MShaw Thesis Methods Utilized by the San Francisco Tlingit and Haida 2017.doc

At powwows provides us with the opportunity to be

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at powwows provides us with the opportunity to be with other members of our tribe who choose to attend and find members who are not yet in contact with the community and bring them in. It also provides the opportunity to dress in our traditional regalia. Some members of our tribe have attended powwows dressed in plains regalia and participated in grass dancing or fancy dancing, which tears them away from the community and a tribal identity and replaces it with, at best, an urban Indian identity, and at worst a completely different tribal identity. A few tribal members have been said to participate in yearly sun dances, which are Lakota in origin. These all tear away at tribal identity and cultural connectivity with one’s own culture. It has become very common in California to use a sage leaf smudge stick at the beginning of various ceremonies. The use of sage is so prevalent that it is frequently used in New Age and Pagan 15 practices and its specific tribal origins are cloudy. Although northwest coastal peoples did use cedar to smudge with, they did not use sage or sweet grass. The herbs are not interchangeable as how they are believed to work is not identical. Cedar is very important to Northwest Coast peoples who used it to build their homes, canoes, totem poles and even shredded to make the Chilkat robes. When the bark (not the leaves) are burned they produce a crackling noise which calls protective spirits to 15 Pagan in this usage means a follower of an earth based, frequently polytheistic, religion with European origins. Eg: Wicca, Neo-Druidism 114
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us. Cedar was traditionally used as a spiritual cleansing agent and could be used in ritual dances to eliminate one’s shame over improper behavior. As we are not in our own homelands, it is only proper that we respect the traditions of the tribes whose land we are on. Therefore, as a compromise, tribal members might want to first smudge with cedar, and then allow themselves to be smudged with sage, maintaining an awareness that only the cedar smudging is traditional within their culture. To maintain a stronger tribal identity and connection with your tribal community it is crucial to focus your participation within the community itself. Meet and spend time with one another whenever possible. Read, and maybe even contribute, to the newsletter. Attend all the cultural events and yearly picnic. If you can, try to learn more about what is planned by attending the monthly open general meetings of the SFTHC Council. One of the challenges facing the SFTHC members is that there are not enough members of each clan or house to allow a clan or house identity to be as strong as your general tribal identity. Additionally, many displaced Tlingíts don’t know what clan and house they are from. Some don’t even know which moiety. Learning your house, clan and moiety can be strengthening to your identity and beneficial to the community.
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  • Fall '11
  • Debowski
  • Native Americans in the United States, .........

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