I was blessed to be able to live with the Cree for over 15 years. I was fortunate to be apprenticed to one of the most respected Cree of the 70’s and 80’s, Abe Burnstick (Cree-Paul Band, but he spent his later years on his wife’s reserve in Hobbema). And Abe introduced me to folk who under normal circumstances, would never have taught a non-Indian. So I was lucky enough to learn at the feet of such people as
Chief Robert Smallboy (Cree-Hobbema), inducted into the Order of Canada in 1979, the highest award the Canadian government can give a civilian;
Ben Calf Robe (Blackfoot) (there is now a school named after Ben in Edmonton. He was a scout for the North West Mounted Police (and later the RCMP);
Peter O’Chiese, hereditary chief of the Saulteaux O’Chiese band. Peter’s father refused to sign the treaties and took his family into the foothills of the eastern Rockies. Peter was born and raised migrating north and south along these foothills. Peter did not see a steel knife until he was 16 years old;
Mel Paul (Stoney) of the Paul Band at Duffield. Mel blessed my first Pipe and gave me my first Drum. He adopted me into his family;
Eva MacKay (Sioux) from Sioux Valley, Manitoba;
Rose Auger (Cree-Driftpile); and many others.
And most of all I learned from my Cree wife, Eva Cardinal, nee Redcrow (Cree-Saddle Lake), still a respected Elder and Medicine woman. You can find references to Eva (and some of the others as well) on the net, mostly in reference to films and videos about residential schools and Indian education. Just living with Eva was an education in the Cree ways as she was Cree to her finger tips. She was also an interpreter for the Elders and thus had the Sacred vocabulary of the Cree available to her. Her uncle, The Honorable Ralph G. Steinhauer (Cree-Saddle Lake), was Lieutenant Governor (the Queen’s Representative) of Alberta from 1974-79. He was the first Native to be so honored. Her brother, Stanley Redcrow was also a well known Elder.
As I said, I was blessed. I learned from the living books of the culture bearers of many tribes (all, BTW, non-drinkers). I recently heard that Eddie Bellrose (Cree-Drift Pile) had passed over, so I am the only apprentice to Abe still living and sharing. Eva has returned to Saddle Lake is an Elder to her people.
One important note. Unlike Eva and my other teachers, I am NOT a culture bearer of the Cree. I am, and have been from the beginning, a bridge between the cultures. I have a foot in both worlds. So my teachers said, and so it has been. So, although I have been given the right to share some aspects of the Cree way under some conditions, if you seriously want to learn more about the Cree, go to the Cree.
Reiki Lineage and Other Tidbits
My original attunements were by Carolyn Taylor. She was attuned by Diane Stein. If you can follow Diane Stein’s lineage, more power to you. I flew Carolyn Taylor up from San Francisco to the Yukon in the spring of ’96. (I think it was ’96, but I just pulled her certificates and she doesn’t date them. Could have been as early as ’94.) Been cross attuned to so many variants, I don’t recall them all, but they do include Karuna (Master), the Lightarian Reiki stuff, & Seichim/SHKM/et al (Peter Stacy). The Karuna and Lightarian stuff was direct with Isabelle Faith in the Yukon (now Alberta), the Seichim and others, distant.
I have been teaching since ’71. Started as an Adult Education Specialist at University of California: Santa Cruz (Community Development Department). Did a lot of workshops in Personal Growth, Human Development, Interpersonal Communications, plus Community Development, Management and Addictions related workshops and classes.
Been teaching Reiki practically since Mastership. Taught in Europe (Switzerland, France, Belgium), Canada and the US.
If it matters, I have also been a speaker at three international conferences on Addictions, including one sponsored by the United Nations. Wrote a two volume book related to addiction work in Indian country. Very specialized and dull, with a very limited printing. I knew the Library of Congress numbers once, but that stuff is long gone from my consciousness.
Oh, and I am ordained in a couple of different ways.
But, you know, none of the above matters. What does matter is the flow of energy and the healing folks do when they receive it. That is really the only certification anyone needs.
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