The Creator’s Spirit is alive and in all things in the universe. Everything that can be seen or
touched is “alive” with the spirit, or breath. The Creator’s Spirit actively affects human lives
in ways that can be both good and bad. Mother or Grandmother Earth’s spirit nourishes
and sustains life, and it is there that people return after death. Mother or Grandmother
Earth is to be respected and given thanks for the life it gives to sustain creation. All forms
of life depend on all others. The words Mitakuye’ Oyasin expresses this thought which
means all of creation are my relatives, we are all one, “we are all connected and whatever
happens to the Earth it will happen to the children of the Earth.” (Chief Seattle). Lakota
Holy Man Black Elk states, “Peace…comes within the souls of men and women when they
realize their relationship, their oneness, with the Universe and all its powers, and when they
realize that at the center of the Universe dwells Wakan Tanka, and that this center is really
everywhere. It is within each of us.”
Each individual is called to “walk in the sacred way or to walk in beauty”. This means to
live in balance and harmony with the universe and spirit world. Each person finds their own
sacred way by seeking the sacred through traditional teachings, prayer, vision quests and
Morals, ethics, values, beliefs, culture, customs, religious and sacred traditions are passed
on through an oral tradition and through ceremonies. Cultural identity, understanding and
bonding takes place through rituals developed by tribes over many centuries. Some of
these may include dancing, singing, drumming, prayer, worship, feasting, purification rites,
fasting and physical ordeals. An example of this would be a singer coming to the hospital
with a hand drum in order to sing a prayer song.
There are medicine men and women, singers, shamans, and healers who have been given
a special gift by the Great Spirit to help mediate between the spirit world and the earthly
world for healing, spiritual renewal and for the good of the community.
Humor is an important part of the sacred way because two-leggeds (people) need to be
reminded of their own foolishness.
The theme of “One Mind” is one that runs through many Native American tribes.
Decisions will be put off if agreement cannot be reached. Dissention will dictate that one
needs to proceed with caution and take time to reflect in order for everyone to come to “one
mind”, “one accord” and/or “one decision”.
Community and relationships are important. Family includes many extended family
members and friends and/or an entire clan. Elders are respected and listened to when
decisions are being made.
Balance is an important concept. Illness occurs when life is out of balance.
“Koyaanisquatsi”—life is out of balance.