Yes I am Deborah Natola.
Please note that the Soquili Center, Soquili Band, and the Ecclesiastical Society are 3 different entities for specific purposes, but they are inter-related.
I think the misunderstandings are coming from both sides, and started with the initial comments about "horse ceremony people" and "An alleged band of people with distant Cherokee ancestry led by a Micmaq talking aobut the Anishnaabe Seven Fires prophecy. " both of which are derogitory, insulting, and contradictory to the information quoted in the same post. But no point in re-hashing the arguments if answers are what you want, right?
I do not know how you came to these conclusions:
"Hostility towards recognized NDNs.
A persecution complex about being unenrolled or unrecognized.Vagueness about their alleged ability to teach tradition. "
"These winged creatures are the essence of Spirit-Energy. As such they need a “bed-plate??? of matter to continue the creation of a material plane. Humanity is that bed-plate. To take care of this new, material body, “Ego??? was invented along with consciousness. We are now separate from Spirit Nature (our True Nature) only because the Ego, with its will, rebels against the Spirit-Self."
Are you seriously trying to tell us *that* is part of Cherokee tradition? "
Yes, other than descriptive terminology is different. The Winged Beings are a part of Cherokee traditions as well as many others.
"he's just taking Ed McGaa's word about Lakota tradition."
Ed has no regard for MaGaa, nor ever read anything by him. He received his Lakota information directly from reputable sources, in the traditional ways. He has had opportunities to stay with several other tribal cultures besides his own, share the knowledge, and participate in ceremonies.
"Why would an alleged Cherokee traditionalist spend so much time teaching about medicine wheels, for example? "
Medicine wheels are a part of Cherokee tradition, as a tool for teaching.
Three basic things that most north American tribes have in common are sacred use of tobacco, medicine wheels, and purification rites. Keeping in mind that the culture goes back at least 10,000 years, some variations specific to certain tribes/groups have evolved.
And why would a Micmaq be teaching "lost Cherokees"?
Why shouldn't a Mi'kmaq teach people of Cherokee or any other heritage ? Runingwolf is a superb artist and craftsman as well as historian. He speaks several languages and dialects, and is well recognized as a pictoglyph interpreter. He has taught at UNM, U-AZ, Berkely, NM Park Service, etc, and can give you referances to check from them as well as from Mescalero, Pueblo, and others.
In the early history of the Americas, the indigenous people traveled, intermingled, inter-married, and traded to and from all points. They had a large population, complex societies, cities with outlaying villages, regional centers for ceremony, education, commerce, etc. It was after the Spanish (who did NOT "discover" America) and others brought diseases that killed more people than their weapons did, and the population was decimated (estimated at 80%-90% of aprox 100,000,000), that the survivors became more separated.
The site that Soquili Center is on was an inter-tribal center for education and major ceremonies for 1000s of years. We are keeping with that concept in the re-establishment of the place. We have hosted representatives of other NDN backgrounds and cultures, who have (protocol being followed) shared ceremony, teachings, and comradere.
It is a Sacred Site by it's inherent nature as well as use by previous occupants. This has been experienced by many people, and historically documented by the first Euro settler here in the 1750s.
We do not own the property, are leasing the farm that contains some of the former habitation areas and most of the ceremonial site; another part of the site is on an adjoining tract which is being developed. This farm may be sold for development in the future. We are taking steps necessary to preserve and perpetuate this place for what it was and is, for the benefit af all.