By Ellson Bennett
Navajo Life Values
Being born and raised on the reservation I remember being taught by my grandmother these valuable life teachings. Like the wind I can still hear the echo of her voice through my heart and my mind. She would always start by saying,
To all my relatives, my name is Wakiyan Ho Wast’e’, Good Voice Thunder, let my song be my prayer. In a world of confusion a place without respect and no honor for life, we must return to our spiritual leaders, our holy men, our holy women, we must return to our spiritual teachers. Who are our holy men? They are our spiritual guides, our ministers, our elders.
We need our holy men to reconcile us to our core teachings of our culture with dreams and visions guided by the Holy Spirit, our men of old received teachings of life’s circle. With their prayers of faith and spiritual guidance is what leads us to our way of life, our culture.
We must return to our spiritual leaders. Then we will be reconciled with our culture, with our songs, with our teachings, with one another, and most of all with the Forever Spirit, our Father. What good is our culture, our drums, our songs, our dance, our prayers, our languages, our churches, our ceremonies without the teaching of our holy men? What good are our schools, our governments, our businesses, our earth, our reservations, without life’s valuable teachers, our holy men?
Let us remember where our tribes, our clans, our families, and our culture came from and the valuable teachings that came with them. Let us not take for granted these life teachings given by the Holy Spirit, the only God of all when he revealed these wisdoms to our holy men. We must return to our spiritual teachers. Let my song be my prayer.
Christ Within Our Culture
Too many times in the past many have tried to convert the American Indian to a strange culture rather than to Christ. They would have us wear their clothes rather than our traditional clothing. They would have us adapt to their songs rather than allowing us to sing to Christ our way. They forced upon us a strange form of worship rather than a relationship with Christ. Thus many Native Americans rebel from Christianity. Christ was all we needed not conformity.
Christianity has a deep root in our native culture, our way of life. Many of our spiritual leaders have walked the way before any colonization, before any rhetoric or religious theology. We the people had already embraced Christ. I am not ashamed to be a Christian I am not ashamed to be an American Indian. I am not ashamed to keep my culture.
We should’ve received the good news without a form of religion, for we are the church without walls. We are a church without a steeple. We are a church without religious organizations. We are a church without partiality. We are a church without rituals and we still worship our heavenly Father the Creator of all in the spirit of His Son Jesus Christ.
The time has come for the healing of the Nations. I advise my people who are not christian to study this way of life because it seems to me the best way of life, enabling one to live the right way.
Wakiyan Ho' Was'te
Good Voice Thunder
The voice, that thunders across the valleys
The voice that thunders across the land
The Voice that carries the Blessing
The voice that is one with the Spirit
The voice is good, sacred and holy
The voice that echos with healing, provision, and wisdom
The voice thunders mightily, and is a great sound that echoes things, which some cannot comprehend
Listen to what is said, hear the sound of the rumbling that comes forth, for he speaks the words that are truth and Spirit
Under the great heavens the voice lightnings across the earth and after it the thunder roars
Wakiyan Ho' Was'te'
A name given from Ate Wakan Tanka to the Lakota to this one Ellson Bennett my Brother.
Wakiyan Ho' Was'te'
Good Voice Thunder