not the people they were one hundred or more years ago.
We have changed.
Why we changed is history.
What we are becoming is far more important.
The Past is Past
Once, we were a proud,
fiercely independent and deeply spiritual people.
We still maintain those noble traits,
but the largest number of our kind
have blended with the masses
to become a part of modern American culture
which is neither Indian, white, black or Asian,
but uniquely American.
Five hundred years ago the first European invaders
began attempts to exterminate our people.
They brought disease, famine, slavery and euthanasia.
They systematically plundered Turtle Island's resources
and drove our people to the edge of the prairie,
deep into the deserts and dumped our remnants
in ghettos across the country.
They said our ancestors were ignorant,
yet they failed to hear our wise men.
They said we were savages and pagans,
yet they did not know we worshiped the same God.
They took what was good from us
and left the rest to rot in the hot sun of greed and disrespect.
They told us were sub-human and took away our dances,
our religion, our language and our ways of life.
They killed us with slavery,
they killed us with forced famine.
Finally, they killed us with bullets and cannonball.
Yes, all these terrible things and more
were committed against our ancestors
by a greedy government of the people and by the people.
All this is history.
The American Indian is still subject to persecution
and discrimination by the United States federal government,
state governments and major institutions.
We live in chaos, often fighting among ourselves
in a desperate struggle to survive
amid the cold realities of modern American society.
Some say we live in the age of the hard,
cold winter as our culture dies of old age.
Our great ancestors lived in youthful innocence
of springtime when the land was fresh.
Their children grew in number and strength
during the age of the warm summer sun.
The fall harvest was stolen by invaders.
Our people stumbled and fell like leaves to the ground.
Are we dying?
What can we do about the future of our people?
Many of our progressive, modern American Indian thinkers
believe the answers to these questions
is a complex series of social engineering programs,
laws, politics and money.
They think like those who subjugate us.
There is one answer that cuts to the heart of all these issues
and restores our inheritance,
our independence and our pride~
It is found in the rainbow - explained later.
We are not the Indians of yesterday. We have changed.
We cannot go back and duplicate the past.
The old days of the Indian are in another dimension,
Our heads can not be turned backwards
when we walk into the future least we fall over
what is in front of us.
At best, we stand still and become relics ourselves.
Keeping the ceremonies, stories, dances and songs of past alive
through continual practice is vital to our survival.
But what are we doing to create our own ceremonies and stories
to be added to this rich heritage?
Do we jeopardize our children's legacy
and our own identity by concentrating on the ways
our ancestors lived and how they thought?
How we think and live today is important to our children's survival.
Why Do They Come?
Earth People have come into fashion.
Today, thousands worldwide are drawn to our ways.
It is somehow chic to dress Indian and know a shaman or two.
People of all walks of life are seeking the Indian way,
to walk the Good Red Path. Why?
We believe modern culture does not fulfill the deep emptiness inside
and people are desperately seeking spiritual answers.
They believe the Original People found the answers
an eon before invaders came to our Eden of the Turtle.
They are drawn to our ways partly ~
because modern organized religions fail to give answers.
They dominate humanity
with layers and layers of dogma and ideological mazes.
In the words of Edmond Bordeaux Szekely,
"Unfortunately, the magnificent original intuitions
of the great masters often lose their vitality
as they pass down the generations.
They are very often modified, distorted and turned into dogmas,
and all too frequently their values become petrified
in institutions and organized hierarchies.
The pure intuitions are choked by the sands of time,
and eventually have to be dug out by seekers of Truth
able to penetrate into their essence."
They place the human mind and spirit in a box.
"Believe as we do or you are damned" they say.
Organized religions extend a hand holding love and peace
while the other is hid in a cloak of world domination, power and money.
The great fortress of organized religions
have sent armadas against tribal peoples of the earth
to proselytize the ignorant masses ~
while they robbed, pillaged and raped our societies~
to feed themselves~
Most of the major atrocities and wars of this earth
were done in the name of organized religions~
And, they still call us pagan savages.
Organized religions will end soon.
Man is striving for higher consciousness, a higher truth ~
outside the box of dogma and controlled thinking.
Many who come to walk the Good Red Path
seek salvation from the hard realities of today's hectic,
unforgiving world gone mad.
They want out of the cage of their own illusions.
