News and Site Updates

We have some new site content and a new Facebook page.

Yes, we have pretty much jumped ship to FB. If people come back to LJ that could change, so we're leaving this group up. But if you want to find us...

  • CAORANN Stands in Solidarity with Idle No More - The struggle for sovereignty in the First Nations has many parallels to the struggle for sovereignty in the Six Celtic Nations. Those of us living in the diaspora face different challenges than do our relatives in the Celtic Nations. Many of us live on NDN land that is unceded territory, or where the treaties to co-exist in harmony were violated by our non-Native relatives. It is important to us to respect the traditional laws, treaties, and Elders of the lands where we now live, to find a way to live in harmony and mutual respect. We stand in solidarity with Idle No More.

  • On Indigenous Knowledge and Indigenous Identity - Recently there is a movement on the part of some non-Natives - Americans, Canadians and Europeans - to identify as "Indigenous European." The first people to use this phrase were white supremacist groups, who are appropriating the term "Indigenous" to make it seem like white people are somehow an oppressed minority. Others are appropriating it because they have racist stereotypes of Native people as all "mystical" and therefore white folks who call themselves "Indigenous" are somehow more mystical too. We have seen non-Natives using this cloak of "Indigenous European" in an attempt to colonize councils of actual Indigenous people, and to even lead and pretend to speak for real Indigenous People. We feel this is an act of racism and attempted cultural genocide.
    (Blog entry on this as well: Americans and "Indigenous" Identity)

  • CAORANN on Facebook - Updates and networking. Since most everyone has migrated to Facebook...

  • CAORANN on Twitter - New account, but it seems to be the thing to do.

bullshit meter (from justtogo)

The Return of White Ego Fraud

Rachel Holzwarth (aka "Suraj Holzwarth" aka "White Eagle Medicine Woman") laid low for a bit after lots of Native American groups protested her "prayerformances" and workshops. At these events she charges outrageous fees to white people to watch her mimic pipe ceremony and other Native American ceremonies of which she has no knowledge and to which she has no right. She claims to be Seneca, because she had a dream she's Seneca. She's not Seneca. She belongs to no Native American or First Nations community. She parades around in fake ceremonial regalia, and gave herself the oh-so-humble name, "White Eagle Medicine Woman". She's no medicine woman. She is a fraud, making her living off the ignorance of non-Natives who think they can buy their way to enlightenment.

When gig after gig on the mainland US was shut down by Native protestors, she just moved to Hawaii, and used a private mailing list to solicit marks and charge even more money for private workshops. In this video promoting a Hawaii event, she made stunningly racist statements about how she's here to heal Indians of "anger and negativity" and "release their souls" and "heal our stories"... or something. Sickening stuff.

As I mentioned here, at times she has tried to dissemble about her activities by claiming they are "Celtic". Nope, no one bought that lie, either. But it hasn't stopped her. Like all perennial frauds, she just waited it out and has now broken all the promises she made. She has returned to the mainland and is planning more appearances and workshops.

At the Michigan protest she promised not to wear her fake Native regalia anymore, among other things. As all recent photos and videos show, she has broken every promise she made. She is also selling chant books and tapes that appear to me to contain copyright violations from multiple First Nations artists as well as Neopagan ones.

Don't Pay to Pray has posted an update with lots of links here: YouTube Action: White Eagle Woman's At It Again!

Another of Mtig49's videos about Holzwarth. Though I will note that he has reproduced Holzwarth's claims to be "A trained Strega Wiccan priestess". I don't think this is true, either. Obviously, this crap she's selling has nothing to do with Stregheria, and I've never heard of anyone from those communities claiming her, either. It looks like Rachel/Suraj has claimed to be all sorts of things over the years, tailoring her self-description to whatever market she's keen to exploit.

crossposted to Pàganachd Bhandia
don't be a dick

National Day of Mourning - Thursday, November 27, 2008

United American Indians of New England
284 Amory St.
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 522-6626




An annual tradition since 1970, Day of Mourning is a solemn, spiritual and highly political day. Many of us fast from sundown the day before through the afternoon of that day (and have a social after Day of Mourning so that participants in DOM can break their fasts). We are mourning our ancestors and the genocide of our peoples and the theft of our lands. NDOM is a day when we mourn, but we also feel our strength in political action. Over the years, participants in Day of Mourning have buried Plymouth Rock a number of times, boarded the Mayflower replica, and placed ku klux klan sheets on the statue of William Bradford, etc.

