An Introduction to Lakota Spirituality and Healing
August 11, 2013
10:00AM - 4:00PM
Presented by William K. Powers, PhD
Dr. Powers is recognized as an international authority on Native American cultures and
particularly the Lakota with whom he has lived and worked for over a half century. He is the
author of Oglala Religion, Yuwipi: Vision and Experience in Oglala Ritual, Beyond the
Vision, and Sacred Language: The Nature of Supernatural Discourse in Lakota, which has
recently been reprinted by his publishing company, Lakota Books.
His focus has been on Lakota language, music, dance, and religion which he learned
when he was a boy from spiritual leaders at the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. He has
lectured widely at leading universities throughout the United Sates and Europe. He is presently
writing a book of English translations of Lakota songs from the late 19th century. For more
information visit him at www.lakotabooks.com.
10:00-11:30 - The spiritual universe and environmental influences on
Lakota culture: natural resources, land, flora, fauna and the
special place of sacred healing helpers among animals,
birds; insects; the special place of sacred stones. Visions as
the source of healing power. The Vision Quest and the
11:30-11:45 - Coffee break
11:45-12:30 - Symbolizing the universe through the use of sacred
numbers, sacred, colors, animals and birds. Inktomi, the
Spider, who mediates between Nature and Culture.Winkte
Male as Female healer.
12:30-1:00 - Lunch (Bring your own and continue the conversation.)
1:00-2:30 - The making of a Wicasa wakan/ Winyan Wakan
(medicine man/medicine woman). Initial calling. First
vision. The affirmation. The Apprenticeship. The Healing
method. The loss of power. Indian sickness vs Whiteman’s
sickness. Medicine Man vs. Psychiatrist.
2:30-2:45 - Coffee break
2:45-4:00 - The importance of the Sun and Moon as a focus of
Lakota religion. The meaning of wi (the material
aspect of Sun and Moon). Healing in the Sun Dance
Ceremony. Mitakuye Oyas’in (All My Relations).
The Lakota concept “Only the Earth Lives Forever.”
Henala yelo. (The End)