indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Native Sun News: Native medicine wheel model sees followers
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Filed Under: Health | National
More on: native sun news, south dakota
 
The following story was written and reported by Talli Nauman, Native Sun News Health & Environment Editor. All content © Native Sun News.


Phillip Whiteman Jr., right, and his partner, Lynette Two Bulls, teach natural horsemanship based on the medicine wheel concept. PHOTO COURTESY/PHILLIP WHITEMAN JR.

Medicine wheel model for horsemanship attracts wide range of followers
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News
Health & Environment Editor

RAPID CITY — More and more people are adopting the Medicine Wheel Model to Natural Horsemanship, not only for equestrian proficiency but also to achieve mental and physical health improvements, practitioners revealed during an event at the civic center and fairgrounds Oct. 4-5.

The model, developed by Northern Cheyenne Phillip Whiteman Jr. and Oglala Lakota Lynette Two Bulls, of Lame Deer, Mont., was the centerpiece of the Fourth Annual Healing the Sacred Child Through the Spirit of the Horse conference.

“We use horses to connect to the human spirit, to heal the children,” Whiteman told Native Sun News. “It’s growing, it’s a movement.”

“We take this model and it teaches philosophical values we can use in our life,” Two Bulls said. “It uses right-brain circular thinking for reconnecting to the spirit, place of origin and values that our ancestors lived by.” Whiteman demonstrated the model with a horse in the arena, explaining how each one of the quarters of a horse corresponds to a quadrant of the medicine wheel, sacred symbol of the circle of life “where we are all connected – man, animal and all living things,” as he puts it.

A former champion saddle bronc rider, Whiteman has abandoned the use of power tactics in horse handling, shunning manipulation of the predator-prey relationship. He stresses instead the importance of fostering a reciprocal relationship between human and horse.

Two Bulls’ daughter Kyla, who Whiteman helped raise from the age of six, used the model for a high school science project that made her the first Native American in Montana to take the top prize in the state science fair. She also won the National American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Fair in Albuquerque, N.M.

Her project “The Blood Sugar Chemistry in Horses” compared the effect of diet and exercise on two pairs of horses. One pair consisted of the grass-fed horses of an Amish community, who were exercised pulling a buggy on a 40-mile daily round trip to Ashland. The other pair was her school’s horses, who were grain-fed and not exercised, she explained at the conference.

From the higher glucose levels in the latter group, she concluded that their bodies could not utilize the comparatively larger starch amounts in grain, especially without exercise. From that she went on to draw a comparison:

“I always had a love for horses and my parents started the process of developing the medicine wheel model. One of the main ideas is the concept of how Native people and horses mirror each other,” she said.

“Our lifestyles have changed with our horses, we once lived off the land, natural, like our horses. Once the government came, we started to rely on rations; our horses were no longer needed to hunt. Our horses developed colic and much more. Our people developed diabetes.”

Stretching the mirror concept further, she used it to argue a point for good nutrition. “Even though we should exercise and feed our horses right, we need to improve our own health first, before setting foot near a horse,” she said.

Social workers across the country involved in foster care training, alcohol and substance abuse recovery, mental and behavioral health therapy and juvenile rehabilitation programs are putting the medicine wheel horsemanship model to the test.

“Our medicine wheel family is growing,” Lynette Two Bulls commented. She said 35 social workers in government institutions are involved, many of whom were among the approximately 100 people attending the conference.

The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board has begun to accept horse therapy in several grant-supported program areas, according to psychologist Jessica White Plume, a native of Manderson, on the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota, who lives in the Mandan Hidatsa & Arikara Nation located in North Dakota.

“The health board has really gone out of their way,” she said. “Tribal leaders have said, ‘We believe when people connect with the horse and the land, this is health’.”

A doctor in clinical psychology with a specialty in mental health, White Plume confirmed that horse therapy is becoming popular worldwide.

“We are part of a new era,” she said. “People are ready to support us if we can come out of the box and say what we believe.”

However, she said, she doesn’t really consider it to be horse therapy. “I don’t call it that; I call it horse wellness treatment,” she told conference-goers.

“We teach how to reach out to nature and to the horse to make a lifestyle change. People in treatment who are able to just have families come out and ride, that is mental health,” she said. “Being with horses touches them in a different way; it reminds them of deep truths of the universe they have within themselves,” she added.