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reporting for duty (bridge crew)

"Skin Coloured"

Skin Coloured is intended to be a collaborative, visual exploration of what it is to be non-white in a white culture. Make-up, plasters and tights - even when they’re marked “flesh-coloured” - are not the colour of skin that isn’t white. And whilst white women may have trouble matching these items to their skin, for women who don’t class themselves as white, this inconvenience is symptomatic of a wider problem.

To help illustrate this problem, therefore, Skin Coloured is looking for submissions. Send us photographs that illustrate the inadequacy of provisions for non-white people, and we’ll post them on the blog, and hopefully both those submitting, and those who’re here to learn, will gain something from it.

Further information can be found here. Please help us by reposting this.

Sábháil Teamhair

Seneca Man speaks out against Rachel Holzwarth

Rachel Holzwarth

There are lots of frauds out there - spiritual leaders who are using aspects of Native American ceremonies, against the wishes of those in the very communities they are stealing from. In the Gaelic and CR communities we are dealing with this when some white person decides they will justify their theft by calling it "Celtic", and hoping people are stupid enough to not know that the ceremonies and beliefs of the diverse Celtic Nations are different from those of the various First Nations. While some settle for the ugliness of painting a triskele on a fake Indian drum and doing their idea of a chanupa (pipe) ceremony, the really shameless have even gone so far as to publicly tack a mis-applied Gaelic (or other Celtic) name on their idea of an Inipi or smudging ceremony, stupidly thinking that no one out there who is actually part of these cultures will notice. Though not always confronted in public, these people are being laughed at by those who speak the languages (Native American and Celtic languages).

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crossposted to Pàganachd Bhandia
Sábháil Teamhair

Official Statement on Cherokee Spiritual Leaders

This is an official statement by Richard L. Allen. EdD, who is the Research & Policy Analyst for the Cherokee Nation. I am reposting it here (and over at my Pàganachd Bhandia blog), because we still have the problem of people thinking that any person of American Indian ancestry, or who claims such ancestry, is somehow a representative or spiritual leader for a particular Nation, or indeed all Native Americans. Hopefully this will clear some of that up.

Additionally, if someone claims to be a spiritual leader, ask for details: who trained them, where are they from, and then contact the tribal offices to check on their claims. Most Nations have websites now, but if google doesn't turn up an official site, feel free to contact me for help finding their phone numbers or mailing addresses.

Greetings --

The Cherokee Nation is overwhelmed with those charlatans who fraudulently claim to be shaman, spiritual leaders or descendents of a Cherokee princess.

Such individuals make such claims without ever having lived within the Cherokee communities. They claim to be descended from some nebulous and mysterious ancestor who was from "a reservation in North Carolina" (there is only one) or "a reservation in Oklahoma" (there are none). The ancestor is never just a plain ordinary everyday Cherokee citizen but a "Cherokee Princess," a "Cherokee Shaman," or a "Cherokee Pipe carrier" none of which actually exist or ever have. Those who claim to be "shaman" do not reside within the known boundaries of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma.

Cherokee medicine people and spiritual leaders are known to the Cherokee people and do not practice medicine for a fee nor sell "shamanic" lessons to anyone. They do not advertise their services through any form of media and certainly not over the internet.

Traditional Cherokee healers and spiritual leaders provide their services to the Cherokee people. A Cherokee medicine person or spiritual leader is fluent in the Cherokee language and would conduct any medical or spiritual practices by using the Cherokee language. Therefore, our medicine people are those who were born of a Cherokee mother and a Cherokee father and would have been reared within a Cherokee community speaking the Cherokee language. Our traditional Cherokee healers and spiritual leaders are humble people and would not present themselves as such nor "hang out a shingle" so to speak.

