hide You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 17:26:03 Dec 08, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page.
Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia
spacer spacer spacer spacer
Nature's Law
Spiritual Life, Governance, Culture, Traditions, Resources, Context and Background
The Heritage Community Foundation, Alberta Law Foundation and Albertasource.ca
Home  |   About  |   Contact Us  |   Partners  |   Sitemap spacer
spacer

Sun Dance

Sacred Pipe

Sweatlodge

Sun Dance

Vision Quest

Medicine People

Hunting

Visual representation of nature's laws


"When we make a commitment to make a Sundance, we don't do it for ourselves. This year, I'm making it for my daughter. She was sick over a year ago, and I brought her to every sweat or every spiritual doctor I could. She kept going down, down. She couldn't even care for her kids. I told my wife I was going to make a Sundance for her to be cured, and inside a week she was as normal as you and I. So, I'm thankful. That's why I'm paying for my commitment. I have to suffer. Other people are going to participate, and I'm praying for them, too."


Relation of Sundance to Astrology and Astronomy
Interviewer - Earle Waugh, PhD.
 

 

After the first day of the Sundance, George allows dancers the option of partaking in a small feast. Then the pledgers fast and dance for three more exhausting days in a large, circular lodge made of heavy poles and greenery. As one elder from Prince Albert put it, "After you take that last drink of water, you are a ghost."


The Role of the Pledger in the Sundance
Interviewer - Earle Waugh, PhD.
 

 

George further explains, "You're there with the spirits and they will cleanse you. You've got to prepare yourself and have faith to make it through."

On the final day, dancers present gifts to the elders whom they want to pray for them. Whether it is a blanket, cloth, gun, horse, or a little tobacco, "that elder will never refuse it and he'll pray for you the best way he knows how."


Wayne Roan Discusses a Diagram of the Sundance
Interviewer - Earle Waugh, PhD.
 

 

Most respected elders have evolved spiritually in part because they have come to terms with the material world. As George learned the way of becoming a pipe-holder, he was tested many times regarding his attachment to earthly possessions.


The Importance of the Sundance and it's Eventual Banning

Series Coordinator - Dr. Earle Waugh
© 1980 Access
 

"I had a gun scope and I loved that thing, but I gave it away," George recalls, adding it made him feel good to do it. Spiritual fulfillment doesn't come from things, and it is the act of sincerely offering treasured objects, not the object, that satisfies elders who realize such actions cut through selfishness.


Sundance - The Festivities

Series Coordinator - Dr. Earle Waugh
© 1980 Access

 


Sundance - The Ceremony

Series Coordinator - Dr. Earle Waugh
© 1980 Access

 


Sundance - Centre Pole and Lodge Construction

Series Coordinator - Dr. Earle Waugh
© 1980 Access
 


Sundance - Pledgers

Series Coordinator - Dr. Earle Waugh
© 1980 Access

 

deco deco
bottom

Albertasource.ca | Contact Us | Partnerships
            For more on Aboriginal views of governance, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
Copyright © Heritage Community Foundation All Rights Reserved