Author Topic: Statement of the National Council of Native American Churches  (Read 5676 times)

Offline educatedindian

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Aimed at the dozens of fraudulent groups and individuals posing as NAC, even taking websites with variations of the NAC name.


There is a growing trend in the United States, of organizations adopting the
name "Native American Church" as a means of trying to obtain the protection of
federal law which was established by the government to recognize and protect
the legitimate indigenous religions that have prospered on the North American
continent since long before European settlers arrived.

In the case of the Peyote Religion, archaeological and ethnographic
evidence demonstrates its presence in North America for more than 10,000 years.
However, organizations and individuals claiming protection under the umbrella of
these organizations want to capitalize on this ancient practice despite having no
connection to it whatsoever.

Some of these illegitimate organizations, comprised of non-Native people,
are now claiming that marijuana, ayahuasca and other substances are part of
Native American Church theology and practice. Nothing could be further from
the truth. We, the National Council of Native American Churches are now
stepping forward to advise the public that we do not condone the activities of
these illegitimate organizations.

The National Council of Native American Churches consists of legitimate,
indigenous member organizations that include the Native American Church of
North America, the Azze~' Bee Nahaga of Dine Nation, the Native American
Church of the State of Oklahoma the Native American Church of the State of
South Dakota, and invited Leaders of the Consejo Regional Wixarika of Mexico.
We member organizations of the National Council speak for all of our chapters
and the individual members of the chapters on this matter of national

Federal laws protecting legitimate, indigenous Native American Churches
have a long and purposeful history. Back in our history, there was a time when
our spiritual beliefs were outlawed. People were jailed, put in insane asylums and
killed for participating in the Sun Dance and other ceremonies. This, too, includes
taking peyote as our sacrament. Federal laws enacted first in the late 1970s were
intended to protect our right to practice our religion. We oppose the attempts of
non-Natives to come in and misuse government protection of traditional Native
American religion to conduct illegal activity that has nothing to do with our
traditional ways.

We do not recognize, condone, or allow the use of marijuana, or any other
substance other than peyote, in any of our religious services. To the contrary, the
only plant that serves as a sacrament is peyote, and without peyote, our
ceremonies cannot take place. We reject and condemn any claim by these
illegitimate organizations that marijuana or any other plant serves or has ever
served as a sacrament in addition to peyote in indigenous Native American
Church ceremonies.

To the extent that the claims of any of these organizations rest on
allegations or inferences of an affiliation with traditional Native American Church
organizations or with any legitimate chapter of the Native American Church, such
claims should be rejected. The mere use of the term Native American Church
does not entitle any of these illicit organizations to any legal protection under
federal law.

We know who we are, and we know where we come from. We know the
atrocities visited upon us. We reject the attempts to grasp onto our indigenous
ways and deceive the public by claiming them as their own for their own personal
enjoyment or for profit,

DATED this 13th day of February, 2016
Sandor Iron Rope, President
Native American Church of North America

DATED this 13th day of February, 2016
Steven Benally, President
Azzee' Bee Nahaga of Dine Nation

DATED this 13th day of February, 2016
Charles Haag, President
Native American Church of the State of Oklahoma

DATED this 13th day of February, 2016
Albert Red Bear, Jr., President
Native American Church of the State of South Dakota Native

DATED this 13th day of February, 2016
Santos De La Cruz Carrillo,
Consejo Regional Wixarika Mexico


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