Code of Ethics
Oklevueha Native American Church Code of Ethics
GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND INDIGENOUS SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
The world–wide Oklevueha Native American Church (ONAC) and its Branches are dedicated to the revival and preservation of Ancestral Indigenous Native Earth–Based Honoring Cultures, Religions, Lifestyles, Sacred Rituals, Healing Sacraments, and Loving Humanitarian Codes of Ethics and Conduct that protect Mother Earth and all of her living beings from desecration, pollution, or abuses for economic gains.
Oklevueha Native American Church and her branches accept all-natural organic plants as Healing Sacraments. These plants have benefitted humans for thousands of years and are central to our established religious beliefs and sacred ceremonies. These include peyote, ayahuasca, psilocybin, cannabis, and other sacred medicinal plants that have been found to benefit the health and welfare of recipients, so long as it does not place them in harm’s way.
Spiritual Facilitating Leaders (Medicine Person) of Oklevueha Native American Church are known by a variety of sacred titles: Chasta, Clergy, Curandero(a), Doctor, Elder, Mara’akame, Reverend, Roadman, Sacred Prayer Pipe Carrier, Water Pourer, Shaman, Indigenous Ceremonial Leader, etc.
An Oklevueha Native American Church Medicine Person (Spiritual and Indigenous Ceremonial Leader) need not claim exclusive or definitive knowledge of his or her practice, since wisdom and competencies are frequently developed over years of observation and experience. However, every ONAC Medicine Person must be approved to do this work by both their branch leadership council and the leadership of ONAC Mother Church. Responsibility to assure that those who act as ONAC Medicine people (Spiritual and Indigenous Ceremonial Leaders) are trained, responsible, and have the wisdom and integrity to conduct ceremonies in a safe and traditional manner and those who choose to work with sacraments rests with the branch leadership and Mother Church.
Even though one of Oklevueha Native American Church’s primary purposes is to administer Sacramental Ceremonies, an Oklevueha Native American Church Medicine Person or Indigenous Ceremonial Leader is free to choose not to administer a sacred sacrament during any particular Ancestral Indigenous Earth–Based Native American Ceremony.
The Oklevueha Native American Church (ONAC) respects all empowerment and healing modalities, including: Indigenous Spiritual Ceremonies, allopathic medicines, naturopathic and integrative complimentary medicines. ONAC honors the fundamental Hippocratic principle of “Do No Harm to the Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, and/or Physical Being” of any of our Earthly relations. It recognizes that each healing and empowering modality is intended to promote the optimal health and well–being of the participant. It believes that all forms of care can be incorporated into empowerment and/or healing for all of our relations, in a complementary and integrated manner.
Oklevueha Native American Church considers itself a protector of sacred medicines, and therefore requests that all members and medicine people ONLY sit with sacred medicines for prayer, healing, and medicinal purposes.
A minimum of four (4) sunsets must pass from the completion of a sacrament ceremony before the same ONAC authorized medicine person can conduct a sacrament ceremony of a different primary sacrament, unless otherwise authorized by the ONAC Council of Advisors. This is a critical requirement, and it is made for your safety. There must be no mixing of medicines and/or sitting with different master medicines within that 4-sunset period, as that is out of compliance.
Oklevueha Native American Church is part of an indigenous Native Spiritual Earth-Based Healing and empowering international collective that serves individuals and the wider community whenever and wherever an ONAC member resides. ONAC is authorized to do this sacred work by a special blessing from both Leslie Fool Bull and Richard Swallow, Medicine Men of the Lakota Sioux nation.
Oklevueha Native American Church is committed to growth by attraction through service rather than proselytizing for membership.
