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WHAT IS INDIGENOUS “MEDICINE”?
Let’s look at Peter Mitten’s Medicine (an example) to inform us!
One of the greatest Cayuga medicine men was Peter “Mitten” John (1904-1974). Elder Mad Bear had a high degree of respect & admiration for Peter, his mentor, and the humble way in which he practiced Native American medicine. Mad Bear was his student and he learned much by observing Peter Mitten in the field and took part in many grand adventures with him, as his trusty sidekick.
A teaching moment with Peter Mitten
Mad Bear had a close-knit working relationship with Rolling Thunder (1916-1997) aka R.T. (Cherokee), who lived in Carlin, Nevada. Author, Doug Boyd, written a book about R.T. and his medicine in 1974. Outside of this connection, Mad Bear & R.T. were friends with another medicine man, Semu Huaute (Chumash), who lived in California. He was the founder of the Red Wind Intertribal Medicine Camp, San Luis Obispo County.
Semu Huaute (1908-2004) was born into the Owl Clan in the mountains of Santa Barbara, California. His father was a respected healer of the Road Runner clan. His apprenticeship began with the elders of the Owl Clan and continued with medicine people & elders from the Chumash, Yaqui & Aztec Indian peoples.
Semu Huaute was also an established Hollywood actor and appeared in numerous films & TV shows. Semu was an iconic figure! Rumor has it, via several sources, that Carlos Castaneda (fictional author on Shamanism), used Semu for some of his “Don Juan” references.
Semu Huaute 1st met the Hopi Traditionalists in August of 1956 when he, along with Craig Carpenter (Mohawk), attended the Hopi “Meeting of Religious People”. Craig later in 1961 convinced Rolling Thunder to bring a group of Western Shoshone leaders to attend a Traditionalist meeting in Hopi land.
A solid connection was established between the shores of the eastern Atlantic Ocean via Mad Bear, through the southwest via the Hopi Traditionalists & Rolling Thunder, to the western shores of the Pacific Ocean via Semu Huaute.
A valuable teaching moment occurred between Peter Mitten and Semu Huaute, witnessed by Mad Bear. This story, now being told, is not meant to take anything away from Grandfather Semu’s legacy. Instead it’s being told to shed insight on the steep learning curb, akin to a mountain, that medicine people climb in their ascent towards becoming advanced wise elders of great wisdom & balance.
Semu Huaute, earlier in his medicine path, came up to the Iroquois territory and he found favor with one of Peter Mitten’s daughters. Semu was sort of a ladies’ man and his used his charm to win over Peter’s daughter. Peter did not take kindly to that. He also found out that Semu was practicing medicine in the Haudenosaunee Territory and this was not acceptable without asking permission 1st, which Semu did not.
Semu was using medicine to get Peter Mitten’s daughter to comply with his wishes. They began a courtship and Semu wanted her to go back to California with him.
Prior to this, Semu had been practicing medicine at his temporary trailer home near Mad Bear’s house. He was waiting to move into his block home on the Tuscarora reservation.
At this location, inside the trailer home, Semu was showing off his medicine skills. He was sitting around with other locals, chatting about events in Tuscarora Country. Semu turned to one of the guys in the room and said, “Come on; let’s go outside.” The guy couldn’t get up. He got out of his chair but he could only crawl and he managed to crawl outside. Semu Huaute was demonstrating some of the powers of his medicine to show what he can do.
When word got out to Peter Mitten about this, he left his 6 Nations Reservation, near Brantford, Ontario, and headed over to Semu’s trailer in Lewiston, New York, to pay him an unexpected visit. When he arrived, Mad Bear & Semu were together inside Semu’s new trailer, sitting down having a conversation. Peter intended to show Semu “what to do” and “what not to do” with his medicine.
Keep in mind that Peter was of a small stature, a small guy. Semu on the other hand was this big guy, tall and physically fit. Peter was fully aware that Semu was trying to escort his daughter out of town.
