Reciprocity and Making Reparations
It is a big part of our collective healing to understand what forces have shaped our nation, the blood that's been shed, and what we can do about it now. I believe wholeheartedly in the healing practice of awareness, acceptance, and action.
I acknowledge that I live on native land in the Hudson Valley, the original territory of the Mohegan, Lenape, Sepasco, and many other nations that lived along the Hudson River (or Muhheakantuck: the river that flows both ways).
Late summer is our family's time to pray, realign, and give thanks for the bounty of Life. At the end of July we begin our annual pilgrimage to the Sun Dance ceremony of the Plains Nations. This year we've been invited by our adopted Navajo brother, Jake Singer, to join him and Chief Keith Horse Looking at their Sun Dance on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.
(Don't know what Sun Dance is? Click here for a decent description) We'll be offering our support to these new relations and elders and bringing our prayers for the healing and elevation of our collective consciousness; for our families, our communities and our shared planet. This is a real honor and a significant shift for us. For the past 12 years my husband and I have supported and danced with Chief Keith "Eagle Claw" Pashe in Manitoba, Canada. This year that dance has been put on hold. Keith has been sick and there are prayers to be made over the next two years for his health and his life and the future of that dance. We have an ache in our hearts not to be returning to those lands this year to pray with our relatives and friends we see only once a year. We continue to offer our support to those families in the best way we can and we'll see what the future brings. Part of the support we regularly offer these communities is through financial contribution. We're committed, as a family, to donating a third of the money we receive through the retreats, sweat lodges, and healing sessions we hold at our home to support the elders and native communities we know and are connected to. This money also funds our capacity to travel to learn with these elders and covers costs like wood for the sweat lodges we run (20 cords of wood a year = $6,000!). This is part of our commitment to one of the 7 sacred Lakota teachings: Generosity through Reciprocity.
There's no required payment to attend a Sun Dance or an Inipi sweat lodge, and we also know that simply giving tobacco doesn't put gas in our tanks or food on the table. So we offer cash donations to support the ability of our native and indigenous elder relations to keep doing their work of healing and to help the spread of their work through their travels. This way we can help keep the wheel of reciprocity turning for everyone.
I'm inviting you to be a part of this Generosity. If you feel moved, here are some options to contribute: 1) Send a donation. Donations can be made directly to Venmo: @drkelly (or PayPal: email@example.com). Please note directly where this donation should go and you're welcome to send an email with your prayer or request. 2) Sponsor a treatment session for an elder or other person in need. If you know of someone who could use healing or prayers at this time, you are welcome to gift a session to someone you love, or to sponsor someone who's unable to pay for a treatment session with me. Donations made this way support my family in our ability to travel, attend, and make a generous contribution to the Sun Dance and other indigenous gatherings throughout the year. You'll receive a gift of appreciation for your generosity (please make sure you include an address with your donation!). Please email directly with your request. 3) Sponsor your own mini-retreat here in the Hudson Valley. We create customized retreats for you and your group, which can include sound healing/breath-work sessions, acupuncture treatments, movement meditations, a group ritual or cleanse, and/or a traditional sweat lodge. Other amenities include a 6 person barrel sauna, a healing yurt, a medicinal garden, and a ravishing meal made by a local chef from locally sourced foods.
4) Invest in a private individual retreat/transformational ritual for yourself. This is an incredible and unique way to receive teachings, spiritual guidance and to massively upgrade old programming. We'll customize this according to your needs and goals. We look forward to be with you in this way.
Here are two other worthwhile organizations to practice Generosity with;
1) Lakota Waldorf School - click here for more information and to donate directly OR you can choose to sponsor a Lakota Waldorf student. I like this school because, in addition to being a Waldorf school, it is dedicated to teaching the children traditional Lakota values. Every teacher also speaks the Lakota language.
2) The Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women - there is so much I could say about this organization; it is rad, radical and radiant. Take some time on their website to see what they're about. If you're moved - there's an opportunity to be generous here.
What's your favorite non-profit or other organization dedicated to making reparations? Please share in the comments below.