New Directions Workshops Spring 2015
Acknowledging the Connectedness of Creation
Date: Saturday, May 9, 2015
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Meeting Place: Bertine Auditorium
Registration: Please call (212) 557-1502
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Presenter: John Karhiio Kane, Mohawk, Radio Host, Grandfather
John Karhiio Kane is a Mohawk (Kanienkehaka). He is an activist and a warrior but mostly an educator. He is a grandfather (currently 6 grandchildren; twins due this summer will bring it to 8). His wife of 33 years and children are Oneida and they live in Seneca territory. He hosts two 2-hour Native talk radio shows, one in Buffalo and one in New York City.
Mr. Kane explained how Native beliefs differ from spirituality-based faiths: Dominant organized religions have shaped and framed other cultural philosophies, and because the notion of “spirituality” is at their foundation, it is assumed that all other “beliefs” can and should be framed the same way. Our stories become prophecies, the power of Creation becomes “The Creator,” our embrace of “The Great Mystery” gets interpreted as a quest to solve the mystery rather than our acknowledgment that there will always be the unknowable.
Our stories are not definitive answers to the mysteries of life but rather a path to acknowledgment and lessons to raise awareness. The concept of “Orenda” has become popular of late, but this too is being framed as “spiritual” connections rather than tangible and recognizable connectedness.
My talk is not intended to refute the notion of spirituality or challenge “believers” but rather to demonstrate that our culture was not “faith based” but rather a deep understanding of the natural and an acknowledgment of our place in Creation. My culture requires no leap of faith; it requires an open mind and the windows to it, including our eyes, ears and mouth.