Author Topic: A step beyond the board  (Read 108088 times)

Offline NDN_Outlaw

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A step beyond the board
« on: November 10, 2009, 12:58:14 am »
I'm a sessional teaching an Indigenous Studies class. I find it annoying when students cite dubious sources in their papers. A lot of this is New Age gibberish, Shaman stuff. Sun Bear's Medicine Wheel book or Lynne Andrews flights of fantasy becomes a source. Some are incredulous when I explain to them that the medicine Wheel concept is a new non Cree concept. There is not only a pan Indian trail mix spirituality but also this New Age Shaman b.s. becoming more accepted. The old Cree stuff must be constantly maintained and corrected. Not everyone's spirituality is Lakota Sioux. I notice a lot of the shaman baloney is also in our University library. I think it would be good if this site could not only provide a list of shameless Shaman books but also provide sticker templates via computer that could be easily printed and stuck to the library books not only here but where they're sold. Wouldn't it be neat if Indigo Books for example put a sticker from this site on NDNZ saying something like. "Doubtfull Authenticity" or "Culturally fraudulant"  Then in smaller letters, NAFPS. 

Re: A step beyond the board
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2009, 02:29:52 am »
That would be great!  Oh, I do recall Lynne Andrews.. bleh.  It was given to me, I never finished it, I couldn't get past the corny-ness.  Same with this Mary Summer Rain, I think it was.. another that someone gave to me, that I couldn't finish.  The only thing I remember of either is that they were corny beyond belief and how could anyone believe that?

I'd love to be putting stickers on books. Give me a list, give me some stickers...  I'm ready to go.
press the little black on silver arrow Music, 1) Bob Pietkivitch Buddha Feet

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: A step beyond the board
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2009, 02:34:50 am »
Some AIDS activists did something like this when a misleading book about AIDS came out in the eighties. The Surgeon General denounced the book so we made stickers with a Surgeon General's Warning, followed by a quote from the surgeon general about how this book could be hazardous to their health. Like the warnings on cigarettes. It was good to have something to do with those books.

Also, when I'm in libraries and bookstores, I turn the covers of the good books out, displaying them prominently. And one can also make the crap books harder to find.  8)

Offline educatedindian

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Re: A step beyond the board
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2009, 02:41:16 pm »
When I'm in a bookstore it's my habit to move the Nuage books he naive employees have put in the NDN section to the Nuage section.

I once stumbled upon a book in a public library that someone had put their own handwritten sticker just inside the cover, three of four sentences explaining it was false and offensive.

Perhaps people can suggest a very brief all purpose statement that can be pasted on the majority of shame on books?

And I realize it's a lot of work, but we can start a compilation of all the fraudulent books in this thread.

Re: A step beyond the board
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2009, 05:24:24 pm »
Sure, first on the list:  The Secret.

Have to figure how many words can be used on the sticker.  Something like, The material in this book is not authentic.  ?  That's a little lame ..  perhaps something more harsh.  To jolt a person into doubting that it's a good idea to read it .
press the little black on silver arrow Music, 1) Bob Pietkivitch Buddha Feet

Offline Unegv Waya

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Re: A step beyond the board
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2010, 05:51:18 pm »
Sunbear's Medicine Wheel - oh yes, I've come across that all over the place.  I've tried to explain to many about the conference of over 40 nations that occurred at the university at Lethbridge (sp?) back in the early 80s and how the results were twisted into what most call a medicine wheel.  Some just don't get it while others do.  Those who do are usually thankful for the information while those who don't will go to great lengths to try and prove it is a valid NDN teaching.

What is perhaps the worst, in my eyes anyway, is that the medicine wheel idea does contain some true information.  As NDN Outlaw points out, however, it is a mix of several traditions and that mix is being presented as a pan-american NDN teaching that just does not exist.

It is a real shame as I understand that the purpose of that initial conference was to gather together some common values that could be compiled for the purpose of assisting in the rebuilding of native communities both on and off the rez.  Then the organizer, one Phil Lane (International Coordinator, Four Worlds International Institute for Human and Community Development) compiled and copyrighted the results for sale.  So much for any real interest or supposed respect he had for those who attended.