Peter Mitten, once invited in, confronted Semu, in front of Mad Bear. Both Mad Bear & Semu were seated. Peter said, “I understand you are doing things around here without permission.” Semu kind of hemmed & hawed, and replied, “Well it’s just a little exercise.” Peter Mitten responded back, “I want to teach you a lesson. Come outside!” This time, Semu couldn’t get up. He had to crawl out of his chair and he crawled all the way to the outside of his trailer.
Peter walked a little way from the trailer. Semu crawled over to him. Peter grabbed Semu’s pant leg to help him get upright. Peter, before escorting him up said, “I’m just letting you know, you don’t do these kinds of things in other people’s territory, when there are other medicine people here. You ask permission first. That’s how we do it! We don’t just go into somebody else’s territory and do this.”
Then while Semu was being helped to stand up, Peter grabbed Semu’s medicine bag, which was hanging from his belt, and yanked it completely off. Holding the medicine in front of Semu’s face, Peter said, “Your medicine in this territory is nothing more than rusty bolts & nails.” Peter Mitten then twisted the bag open, and out from inside Semu’s medicine bag, were rusty bolts & nails.
This was a valuable teaching moment for Semu & Mad Bear. This type of occurrence is part of what goes on amongst medicine people. The advanced & wiser medicine men have one basic expectation that they impart on novice medicine men in training. Use the medicine correctly!
Medicine Men are not to demonstrate for entertainment or ego-related purposes. They are supposed to use their powers to doctor the community, the elements and those who are in need.
The medicine does not takes sides, but if you use it incorrectly, be prepared for that medicine to come back and eventually be used on you. In that case, the medicine has a teaching moment of its own to share.
This example of a teaching moment was the way in which Semu learned, as a novice medicine man in training. He saw that his medicine bag was “nothing more than rusty bolts & nails”. He probably did not appreciate his lesson at the time; it most likely took some reflection on his part for his lesson to sink in. Semu left the Tuscarora Reservation & Haudenosaunee Territory real fast after his interaction with Peter.
Mad Bear learned as well. Even though he knew the protocol of asking “permission”, when it was demonstrated back to him by Peter Mitten to Semu, Mad Bear was able to witness & observe the protocol in action and not just in theory.
The true powers of medicine men when entrusted to the Great Spirit, is truly unlimited. The expanse is so broad that the humans endowed with medicinal & magical abilities have to put their own limitations on to what they are going to do with their journey. They need to find out what in particular they are good at, specialize in that area and work within the parameters that will get the job done.
Sometimes, these medicine men may even going beyond the parameters that they set for themselves, depending on the situation and the particular need. There is so much happening out in the Quantum Universe, however, that sometimes these men, and gifted women, can take on too much. Therein lies the danger. Medicine people have to be mindful that they are human, even though they may have superhuman capabilities.
Peter calls out the Ancestors
In 1971, highway work was being done on a section of Interstate 81. Not only was it cutting into the Onondaga’s territory but it was messing with sacred grounds. The Onondagas tried to speak with the state authorities, but road construction kept going, regardless of these talks.
The potential pathway for the highway work was already graded and covered with crushed stone, when Peter Mitten & Mad Bear came to the rescue. They informed their Onondaga brothers that they were going to “call upon the ancestors”. This was one of the most powerful ceremonies that they could perform and it was not to be taken lightly.
Peter & Mad Bear gave this action a lot of forethought. They went to the Onondaga Elders and asked permission to call up the dead on their territory. They looked at the stages of the moon and whatever else. They did all the proper ceremonies beforehand, announcing their intent.
They went around, the day before, and told everybody to stay inside after sundown, not to come out until daybreak. They told people to keep a special eye on children and their animals, who could be much more sensitive to the medicine. Then they asked the dead to walk.
People in their homes felt the spooky effect. Some heard sounds, a horde of footsteps walking on the loose stone. Others curiously opened their shutters after dark and saw a faint migration of pale shadows and trees rocking though no wind was blowing. It was awe-inspiring & terrible. It lasted until the early dawn.
The first crews to show up early that morning before sunrise caught an eyeful and immediately left work. In the words of a witness, “The workers messed their pants. Stones were rolling as if people were kicking them.”
As a result of Peter Mitten & Mad Bear’s “calling of the ancestors” ceremony the highway project made a change. They shifted the construction about a ¼ mile in order to avoid the Onondaga’s territory.