They battle with themselves inside,
trying desperately to break away
from religions that preach fear of the Creator, original sin,
'dominion' over the animals and the earth, hell and damnation~
because they realize fear is a tool of powerful institutions
to control the individual. Enough of holy tyrants!!
Some who consciously seek to understand and follow the Red Path
are attempting to break away from organized religion
and are sincere in their quest to find spirituality.
Others are unconsciously answering an inner call
to find the way back from whence their ancestors once came.
Another transient and fashionable group of seekers
associate themselves with Indian ways for the sake of appearance,
or government benefits, or money.
There is a forth group among us.
They are Indians who purify themselves by smudging,
or feel the power of the Sweat Lodge,
or seek the blessings of the Creator through visions.
Yet, they are quick to express fear and distrust of those who do not.
They draw lines to separate themselves from others.
My side, their side, white, black, Jew, Christian, Moslem,
Wannabe Indians. Small minds trapped in dogmatic
or so-called 'traditional' boxes.
Who is an American Indian?
"Blood passed from generation to generation
makes one an American Indian," is the response of many.
Nasgi (Not) we say.
An American Indian is much more!
An Indian is a way of thinking, a way of belief and living.
An American Indian realizes
the inner self and the interrelationship between oneself and creation~
- the Great Spirit - Creator,
Mother Earth and all forms and elements
that are a part of her magnificent dream.
It is about balance within oneself and balance within the circle of life.
An Indian feels great kinship and deep respect
for all things of creation.
We see ourselves as one with all matter,
including animals, birds, fish, plants, stones,
the elements of wind, fire, water and even the stars ~
one no better than the other,
but all necessary parts of the circle.
Mans dominion over other parts of creation
extends only so far as the Creator originally designed.
Today, man thinks his dominion is all powerful
with complete ownership in his greedy grasp -
thus there is much disrespect and pollution of Creation.
How can man be better than animals, plants, water
and other matter of things?
Unlike man, they are pure and without sin.
What can be closer to the Creator than one without sin?
The salutation "Mitakuye Oyasin" (for all our relations)
is what we know in our hearts to be true -
Ka ki ke mina ka ki ke (forever an ever).
An American Indian dreams.
We dream of being one.
One with Mother Earth,
One with Grandmother Moon,
One with Grandfather Sun,
One with all the star people and people of Turtle Island,
but especially one with the Great Spirit - Creator.
As dreamers, we know the gifts we have
can only be shared, they cannot be taken.
There is light and color in our dreams
that guide us through the misty darkness of man's reality.
In our dreams we search for a higher plane of spirituality.
We delve into the darkness, without fear, without doubt,
knowing the Light will show us truth.
An American Indian is not harsh with words
and is gentle with children and those less fortunate.
We show respect for our elders and ancestors.
As we honor our ancestors, they honor our children's children.
An Indian lives by a code of conduct.
The commandments given to the Indian by the Creator
transcend organized religious beliefs in depth and breadth.
A common trait among good Indians is a giving spirit.
One who travels the Good Red Path
knows nothing in this world truly belongs to him or her.
We only possess things temporarily~
Possessions are on loan from the Creator
and a product of our labors.
This knowledge of giving and sharing
extends even to the land we lived on.
We know a person is not really wealthy
until his/her most prized possessions are 'gifted' to another.
An Indian speaks to the animals~
An Indian speaks and hears the water sing~
An Indian hears the trees whisper.
He is in touch with creation to the depths of his spiritual self.
The Native American Indian is a powerful being!
Is an American Indian only one who can point directly
to full blood ancestry?
Is a mixed blood who wears Indian regalia Native American?
Or, can anyone be Indian?
All or none, it makes no difference.
We are human.
As my brother Lakota Woableza teaches, we are the "five fingered race."
Second Message of Manataka
What is it that can be said that you have not been told already?
Have you not been told to love one another?
Were you told to have no other gods
except the Creator and honor your father and mother?
Were you told to keep Mother Earth and all things on her sacred?
Our ancient prophesies say a time will come
when the blue sky and waters turn black
and green things turn brown and die.
Animals and fish will disappear and birds will drop from the sky.
This devastation will come as a result
of man's greed and disrespect for Mother Earth.
A new universe is now flying through the cosmos
about to enter the earth's heavens.
We can barely see its enormous beak of the Aquarian bird
as the stars and planets move to align themselves to the Awakening.
