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Sacred Lands in Wyoming - Essay Example

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It is wrong to just appropriate someone's culture without understanding the traditions and history behind it. Moreover, it is unjust to seek to profit from the Lakota spirituality without giving back to the community. The people who dabble in such acts do not usually care that they are offending the owners of the cultural practices. The declaration was quite serious as the Lakota have gone to court to preserve the integrity of their religious beliefs1 and have gone to such lengths as banning non-natives from attending Sun Dances.2 The worst offenders are usually the people who are guided by the profit motive. People who are not Lakota appropriate the ceremonies when in fact they are not entitled. Taking Jews as an example: if the people who do not understand Judaism at all adopt a half -understood calendar of ceremonies and elect a Rabbi who cannot even read Hebrew, the Jews would be deeply offended. These profit-oriented people prey on the need for human beings to find acceptance and to belong somewhere. As the declaration states, most of the new age religions are led by hucksters and commercial profiteers who are not entitled to take their ceremonies and earn a living off their cultural theft (Mesteth, Elk and Hawk). ...
nnabes) are aping the practices of the Lakota without any respect or consideration for the First Nations Peoples’ feelings (“Responses to War against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality”). Their interest might be genuine, but then they go too far at times. This has engendered mistrust among the native tribes of America. It is indeed a mockery of the peoples’ traditions when the intent is to become one of them by buying tokens of their religious practices. Tribal members view these people as problematic because they will try to pass themselves off as one of them. This leads to confusion among the rest of the Americans who understand very little about the Indian tribes. The issue of confusion is further exacerbated by the fact that most Indians are not forthcoming about themselves since they are a very proud people. As Lynnette put it, it is all about a way of life and not a fad to be followed when one fancies it. Since the wannabes are following a fad, it becomes disrespectful to the tribes as they do not bother to learn about the First Nations Peoples. These people who are described as wannabes would be best served if they visited the reservations and actually tried to do some good for the tribes and communities. There are serious problems bedeviling the tribes and they would learn about the tribes’ culture as they were doing good works in the communities. 3) Do: Find some responses from individuals who belong to one of the categories you described in #2. Answer: Do you think that these individuals should be able to continue using Native American religious symbols, beliefs and experiences in the manner they have been? Why or why not? Do their responses to the Declaration present a convincing argument to let them continue their activities? Why or why not? The ...Show more
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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Unauthorized Use of Native American Religious Symbols Questions: 1) Do: Read the Declaration of War. Weigh the problems and abuses (listed in the Whereas-statements) against the resolutions that follow. Answer: Do the resolutions seem to be a reasonable way of dealing with the problems?…
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