Offline nemesis

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Re: A step beyond the board
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2010, 07:18:43 pm »
What an interesting thread!

I hope this is not too much of a tangent but I was wondering about what we could to to address the issue of academics who promote frauds and supports sects and cults?

Academics have a very privileged place in society as they influence national, and sometimes international, policies and legislation.  They serve as expert witnesses in courts of law and therefore when academics are corrupt, stupid or perhaps just naive, the consequences can be very serious.

I have a few academics in mind, but one that recently came to my attention is Professor Peter Reason (ironic name or what?) of the University of Bath, UK.

Link to a paper written by Prof. Reason, Reflections on Sacred Experience and Sacred Science: Reason, P. (1993). Reflections on Sacred Experience and Sacred Science. Journal of Management Inquiry, 2(3), 273-283

from the paper....

Personal experiences

My growing concern for the quality of sacredness has developed as I have explored shamanic paths and learned particularly from the Medicine Wheel teachings (Storm 1972; see also Note 1).

Note 1. By Medicine Wheel teachings I mean that version of the sacred teachings of Native Americans that has become available to white people through books such as Seven Arrows (Storm, 1972) and the workshops and ceremonies conducted by those native, metis, and white teachers with whom I have had contact. I am sensitive to the need when speaking of the teachings of an indigenous people like the Native Americans to acknowledge both that the teachings are wide and diverse between different tribes; that I am not a Native American and cannot claim their experience; and that some Native American groups and organizations object strongly to white people using (they would say abusing) their traditional teachings. Nevertheless I wish to give thanks for the beauty that these teachings have brought to my life, and acknowledge with gratitude and respect the sources; in particular I wish to thank Arwyn Dreamwalker and members of the Dreamweavers Morningstar Lodge.

The really scary thing is that this man is a professor in a repeatable university who is referencing frauds and predators in his academic papers!  His references list reputable sources such as Mazlow and R.D Laing alongside people like H. Storm (according to a thread here a serial rapist and sexual abuser of children) and Carlos Castaneda.  He makes a special point of thanking Arwyn Dreamwalker, another fraud who is a member of the notorious "deer tribe" of Harley Reagan's, who as we all know promote the sexual abuse of minors as part of their depraved initiation rites for adolescents.

In the paper, EDUCATION FOR ECOLOGY: Science, aesthetics, spirit and ceremony

Reason's references include credible heavyweights like Mary Midgley and Merleau-Ponty but also, tucked away amongst the other reference is this:

Storm, H. (1972). Seven Arrows. New York: Harper & Row.

Just for the record, H Storm is the predator named in this thread

and also here;topic=227.0

Here is Prof. reason's page at Bath University

He seems to be an academic of some repute and yet his papers, well this one at least, are referenced with notorious frauds.

Even more ironic than his name is the fact that his special interest is in the field of "co-operative inquiry", described in a paper he co-authored here

in the following way.....

Co-operative inquiry is a way of working with other people who have similar concerns and interests to yourself, in order to:

·      Understand your world, make sense of your life and develop new and creative ways of looking at things.

·      Learn how to act to change things you may want to change and find out how to do things better

So his specialty is in consulting with others in order to understand how to do things better.  

I have no problem with this at all except that one would hope that Reason would demonstrate an element of discernment in relation to the people he consults with.

Also interesting is this

Professors Peter Reason and Judi Marshall, and Dr Gill Coleman are the founding energies behind the pioneering MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice at Bath University Management School. Peter’s inaugural lecture Justice, Sustainability & Participation makes the bold case for radical shifts in academia’s orientation towards teaching both business and sustainability subjects.
(emphasis mine)
from here

Surely the best way to promote responsible business practice is to take great care to reference only credible papers / sources in one's academic work and not the literary turds deposited by frauds and predators?