All Oklevueha Native American Church Indigenous Ceremonies of North, Central, and South America (Birth, Breath, Marriage, Passing Over, Prayer Pipe, Sacrament, Spirit Dance, Sun Dance, Sweat Lodge, Earth Connecting Ceremonies, and Vision Quests) may include or facilitate extreme mental, emotional, and physical transformations. Therefore, when a member chooses to participate in any Ancestral Indigenous Earth–Based Native American Ceremony with the assistance of a recognized Oklevueha Native American Church Medicine Person or Spiritual Leader, both take on special responsibilities and understandings. Both members and facilitating leaders should be aware of their responsibilities and those of the people they are working with.
A1) INSPIRATION AND CHANGE. Efforts should be made to ensure that Oklevueha Native American Church spiritual practices are always inspired and conducted in ways that respect the common good, with due regard for public safety, health, and order. Medicine People shall exercise special care in assisting the direction of energies of those whom they serve, as well as their own energies, in responsible ways that reflect a loving and respectful regard for all life.
A2) EXISTING CONDITIONS. Disclosures previous to ceremony shall include, at a minimum: discussion of any elements of the ceremony that could reasonably be seen as presenting physical or psychological risks, and the disclosure and proper vetting of any medical conditions, or prescription medications they are using. In particular, first time authorized participants must be advised that Native American Ceremonies can be difficult and dramatically transforming.
A3) WATCHFULNESS. The Medicine People will monitor the health and safety of participants during the ceremony and the few hours of vulnerability that may follow a ceremony carefully and with reasonable preparations. They will also ensure that all those who participate in ceremony or personal counseling where sacred medicines are present are members of Oklevueha NAC. If the person in question does not have a valid ONAC membership card, the leaders/medicine people will verify the standing of the person in questions with the main office of ONAC before allowing them to participate. Under no circumstances should an ONAC Medicine Person work with people who are not members of ONAC, as we cannot offer legal protections.
A4) INCLUSIVENESS. Oklevueha Native American Church ceremonies are to be conducted in the spirit of service. Medicine People accommodate members without regard to race, religious affiliations, gender, cultural background, financial status, and/or political affiliations.
A5) VULNERABILITY. Oklevueha Native American Church Medicine People are aware during ceremony that members and authorized participants may be especially open to suggestion. Medicine People pledge to protect participants and not to allow anyone to use that vulnerability in ways that harm themselves or others.
FOR ONAC MEMBERS
B1) PREPARATION AND SAFETY. Each participant in Oklevueha Native American Church ceremonies must agree to comply with all directions or instructions concerning the safety and well-being of all in attendance, from one-hour prior, during, and a minimum of three hours after ceremonies being conducted by an Oklevueha Native American Church Medicine Person.
B2) LIFE CHANGES. Often, the increased awareness gained from Native American Spiritual and Indigenous Ceremonies will catalyze a desire in the participant’s life for personal and social change. In most cases, these changes should only be made after deep introspection and consideration as to how they will affect the other beings connected to the participant.
B3) EXISTING CONDITIONS. ONAC Members agree to disclose to the ONAC Spiritual Leaders any medical or mental conditions prior to any ceremony that might be affected in any way during a ceremony, including, at a minimum, discussion of any concerns regarding medication, trauma responses, or any previous condition that could be of concern.
B4) WATCHFULNESS. Those who assist the Medicine Person during ceremony are called “Gatekeepers”. They are responsible to assist the Medicine People in monitoring the health and safety of all participants during the ceremony and the few hours of vulnerability that may follow a ceremony. ONAC Members participating in the ceremony must remember that they are there to do work for themselves, and not to involve themselves with the process others are experiencing while doing their own work.
B5) CONSENT OF PARTICIPANT. The autonomy and sovereignty of each member and/or authorized participant is to be respected and preserved by Oklevueha Native American Church Medicine People and Indigenous Ceremonial Leaders. Participation in any Oklevueha Native American Church Ceremony must be voluntary and based on prior disclosure and consent given by each participant while in an ordinary rational state of consciousness.
FOR ONAC LEADERS AND MEMBERS
C1) RESPECT. Oklevueha Native American Church Leaders and members agree to conduct themselves in ways that cultivate awareness, empathy, and wisdom for all members during ceremonies. ONAC Members also agree to respect, empower, and continually support the ONAC Medicine People and Gatekeepers as they serve the ONAC Community.
