Opinion

Robert Chanate: Native escape from confusing sweat lodge





"When we accepted an invitation to the sweat lodge we had no idea that white people were going to be going in with us.

The directions given to me and a relative were supposed to lead us to the secluded area where the sweat was going to be held. The route was confusing and full of ndn descriptors: look for a red mailbox, turn by a pond, drive over two bridges, watch for a red ribbon tied around an old pole, etc.

We were unfamiliar with the area and almost turned back but we pressed on because we imagined our host might end up waiting for us to show up. Eventually we found the place, walked up a foot path and came around a corner to see some Native people standing around and visiting. We approached, introduced ourselves and shook hands. Another Native man soon appeared and specifically asked each of us if we were going in. With each affirmative answer, he shook our hands."

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