Manataka™ American Indian Council






Elders Speak



Respect of Elders and Ancestors...

through Spiritual Medicine

By Harvey Walks With Hawks Doyle

We looked upon their faces when we were children. We sat around the fire and they told us stories of Creator, about Spirit of old,  about Mother Earth and our animal brothers and sisters.  


All this knowledge was to be passed on to our children; as we were their children then.  A blessing passed to us  but we did not know it then when we were so young. Time has gone and time has passed; did we learn anything from our relatives or ancestors or the Elders of Old?


Those old ones, the ancient Elders who taught us, bent us like the spirit wind among the trees. Pointed out the herbs, the trees, and told us how Mother Nature could heal us physically and spiritually. Taught us to look between the leaves of life. Taught us about our first Vision Quest, the temperament of the Spirit.  Chanted around the fire of Blessing of Old. 


We thought that we would always go to them, and answers would return in familiar voices, their voices of ancient times. Too many times we did not appreciate their stories, their humor, their laughing, and their words that guided us with lessons.  Our differences were great, we thought, we were young and didn’t really know difficulties in your young lives; because they as Elders were there to teach us and to nurture us with knowledge and Spirit.


Our eyes wandered to other things, our voices mingled with strange ones; ones who were to teach us of worldly ways and not spiritual ways. And suddenly, like the vapor mists or fog that sits on the meadow in the evening and fades in the sunlight, and the clouds that struck the mountain tops, they were gone.  We did not see them go, we did not listen to their voices to learn their spirit and knowledge. We were too young to understand. They slipped past the earthly boundaries to joy and to spirit world to rest with limit. 


Now the question hangs in midair with their voices of knowledge and spirit to answer.  And the differences fade like mist but memories persist with genuine humor, genuine and love.  We, in turn convince our own children to “Hear me now my children and hear me now my family,”….Now hear me of the Ancient Elders and of their knowledge and spirit. “Hear me my Children and listen”.  Now we search our minds to guide our own children; but did we listen enough when we were young?