Lesson to be learned; the ancestors are here to help us if we need them, as long as we keep looking out for them.
The ancestors, in fact, returned in 2009 to assist Six Nations protestors during their occupation of a parcel of 6 Nations land (Haldiman Tract) in Caledonia, Ontario, which non-Indians were attempting to convert into a residential subdivision. One morning in April, despite fruitful negotiations between the Iroquois Confederacy Chiefs and city officials, 45 Indian protesters (of all ages) were awoken by a violent police raid. 6 Nations protestors fought back and eventually more 6 Nations supporters came to their aid. The police retreated.
It was later revealed that some of the police officers witnessed, during the morning raid, an occurrence which they can’t explain. Even though, in reality they only faced 45 protestors, they admit to seeing thousands of upset Indian people (6 Nation ancestors) dressed in traditional clothing, on horses and on foot, advancing towards them.
This experience from the raid was so dramatic & unbelievable that 6 police officers from one division ended up taking a leave of absence from work. To this day, they refused to police Caledonia.
Peter calls in reinforcement
At one point in 1969, on the 6 Nations Reservation of Grand River, Peter Mitten was getting a lot of complaints from people in his area that the mounted police Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.) were riding around on their horsebacks with weapons. This made some of the reserve residents uncomfortable. So Peter Mitten contacted Mad Bear for reinforcement to assist him with addressing this situation.
Mad Bear suggested to Peter that the women cook up a nice feast, a big meal, and invite the R.C.M.P. officers to join in the cookout. Mad Bear said that he would come up to the reservation and participate in the festivity.
The opportunity arrived. While the 6 Nations women were feeding 2 visiting police officers from the R.C.M.P., inside a dining hall, Mad Bear & Peter Mitten were applying their medicine on them, akin to “Jedi mind tricks” from the Star Wars movies.
Mad Bear said to the officers, “You know, we are getting some complaints from the residents here on reservation about you guys riding in here with your guns. Could you guys just set your guns on the table over there? And, I got an idea that might get the people to feel a little more comfortable. What we will do, just as an exercise, like a demonstration. We’ll cuff (handcuff) you 2 Mounties and make it look like you are under arrest.” The 2 officers agreed to Mad Bear’s request.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the 2 officers, news reporters were gathered outside. They were tipped off about the “arrest” of R.C.M.P. by local residents of the reservation, prior to the dinner event. This was a part of Mad Bear & Peter Mitten’s plan.
Mad Bear then said to the 2 officers, “We’ll just walk you outside with your handcuffs on, and the residents will be watching. They’ll see you with the handcuffs on and they’ll say… Oh good! They (Mad Bear & Peter) are fixing this problem.” Again, the 2 officers agreed.
When Mad Bear & Peter walked the 2 handcuffed Mounties out of the front door, they were greeted by the press who were taking pictures and asking questions. Mad Bear addressed the media and brought attention to jurisdiction issues regarding the police riding into sovereign 6 Nations territory, carrying weapons. Mad Bear said that these 2 Mounties were under house arrest.
Word quickly reached the higher-ups in the R.C.M.P. and they were quite embarrassed to have to deal with the aftermath of having 2 of their very own arrested by 6 Nations traditionalists, led by Mad Bear, the co-conspirator of the 1959 occupation of the 6 Nation’s Old Council House.
The Head Commander of the R.C.M.P addressed the media and in regards to Mad Bear he said, “I’m contemplating having you deported.” Mad Bear laughed at this and responded, “To where? This whole continent, this whole land is one land. We didn’t divide it. You guys drew that line. So where are you going to deport me to? We don’t recognize that border.”
Peter and his Invisible Hat
That same year, following the house arrest of 2 Mounties incident at the 6 Nations reservation, and after Mad Bear returned home to Lewiston, New York, Chief William Commanda (Algonquin) from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Zibi Nation in Quebec, announced that he was hosting a segment of the 6 Nations sponsored Unity Convention at the Maniwaki Indian Reserve. Mad Bear announced that he was planning to addend and carry out his duty to the “nation”.