The time is not far off (2007 - 2013)
when great cataclysmic changes will begin to occur on Earth.
Only a few will withstand these extreme alterations
and there will be mass unconsciousness.
The polarity of man's universe will change.
Great institutions, political divisions and economic systems
will crumble, chaos will reign for a time.
Among the few who possess inner strength
to resist the mass unconsciousness will rise a new neo-indigenous people.
Prophesies foretell of a people
who will rise from earth's ashes like the thunderbird symbolizing rebirth~
They will bring balance and harmony back to Mother Earth.
The first of these beings will come as teachers and storytellers
to remind us of ancient truths of the star people and beyond.
They will be pathfinders leading the way to a new universe,
a new reality.
Great leaders, Warriors and Shamans of many nations
will be born and they will cleanse the earth for rebirth.
Next will come the Planters sowing seeds of truth, justice and freedom.
The Storytellers, Warriors and Planters
will live in the way of the Great Spirit
and teach ways to keep Mother of the Ground sacred forevermore.
They will be called Rainbow Warriors
(Prophesies of the Rainbow)
for they will gather the four sacred directions,
all distinctly separate but forever connected
in the Circle of Life.
They will bring together the four races of man to live in peace.
The four sacred directions and the four races of man
are symbolized by the magnificence and glory of the rainbow.
The neo-indigenous people of the Rainbow
will give praise for the blessings of the Creator's loving grace.
Manataka is home of the Rainbow Woman
who sleeps deep within the sacred mountain in the Place of Peace.
During the Awakening, she will emerge once more
to give rebirth to this new tribe of people
who will sing and dance praises to the Great Spirit -
Creator under the rainbow.
Warriors of the Rainbow will be pathfinders of the principals of life~
And they will teach the people
how to achieve unity, understanding and love.
The Awakening will bring forth the Rainbow Woman
who will show the Warriors the path to the Crystal Cave.
The messages of the ancients
will be decoded using the seven keys
and revealed to the Warriors by the Creator
and each one will be gifted with powers
to commune on many planes of existence.
The sacred Circle of Life
turns slowly but inevitably back to the place where it began.
Thus, we say 'all things that were, will be again.'
As each age passes, it cannot be reclaimed.
We cannot go back in time.
If we were to look from above at the Circle of Life
it would appear as a gigantic spiral.
Each age, or revolution of the Circle moves the next Circle
to a plane in perfect concentric alignment with the last,
but on higher level in the spiral.
Those souls who walk the path
to higher awareness, consciousness and spirituality
move with the spiral to the next plane.
Those who do not, do not.
Now is the time we begin to prepare ourselves
to become inheritors of Mother Earth,
to become Warriors of the Rainbow -
for the sake of our children's children and all humanity.
The road of the future is not red.
It is a rainbow leading to the Creators grace
by way of prayer, good works, faith and keeping the ancient traditions.
We must first unshackle ourselves from materialism
and organized religious dogma and personal prejudice.
There is nothing more important
than becoming free in mind, body and soul
from modern confusion in order to reach a higher plane of spirituality.
Our very survival depends on it.
To see the Light of the Rainbow we must quite our minds
and feel inner peace and strength that flows as a river,
one with nature and all creation.
To be chosen to walk the path to Light
is not a decision made by some religious leader,
a government agency or politician.
It is a personal choice made by a mind and heart
made free of religious guilt and idols of modern materialism.
It is a decision made between you and the Creator.
Now is the Time
Go to a quite place on the mountain, river, or in the forest
- The church of the Great Spirit.
Spend three days fasting and praying.
Strip your mind and body of all worldly things.
Listen to nature, listen to your inner self.
Purify yourself and talk to the Creator.
Give thanks for all the blessing of life and all creation.
Give yourself completely to this pilgrimage.
Maybe, just maybe the Creator will speak to you,
show you a vision, and lead you closer to the Light.
The time will come soon when you will be needed.
Manataka, the Place of Peace
will be one of the Great Gathering places
of those who seek the Light of the Rainbow.
There, we will learn to walk the path
and receive joyful the blessings of the Great Spirits and Creator.
We will feel joy and peace of a world without rancor and division.
One with each other, one with creation and one with the Creator.
©"Standing Bear Speaks", 2006.
Story of Manataka by Lee Standing Bear Moore
Spoken at manataka American Indian Council