Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Age and Pan-Indianism

The Pan American Movement and the New Age

Pan- Indianism came about as way of giving back to young Indian people their identity that had been crushed under the dominate culture. Pan-Indianism was a non-violent philosophy that involved the process of synthesizing the collective spiritual reality and Traditional wisdom of more than one Native American Nation. A good example of this is the Sun Dance that came from the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Nations. It became Pan- Indian because peoples from other Native Nations were becoming Sun Dancers and participating in the Sun Dance. Pan – Indianism tends to be Traditional and non-Christian but is open to all peoples.

The post-industrial, Pan-Indian Movement came about in 1977 when the Haudenosaunee, and Indians from North and South America, presented their Great Law of Peace to the United Nations, with a warning that Western civilization, through the process of colonialism, was destroying the earth’s ability to renew herself. The recommended the development of liberation technologies which would be anti-colonial, or self-sustaining, and the development of liberation theologies. A liberation theology will develop in people a consciousness that all life on the earth is sacred and threat the sacredness of life is the key to human freedom and survival (Akwesasne Notes 1978: basic call to consciousness).

In 1978, Indians walked from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., this walk is called The Longest walk. This was when the Native American Freedom of Religion act was passed. During this walk many native peoples learned wisdom from the elders. Spiritual leaders worked out ceremonies that did not conflict with any one Indian Nations’ spiritual beliefs. This commonality is the foundation for modern Pan-Indianism.

Because the Lakota had no restrictions on sharing their spiritual beliefs and had prophecy that when the Lakota share their spiritual ways, Indians will get their Treaties honored, the Lakota were eager to share their sweat lodge. One of the Lakota spiritual leaders had a vision that the colors black, red, yellow and white, their sacred colors, stood for the four races. This became the belief of choice for Pan-Indianism.

On the Longest Walk were some Buddhist priests. Dennis established a close friendship with the leader of these monks, and it was this old man who first sounded a call for a New Age. This was in a conversation between this Buddhist elder and Dennis which was published in a book called Buddhism and World Peace.

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