The Head Commander of the R.C.M.P. stationed Mounties at the Peace Bridge border crossing, to prevent Mad Bear from entering the country. Photographs of Mad Bear were distributed to all the Mounties. The North American Unity Caravan, heading into Canada to attend the rally, were going to get thoroughly inspected.
News reporters also came to the border crossing, hoping to catch the newsworthy Mad Bear in the crosshairs with the R.C.M.P.
Peter Mitten came down to Tuscarora and picked up Mad Bear. He put his wide-brimmed black “magic” hat on Mad Bear’s head. This hat was supposed to make Mad Bear “invisible” (unrecognizable) to the Mounties on the border. Peter said, “Don’t take the hat off and don’t talk to anybody.” So Mad Bear wore the hat and together they approached the border crossing. Sure enough, they got stopped by the obtrusive R.C.M.P.
The Canadian Mounties looked over their car. A Buffalo (N.Y.) reporter in a vehicle in back of their car shouted, “Hey! That’s Mad Bear in that car.” The Mounties looked at Mad Bear but didn’t recognize him. Mad Bear couldn’t resist. He said, “What are you doing?” They replied, “We are looking for Mad Bear.”
The Mounties gave the car a final look, studying everyone’s faces more closely, not recognizing Mad Bear, and they said, “Go on!” But as the driver of the car, Peter Mitten’s daughter, attempted to move the car forward, the car stalled because Mad Bear & Peter’s collective medicine (“Jedi mind tricks”) overpowered the car’s engine. The car couldn’t be restarted.
The Mounties kept waving their hands to move the car along but they saw that the car was not moving due to mechanical problems, so they called a few other Mounties over to assist. These Mounties ended up pushing the car, with Mad Bear inside, over the border and into Canada.
In reference to Peter’s invisible hat, Mad Bear recalled, “Every time that guard looked at me, it felt like sand was sprinkling down all over my face. What he (the Mounty) saw was someone else.” Mad Bear held on to Peter’s invisible wide-brimmed black hat after the border crossing affair, probably to use it on other adventures with Peter Mitten.
Peter and his Mysterious Potion
Richard Oakes (Mohawk), the leader of the 1969 Occupation of Alcatraz, fought to unify American Indians and educate people about cultures indigenous to the western hemisphere. Mad Bear was his mentor and helped structure Richard’s philosophy.
On June 1, 1970, Richard got into a fight with some Samoans (Bula Bula Boys) in a tavern in San Francisco. Richard’s head was hit with a pool stick. This was the 3rd attack on his life since he started his fight against large corporations in the west to regain land that belonged to the Indian people. In fact, this bar fight occurred on the same day that the Pit River Indians filed a $5 billion claim to land that they say was theirs.
Richard Oakes ended up in the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, in a deep coma, and the doctors there could do nothing for him. Whatever was damaged in his head had caused his whole body to go rigid, tightening up every muscle in his body, and exhausting him to death. He was burning up more calories than the doctors could pump into him with his IV.
The doctors told Annie Oakes, Richard’s wife, that they could do nothing for him, and he would die in a couple of days. Annie told them that Indian medicine men were on their way over to help Richard, but the hospital doctors said that they would not permit the assistance. She pleaded with them and her strongest argument was that the hospital had definitely thrown in the towel, and “why not give Indians a chance”.
The hospital doctors finally consented to allow the Indian medicine men, Mad Bear, Thomas Banyacya and Peter Mitten, to work on Richard, but they wanted to know what they were going to do. Mad Bear, Thomas Banyacya who assisted him, and Peter, told the doctors that they wouldn’t understand what they were going to do, and there was no way to tell them about it. Peter only spoke through Mad Bear in his Cayuga language.
Mad Bear then fought with the hospital to keep the doctors & nursed out of Richard’s room. You can imagine the malpractice fear that this request triggered with hospital. Their request to doctor Richard Oakes alone was granted, only after, Peter & Mad Bear agreed to sign documents stating that they would assume full responsibility for whatever happens to Richard as a result of their medicine work.
Eventually, a small laboratory was sequestered, and Peter Mitten went about preparing some herbs they he had brought along in his suitcase. Mad Bear brought in a pair of birds to fly around the room, per Peter’s request.
