ONAC: Church defends attempt to use marijuana in ceremonies

James "Flaming Eagle" Mooney serves as the leader of a group called the Oklevueha Native American Church. Photo from Facebook

A group called the Oklevueha Native American Church defends its attempt to use marijuana in ceremonies and defends the legitimacy of its leader James "Flaming Eagle" Mooney, who claims Seminole and other ancestry:
Historically, Native Americans did not call their spirituality a religion. The concept of a Native American Church and protecting the use of Peyote in a religious context is a fairly recent development. However, it is a development that has the blessing of the US Government and by extension and intention, protects the ceremonies, culture and various medicines of the tribes regardless of their history. Originally when founded, ONAC worked only with Peyote. As natives and others came forward expressing how the medicines, ceremonies and sacraments of other groups in North and South America had blessed and healed them, we counseled together and realized that the traditions, new, old and current, of other tribes deserved to be protected as well. There has been a conscious effort by some in the US Government and in big business to wipe out Native spirituality and their medicines and ceremonies. Had it not been for Flaming Eagle’s grandfather’s argument for Native rights to seek Creator in 1918 before Congress, our ceremonies would have been eliminated. These entities still want more land, more wealth and more power – usually at the expense of native peoples that have already been decimated by wrong thinking.

Various types of natural medicine can bless most anyone. Medicine does not always need to be a pharmaceutical. And medicine does not always have to be ingested. Medicine can be a loved one’s laughter, a song, a good book or a smile from a stranger. Every tribe and indigenous people have been given spiritual and physical things such as natural plants, by the Great Spirit to assist them in healing, seeing and understanding - and to walk in a good way. Where is the love to exclude any group of people from ceremony or from something naturally given to us by Creator for our benefit? The Constitutional and God-given right of religion is a shared freedom. We believe these ideals are vital to support and defend.

We require the person who conducts ceremonies and administers the sacraments to strictly abide by ONAC Code of Ethics.

Get the Story:
Pot and Pretendians: ONAC Rebuttal (Indian Country Today 12/29)

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