Conference keynote speaker Roy Shelton, an ordained minister from Detroit, told Native Sun he took part in the conference because the medicine wheel horsemanship model is “similar and directly related” to his own professional work training teachers both on- and off-reservation to coach right-brain thinkers in their classrooms.

About 20 percent of students are right-brain, or circular, thinkers. They struggle both in school and outside because standard teaching is left-brain oriented, or linear. Among them are geniuses and successful public figures, including Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy and Michael Jordan, he said.

“The medicine wheel model is a way of teaching that we are spiritually connected, we need each other and depend upon each other,” he added.

The model made the headlines in the glossy, national Cowboys & Indians magazine this April. It drew television journalist Jim Thompson to interview Whiteman for the Blue Highways show. The American Paint Horse Association’s magazine had an article in its winter edition about Whiteman blessing the world equestrian games.

An introduction to the model is available on DVD at www.medicinewheelmodel.com. It is intended to be the first in a series of training lessons. Western Sky Media Inc. of Spearfish recorded and edited the production with support from First Peoples Fund.

(Contact Talli Nauman at talli.nauman@gmail.com)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Tribes ask Obama to deny Keystone XL permit (1/28)
Native Sun News: Native youth take stand against Keystone bid (1/28)
Tara Houska: Respect treaties and reject Keystone XL Pipeline (1/28)
Mark Trahant: Obama administration steps up for environment (1/28)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee holds first meeting & hearing (1/28)
House committee won't restore Indian and Alaska Native panel (1/28)
Opinion: Affordable Care Act offers behavorial health services (1/28)
Sami Jo Difuntorum: Support needed for Indian housing update (1/28)
Albert Bender: Stop glorification of Indian killer Andrew Jackson (1/28)
Amanda Blackhorse: Navajo leader defends racist NFL mascot (1/28)
Megan Red Shirt-Shaw: Our kids should be able to go anywhere (1/28)
Police probe racist treatment of Oglala youth at hockey game (1/28)
College basketball player proud to serve as Native role model (1/28)
Auburn Community buys stake in rock music festival company (1/28)
Former Pueblo leader ready to change plea in $3.6M theft case (1/28)
Young member of Meskwaki Tribe pleads guilty in murder case (1/28)
Mississippi Choctaws to debut casino after $70M in renovations (1/28)
Catawba Nation waits for BIA decision on off-reservation casino (1/28)
Member of Chehalis Tribe working on $40M expansion of casino (1/28)
Opinion: Decision on Menominee Nation casino makes no sense (1/28)
Editorial: Approve off-reservation casino for Ho-Chunk Nation (1/28)
Native Sun News: Chair of Lower Brule Sioux Tribe blasts report (1/27)
Native Sun News: Lummi Nation eyes halt to coal export project (1/27)
House Natural Resources Committee set to hold first meeting (1/27)
First-ever conference to focus on marijuana in Indian Country (1/27)
Fort Peck Tribes moving towards full legalization of marijuana (1/27)
8th Circuit rules against Indian inmate in religious rights case (1/27)
Jennifer Denetdale: Film glosses over violence in border towns (1/27)
Isadore Boni: An Apache AIDS survivor completes first marathon (1/27)
Osage Nation expects to see $7.4M in Cobell consolidation offers (1/27)
The Atlantic: Native people wary of DNA tests and genetic studies (1/27)
Morongo Band to debut first tribally-owned Taco Bell next week (1/27)
County files appeal over Chumash Tribe land-into-trust decision (1/27)
City leaders to work closely with Shakopee Tribe on road project (1/27)
Miccosukee Tribe wins decision in dispute over fees paid to court (1/27)
Senate Democrats delay vote on Keystone XL Pipeline measure (1/27)
Editorial: Wildlife refuge in Alaska deserves stronger protections (1/27)
BIA questions provision in compact for some New Mexico tribes (1/27)
Seminole Tribe still interested in opening casino in Atlantic City (1/27)
Ho-Chunk Nation's gaming compact authorizes another facility (1/27)
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes name executive for gaming operation (1/27)
Editorial: Presidential politics derailed off-reservation casino bid (1/27)
Native Sun News: North Dakota takes on impacts of energy boom (1/26)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux man calls on US to honor its word (1/26)
GOP leader outlines agenda for Senate Indian Affairs Committee (1/26)
Supreme Court orders another decision in Indian inmates' case (1/26)
more headlines...


Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.