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    The lessons and principles of the Red Road of North American Native Spirituality
    by Donato Cianci

    classic poetry

    What could be more important nowadays,
    as we approach a time of dire global conflict and scarcity, than

    * learning to better understand ourselves and others,

    * learning how to manage our relationships, our habits, our addictions,

    * healing our relationhip with all living and non-living on the Planet,

    * getting more satisfaction, and less stress in our lives?

    You can download the "Lttle Eagle" flyer now or read on to see what 's in it.
    click here to download flyer in .pdf format
    Please note the "Little Eagle" flyer is in its first draft, if you have any questions, or think it needs some clarification or some correction, please let me know by email at


  • The lessons and principles of the Red Road of North American Native Spirituality

    are the most fundamental, organic, simple and non-controversial
    rules for right living to be found in any of the human world's great religions.

    They conflict with no philosophies, nor any way of life, including that of all other life on this Planet.

    They hold every living and non-living point of view to be sacred, worthy of support and respect.

    We are walking the Red Road of Respect,

    in respect for all living and non-living
    and teaching ourselves and maybe others to engage the White Way of learning

    We believe both these paths must be followed by all if Mother Earth is to continue to hold human and other life.

    It is time to pay attention, amid the pageantry and exuberance of Powwows and other demonstations,

    to the Powerful Learnings and Teachings available from the Red Road’s ancient lessons in practical, everyday communications with ourselves, our habits, and how they may differ in a good way from those of others who are also folowing a way good for them.

    I have a dream that every Powwow and Aboriginal led circle,
    will include these lessons we so greatly need to hear,
    as well as the drumming, singing, dancing and pageantry of the Red Road....

    The White culture people need to learn RESPECT

    to respect the ways of others, all living and non-living, to get on the Red Road

    The Red culture people need to learn to RESPECT LEARNING in the White Way.

    This why we have written this , to provide more learning about the Red Road to all.

    The Teaching of The Red Road

    The Red Road, the generic term for the religions of the North American First Nations people, is one of the world’s great religions by virtue of the incredible endurance of its rituals, over 10 000 years, and the completeness and simplicity of its message and spiritual practice.

    it is still entirely an oral tradition, depending for its transmission on no holy book, but only on the teachings of its practitioners. Any adult whose life is judged to have been lived in humility and honesty, and who has made a contribution to the good of the community, can become a leader on the Red Road, an Elder, who will be asked to carry a sacred Pipe and to conduct the Sweat Lodge Ceremony.

    The teachings are based on the fundamental principles that earth itself is our Great Mother, having given birth to us and all other living and nonliving beings, that our Father Sky is the constant holder of the laws of the Universe, that give surety and continuity to our days, that the sun will rise, the moon set, and the stars remain in their places forever.

    Mother Earth is supreme in needing nothing else but Father Sky for her survival. Next are the plants,the trees, all of green life, for they need only Mother Earth to survive. Next in the hierarchy are the animals, who need the plants and Mother Earth. The least and most dependent are the humans. We are the youngest children of Mother Earth. We are the weakest since we need all the others for our survival.

    The Red Road does not see mankind as dominant, but as weak, and needing to b respectful and mindful of our lesser place in Creation. To compensate for our weakness, we have been give many blessings and rituals by the Creator,Gitche Manitou (In Anishnabe), the Great Spirit. Those treading the Red Road are not so arrogant as to think we know what God looks like, so we call the Creator, “Manitou”, meaning ‘”Mystery”.

    All religions seem to have important words that define something of their essence. The word for Christianity might be “love”, The word for Islam and Judaism might be “obedience”. The word for Buddhism might be “non-attachment”. The word for the Red Road seems to be “respect”. Respect for all living and nonliving beings, for Mother Earth and everything she holds, including ourselves.

    As well as the attitude of respect for all alive, for Mother Earth and all her children, the Red Road is defined by its rituals. The most important of these are The Smudge with sacred herbs, Drumming and singing with the hand drum or the big pow wow drum, The Naming Ceremony, The Pipe Ceremony, The Sweat Lodge and the Pow Wow for a more social than spiritual occasion.

    The sacred herbs are sage, sweet grass, cedar, tobacco. The sacred symbols are The Pipe, The Drum, The Eagle Feather. An individual’s sacred symbol and guide is their totem, usually an animal or bird, usually part of their own Spirit Name they receive in the Naming Ceremony.

    Here, in southern Ontario, when we enter the Sweat lodge we are carrying on a religious ceremony that is at least 10 000 years old in this part of the world. It seems an awesome blessing, to be gifted with this way of spirituality.

    The Lodge, and all the ceremonies of the Red Road, are conducted to enable us to take time out of our daily survival activities to re-connect with the source of our creation, with the creator who made us. In these ceremonies we focus our minds and actions on remembering and honouring Mother Earth and the many blessings she has bestowed. We ask for healing, emotional and physical. We celebrate our brief time of existence. We honour the life we see around us, with whom we live, and on whom we depend.

    As we exit the Lodge, after the ceremony, we cry out “All my relations” announcing that we are entering the world, to be with all other living and nonliving beings, who are indeed all our relations. There is no stronger bond on the Red Road, than that between relatives.

    Donato January 29/12

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    About Donato
    Read more about Donato Cianci... poet, writer, image-maker, drummaker.

    "The landscape we grew up on teaches us
    how to be ourselves"

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