C2) LIFE CHANGES. Often, the increased awareness gained from Native American Spiritual and Indigenous Ceremonies will catalyze a desire in the participant’s life for personal and social change. In most cases, these changes should only be made after deep introspection and consideration as to how they will affect the other beings connected to the participant
C3) LIMITATIONS. Limits on the behaviors and interaction between ONAC Members, ONAC Medicine People and Indigenous Ceremonial Leaders, as well as other ONAC Members are to be made clear and agreed upon in advance of any Indigenous Native American Ceremony.
C4) MINORS. Those under 18 years old will not be admitted to ceremonies where sacred medicines are present unless all of the following requirements are fulfilled:
- The medicine person gives specific permission for their attendance after careful vetting of the minor child with parents present
- A parent or legal guardian must attend the ceremony with the minor and take full responsibility for their care and well-being
- The minor person and both parents and/or legal guardians must be members of Oklevueha NAC
- There is specific documentation regarding minor participation that must be obtained from Mother Church. This documentation must be signed by both parents (unless one parent has sole legal custody, not just physical custody) or legal guardians, as well as the ONAC Medicine Person conducting the ceremony. This paperwork must be returned to Mother Church before the ceremony.
C5) CONFIDENTIALITY AND CUSTOMS. Cultural and religious customs and confidentiality of all participants are to be accepted and honored by all ONAC members. Follow and respect the Medicine Person’s instructions and conduct yourself with respect in the circle. Once medicine is served, we ask that you remain within the ceremony circle. Should you choose to leave a ceremony before it is completed, do not leave the ceremonial grounds until you are given permission from the Medicine Person, and always remember your own safety and do not drive after sitting with medicine. If you leave before the ceremony is completed, you do so at your own risk.
C6) ABUSE NOT PROTECTED. Oklevueha Native American Church has zero tolerance for and abhors any manner of physical and/or sexual abuse of any under aged person, and any abuse and/or exploitation of ANY person in any physical and/or sexual form. The violation of this fundamental Ethic by any ONAC member will subject the violator to the full consequences of the laws of the land. This holds true whether in ceremony or not.
C7) SACRAMENTS UNDER DIRECTION OF MEDICINE PEOPLE. Members of Oklevueha Native American Church agree that sacred plant medicines admitted into the body may be considered a sacrament. Some of those substances have the potential to be harmful if inappropriately used. Therefore, we will not tolerate the recreational use of any of these sacred medicines, and any member found doing so will be out of compliance. The Oklevueha Native American Church does not approve of the utilization of any sacrament in a manner that would be likely to cause harm to oneself or to others. Therefore, members agree that sacred sacramental medicines must be served under the direction of an authorized ONAC Medicine Person (Sacramental Ceremonial Leaders) to be legally protected. This direction extends to the personal private work with medicines when not in ceremony or direct contact with the medicine people. Members agree that sacraments/medicines should always be stored in such a way that they are not available to those who are not members or are not under the direction of medicine people.
C8) INCLUSIVENESS. Oklevueha Native American Church ceremonies are to be conducted in the spirit of service. ONAC members agree to participate in ceremonies respecting all participants and leaders without regard to race, religious affiliations, gender, cultural background, financial status, and/or political affiliations.
C9) LEGAL STANDING. Members and branch leaders including Medicine People do not have legal standing to include Oklevueha Native American Church (ONAC) in any legal issue that does not directly involve Mother Church. NO legal actions (including lawsuits, civil actions, and legal complaints, among others) taken by members and leaders can indicate that Mother Church is part of that action. Any situation where legal actions require the involvement of ONAC must be handled by ONAC Mother Church and by their legal representatives. Any legal action that includes the word “Oklevueha”, even when the word is part of the name of the branch, must specifically indicate that the action is being taken by the branch and not by Mother Church or its leaders or members.