The Manataka American Indian Council



Proudly Presents





As given to Lee Standing Bear Moore


American Indians sometimes call ourselves People of the Land and we call our cousins of the plant kingdom Standing Ones or Standing People.   Our beautiful cousins were given special status as providers and givers by the Creator.  Some provide shelter and others give food to their animal, plant and insect relatives.  Many give physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.

Standing Ones pray as they lift their arms upward in eternal praise and thanks to the Creator.   The Standing People are forever connected to the Mother Earth receiving her life force and resources as they supply fruits, berries, sap, nuts, grains and vegetables for nourishment.  They give wood for heat and lodging.  Their bodies become home to many animals, birds and insects.

One of the greatest gifts of the Standing Ones to humans is teaching us valuable lessons of life.   One only has to look at a tree or its smaller cousins to realize they are flexible against heavy winds and adapt quickly to changing conditions. 

They teach us to remain calm and deeply rooted in our traditions during times of storms and upheaval.   They teach us ways to survive against many adversaries and yet remain balanced in the Circle of Life.  

Some Standing Ones, including trees, shrubs, vines and smaller plants provide powerful lessons and affect our lives as humans in many ways.  The following are a few examples of the special personalities or gifts that can help us to walk the Good Red Road.

ASH is peace of mind through protection. It helps to overcome mental barriers and obstructions. Ash promotes good health and the recovery from illness. Ash is flexibility and prosperity.

ASPEN is the tree of nursing. It keeps one safe from the known and the unknown. It guards mental well-being and resources. Aspen is eloquence and elegance; loyalty and harmony.

BASSWOOD is the tree of false identity and masks. Basswood enables one to remove the mask of life, and return to reality.

BIRCH is growth in understanding of the inner Self, others, the world and All Our Relations. The awareness that Birch brings removes restrictions and allows one to proceed. Birch is protection.

BLACK SPRUCE allows one to explore lofty ideas, connect with the Earth, and find his/her unique ways of reaching Spirit.

BORAGE encourages trust in the healing process and the natural order of life.

CHERRY is the tree of healing, rejuvenation, cleaning, and clearing. Cherry is the tree of the heart.

COMFREY is regeneration and healing on all levels--physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional.

MAPLE is the tree of offering, giving of one's self so that others may benefit. Maple is circulation, prosperity, and sweetness.

MINT stimulates and intensifies ones sensual nature. It purifies thought, soothes the nerves. It is the enhancement of energy, and an increase in creativity.

MUGWORT is helpful in dreaming. It balances female energies and encourages female strength. It offers protection from exterior forces when used as smudge.

MULLEIN enables one to explore the smooth and healing aspects of his/her nature.

NETTLE purifies, strengthens, heals, and keeps the flow of emotions in check..

OAK is strength and longevity. Oak increases confidence and magnifies opportunities. Oak provides security and protection. Vitality and productivity are the Medicine of Oak.

PINE is the tree of longevity, nourishment, fertility, and abundance. It allows one to become socially aware of all that is around. Pine is masculine sexuality.

REDWOOD is the Grandmother Spirit of the forests. It is unending Truth, ultimate wisdom and knowledge.

ROSE is the flower of beauty. It also teaches of joy and sorrow, a rose between two thorns. Rose teaches to open up and let go of the emotions.

ROWAN brings protections from harm.

SAGE removes negativity and offers protection, healing, and balance.

SWEETGRASS calls in good spirits and serves as a Guardian. It expands ones abilities.

SYCAMORE teaches how to reach your goals.

THISTLE aids in understanding and working with the different levels of reality.

VIOLET awakens the heart to the fullness of its feelings and helps in understanding the depths of life.

WALNUT involves the use of intelligence and helps one to focus.

WILLOW is love and the give-and-take that is needed for a healthy relationship. It is truth and justice. Willow captures dreams and enhances journeys. The smooth flow of emotions.

YARROW deals with the healing powers within, and inner strength.


It is our experience that Standing Ones can communicate with their cousins of the animal and insect kingdoms, including the 'five fingered' race or humans.   This may sound crazy because communication in human terms requires a brain, intellect, and language.  Nonetheless, you can learn to 'talk' with them.  Eventually, with enough practice and patience, you too can learn how to give and receive messages with the Standing Ones.

Grandpa would often sit under the shade of a giant oak on warm afternoons and tell stories to anyone who would listen.  When beginning a story, he would often look up at the oak tree and say, "Wonder what Old One would say if it could talk?" 

We asked Grandpa one time if he could tell what the tree said.  He replied, "It is said all our people talked with the Standing Ones in times gone by, but humans began to think they were better than the trees and animals. They placed themselves above nature and claimed dominion over all the earth.  That is when humans stopped listening and the green things stopped talking."

Often, Grandpa sat for a long time with his wrinkled, weather-beaten hands resting on or patting the old oak. He nodded his head and occasionally mumbled or softly sang to the tree.   All us kids thought Grandpa was going senile until one day he shocked us with a 'message' from the tree.   

"Old Oak says there is a large crystal stone buried within its western shadow," said Grandpa.   We did not know weather to believe him or not until lighting struck the old tree many years after Grandpa passed away.  

As the tree fell down the hill it pulled giant roots from the ground revealing a massive crystal.         

Almost every tribe across Turtle Island has stories about the discovery of a miracle plant cure that was gifted to the people with the help of the Standing Ones.  Somehow information about where to look, what to look for and how to prepare a particular plant for medicine was communicated in a time of great need by the trees and plants.   Folklore or fact?     

Scientific studies show that plants respond positively to soothing music and gentle words.  And, there are documented cases of plants that soon died after their owners passed away. 

How do you communicate with the Standing People?  Easy.  Select a tree or other plant with 'character' and introduce yourself.  Sing a little song and say a prayer 'with' your new friend.  Every day go to the tree or plant and tell it something about yourself, your life, your dreams.  Do not forget to listen.   

Be patient.  It will take time for the Standing People to wake up and begin listening.  Once they are certain of your intentions and  they will begin to 'tune-in' to your vibrations.  After a feeling of mutual respect has been established, they will start to grow channels within their body allowing for a flow of energy to increase.   

One day, after you have give enough time and interest to this pursuit,  your plant friend will send you a signal or message that it is ready to begin communication in earnest with you.

The tremendous depth of learning, beauty and peace that may be acquired from the lessons of the Standing Ones will be yours.     

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