I would very much like to do something to draw Prof. Reason's attention to the error of his ways.  Would anyone mind if I invited him to check out the forums here in general and this thread in particular?  In the spirit of "co-operative inquiry" of course.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 07:32:12 pm by nemesis »

Offline Juliet

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Re: A step beyond the board
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2010, 12:57:13 am »
Academic credentials are no protection against falling for frauds.  This is the best case for many of these people.

We know what the worst case is.  And a scholar who doesn't care should be stripped of his credentials.

Offline Hair lady

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Re: A step beyond the board
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 11:26:35 am »
well I don´t know many real medicine people who have written books about thier experiences...So I guess I would suggest finding and giving your students a list of books written by real medicine peoples. As a teacher it is your responsability to teach the truth. People need guidance in these types of things.  I am sure that it would take you time to find good books since Native tradtion is mostly oral..But it is possiable.

Offline Camilla

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Re: A step beyond the board
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2011, 01:58:59 pm »
a list of books written by real medicine peoples.

books written by real medicine people??? hhmmm... :-\ doesn't sound good
books are usually written to be sold......and in my opinion this idea of "business" doesn't go along well with "real medicine people"

Anyway, in my opinion there are dozens of topics which can help acquire true, realistic information about Native People cultures, beyond stereotypes and lies, WITHOUT mentioning Those Things which must be kept private.
You can talk and read about geography, history, sociology, social science, politics, pedagogy, arts, technology etc. etc. etc. without intruding in Those topics.

Nice day to everybody
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 02:27:33 pm by Camilla »

Offline Hair lady

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Re: A step beyond the board
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2011, 02:32:42 pm »
books written, for example by chief Arvol Looking Horse...just one example of who I would call a real medicine person.

real as opposed to fake, fraud, ect....

and once again as a teacher a person has to be resonsiable for what they teach thier students nad in my opinion should research things to thier full extent before teaching them.  Since most Native tradtions are passed own oraly it is hard to find good books.

Offline Hair lady

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Re: A step beyond the board
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2011, 02:47:42 pm »
oh and I also have to say it seems that nonnative people have a thing for Native spirituality, as if that is what we do all day around and have ceremony. I have found, living in Europe, that a lot of people have a Hollywood version of how Natives are. Good point that there are other things that people could learn about us...

Offline Camilla

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Re: A step beyond the board
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2011, 03:07:44 pm »
As I said, from my point of view if one is sincerely interested in Native Cultures there are thousands of interesting, wonderful things to learn WITHOUT involving Topics and People that Native People themselves prefere to keep private.
More than ever, if school teaching is involved. In any case, Those Things should be the very last one to be read about after reading and learning all the other things (and of course, yes I agree: witnesses from Arvol Looking Horse or Fools Crow are extremely precious)
As I said, just my opinion

Offline snorks

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Re: A step beyond the board
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2011, 03:39:32 pm »
 I read all those books and still have some as examples of creative thinking and writing.  What I tell people, that as "White Westerners", we are used to gaining information from books.  Other cultures use different means of conveying knowledge.  If you find a book written by a "Native sounding person" such as Brooke Medicine Eagle, they are not usually Native.  They are writing for a White audience, and write in that millieu to sell books for those people. 

Medicine Eagle writes more of New Age things sprinkled with nature and Native ideas.  For people who have no desire to go deeper, she sounds profound.  I tell people that if you find ideas such as astrology etc that you are familiar with, then the book is not written by a credible source.  Also look at who they refer to, and look them up.

The only books that I know of that give any glimpse into Native cultures are the ones that discuss myths and legends.  But they are written from an outsider's point of view.  So the answer is usually no, since various Native cultures prefer not to discuss certain information with outsiders for various reasons.

Offline Hair lady

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Re: A step beyond the board
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2011, 04:13:10 pm »
what I always find kinds of disturbing is when you take collage level courses on  Native Americans and the professor always talks about us in the past tense...It was like that when I was in collage with the exception of whne I learned how to speak Navajo..the professor was from that nation, and spoke in the present tense... I wonder why that is, and when I took other courses, I always felt like jumping up and screaming HELLLLOOOOOOOOOO still alive!

Anyone else feel that way?

Sorry getting off track...