Here’s a sample of things mainstream America needs to understand

1-Honesty and Integrity: Out of the 500 treaties signed between tribes and the United States, none have ever been fully honored. History proves that at the time of contact, Native nations couldn’t even imagine such dishonesty.

2- Success, wealth, and a rich life should not be measured by money.

3- Appreciation for Women: According to the Six Nations Traditional Women’s Council Fire, clan mothers traditionally held great influence in the well-being of their Clans and Nations. They have authority as life givers, as holders of the land, and a deep understanding of the price of war.

For humanity to see all sides of an issue, the woman’s perspective must be included in important decisions.

4-Kinship and the Relationship Between All Beings: How would relationships change if all teachers and students, businesses and clients, saw each other as relatives? Would truth and honesty increase? Would business include a general feeling of love and respect for clients? Would food be processed differently? Would the earth be treated with respect if the four-leggeds and wingeds were considered relatives?

5-Respect: Natives respect the natural power that comes from wisdom and the knowledge elders carry forward. Natives respect the earth mother. Respect is about living in the right way, honoring the earth, the people, and all beings.

6- Natural Law: A relationship with Creator, appreciation for humility, and the ability to make the most of one’s journey in preparation for the next world, gives meaning to life.

7- The Sacredness of Life and Intention: Carol Iron Rope Herrera, Lakota, explained the difference between giving birth to a child with family present singing and praying, as opposed to a baby landing in the hands of a medical doctor, a stranger, who is on a schedule.

Ceremonies, rites of passage, help children and adults understand their roles at home, in their community, and in the world.

8-Generosity: Charles A. Eastman, Lakota, wrote in The Soul of the Indian, “Parents often gave so much to the needy that they frequently impoverished themselves, thus setting an example to the child of self denial for the general good… Children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving.”

True story: A woman on the Mojave Reservation got a new washer and dryer, and all of her neighbors brought their laundry over.

9-Mother Earth: Carol Iron Rope Herrera said, “Us women have been taught that this Mother Earth has taken care of us, so we have to be like her essence. She never abandoned us, she is here, she nurtures us every day, she protects us, she feeds us, she clothes us.”

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