Cherokee medicine people are acknowledged and recognized by members of the Cherokee community as effective healers and leaders. It is the recognition of the Cherokee people that validates these persons as medicine people and healers not self-proclaimation. We may provide them small gifts, a token amount of money or foodstuffs in payment for their services. They do not charge for their services nor would they withhold their services when asked and they certainly would not prescibe payment by credit card.

Cherokee medicine people may provide services to recognized members of other tribes or may provide services to non-Indians who would seek them out for treatment, but certainly would not mix their spirituality or medicine with that of other nations.

Cherokee medicine and spiritual practices do not include tarot cards, palmistry, psychic readings or sweatlodge ceremonies.

One may assume that anyone claiming to be a Cherokee "shaman, spiritual healer, or pipe-carrier," is equivalent to a modern day medicine show and snake-oil vendor.

You have my permission to print this response as is.

Richard L. Allen. EdD
Research & Policy Analyst
Cherokee Nation
P.O. Box 948
Tahlequah, Oklahoma 74465
kpn at highland games '07

Indigenous Holocaust Denial

Swedish TV, which declined to air the award-winning documentary, Spirits for Sale, is now instead repeatedly airing the film Historiens fångar ("Prisoners of the Past"), a propaganda piece consisting of an hour of relentless paternalism, offensive stereotypes, and racism both subtle and blatant. The central premise of this ugly, inconsistent piece of work is that indigenous people are having social and economic problems only because they are "stuck in the past", their cultures are "dead", and the only way to fix all these problems would be to abandon all traditional ways and adopt the cultures of their white oppressors. Curiously, the oppressors are never named as oppressors, even though they are the voices that guide and contextualize the film. Yes, they actually hired known White Supremacists to provide commentary, with one of them even posing as an American Indian. (more on this later.)

The film actually proposes that traditional cultures and traditional peoples are the cause of suffering in indigenous communities. Not colonialism or racism, traditionals. No traditional people speak in the film. (And the filmmakers are also clueless about who is and isn't traditional. At one point they seem to be implying that casino magnates are the traditionals. Or something. Like I said, they're confused.)

The actual Indigenous people who speak in the film (Australian Aboriginal, Inuit, Cheyenne, and Sami individuals) are basically there only to tell of the difficult or abusive periods and situations in their lives, especially when these involved conflicts with other Native people. But then their experiences are taken out of context and their stories exploited to serve the racist aims of the producers. The only positive things that are ever said about indigenous people in the film are when an indigenous person has assimilated into mainstream, white culture. Even the Sami people, who are portrayed in the more positive light, are outraged about the misrepresentations and white supremacist agenda in the film.

One of the reasons we are concerned about this film is that it was made for an international audience, and there is reason to believe they may soon be trying to sell it to an American market, if they aren't already.

The can see the film on the SVT website. It will be viewable on the Internet for the rest of the month, then it´ll be removed. (note - you will need to go to the menu on the right and select Historiens fångar)

Who to write to in protest:
The guy who made the film, Poul-Erik Heilbuth:
The documentary department of SVT. The head of the dept. is Ingemar Persson:

If you have enough of the language to navigate the site, you can lodge a complaint at the Granskningsnämden för radio and TV (broadcast standards tribunal) in Sweden here: here

I'm also reproducing here an open letter to the producers from Dr. Al Carroll, historian, professor, and founder of NAFPS

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kpn at highland games '07

Spirits for Sale

A film about the exploitation and misrepresentation of First Nations traditions has been completed and will be premiering this month. For more info, check out

Congratulations to Annika and the rest of the crew for all their hard work!

from their website:

About protection of ceremonies

The information in Europe about Native Americans and Native Canadians is most often full of fantasies and lies. People in general know very little about American Indians and their general view is based on stereotypes, mascots and film clichés. In some cases the belief is that “Indians do not exist.” Europe has also seen a growing interest in so called Native American spirituality. Ceremonies and rituals together with sacred objects are being sold on websites and in papers. Cults and organisations offer people to become “an Indian shaman” or a medicine man during a weekend course. Seldom or never do Native voices get heard and because of the lack of information, con-men make a considerable amount of money while they violate the spirituality of mostly Plains Indians.

This film will address the issue of spiritual exploiters and the harm they do towards Native cultures but also to followers who, in many cases, “don´t have a clue”.

*crossposting encouraged*