Peter Mitten put together a small vial of a green-blackish liquid potion and he took that to Richard’s bedside, where he disconnected the IV tube and began to drip the green-blackish liquid directly into Richard’s Oakes’ body via the opened IV tube.
Prior to Peter’s doctoring, Richard had turned as white as a piece of paper, after his several days of laying in a coma with every muscle in his body going absolutely rigid. As the Indian medicine entered Richard’s body, a red spot appeared over his heart; then it began to expand outward as the color returned to Richard’s body. As this ring of red expanded, the muscles underneath the red area just fell into relaxation, until finally his whole body just relaxed and he literally sank into his mattress.
When Mad Bear allowed the hospital doctors into the room and they saw the green blackish liquid mixture going down the tube into Richard’s arm they began to panic. But Mad Bear & Thomas Banyacya managed to keep the doctors in check. They asked questions pertaining to Peter’s IV tube replacement, but Peter would just say things to them in his native tongue that they couldn’t understand.
Richard Oakes at this point, was asleep. Peter Mitten had Mad Bar translate for him. He told the doctors that now Richard will have to continue sleeping for 4 or 5 days. The hospital doctors agreed and the medicine men left.
After Richard’s miraculous recovery, he and his wife and 4 of his children returned back to the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation. He briefly toured with the White Roots of Peace movement through the New England states.
Richard Oakes told the Watertown Times on October 15, 1970, that he now wants to dedicate his life to assisting east Indians regain their heritage and fight against injustices perpetrated against them. Richard Oakes said that he feels the Indian movement in the west has been successful, that it “formed the type of catalyst necessary for the re-taking of Stanley & Loon Islands in the St. Lawrence River (New York).” Richard also mentioned to the paper that he wanted to see the return of the wampum belts that belong to the Haudenosaunee people, which were taken from them. He said, “If you want to learn about your Indian heritage you should not have to go to a museum or to the archives of the State of New York.”
Watertown Times reported that Richard’s moving back to the east does not mean that he has severed ties with the Indian tribes he worked with in the west, but that he hopes to bring about a larger nation of all Indian people.
On September 20, 1972, Richard Oakes was tragically shot & killed during a fight with a YMCA camp manager in Sonoma County, California. The camp manager had a reputation of being rough on native children.
Peter and his Disappearance Act
Mad Bear, Thomas Banyacya & Peter Mitten originally flew into the Bay Area to doctor Richard Oakes. Prior to their flight they were in Oklahoma. Peter began to get intuitive messages that his help was needed in California. He knew that this territory was not his medicine jurisdiction so he ignored the call. Since Peter couldn’t be reached the “Indian Way”, a physical native representative came all the way from the Bay Area to Oklahoma to personally request his services. Peter agreed.
On the airplane flight, a disappearance act occurred with Peter Mitten. He momentarily was “unavailable”. This really shook up the flight attendants because he came up missing during their head count.
Peter Mitten had earlier informed Mad Bear that he had brought some berries that would make him invisible. During the flight it was possible that Peter was working on his medicine via teleportation; maybe working on several different things all stacked up at the same time. It was not usual for Peter to multi-task in this way. So, it’s possible that Peter lost track of time with his medicine work and physically disappeared on the 3rd dimension of time & space.
From a Quantum Physics standpoint, it is understood that time is not linear but cyclical. Time travel is probable and a lot of money is spent on secret “black” military projects, like the Philadelphia Experiment, to use “time” for their tactical advantage.
Mad Bear got a kick out of Peter Mitten’s momentary disappearance and other metaphysical occurrences, because he knew these kinds of happenings were real and now other people were starting to experience the phenomena of what these guys (Medicine Men) can really do.
Peter and his Breath of Life
In early 1970’s, a boy from the 6 Nations Reservation (Canada) was hit by a car, while driving his bicycle, and was apparently killed. Paramedics were loading the boy’s lifeless body into their ambulance, despite the boy’s mother’s attempts to get the medics to leave him on the reservation.
Mad Bear & Peter Mitten came on the scene, it happened in front of Peter’s house. Peter called out, “Put him down!” The paramedics set the boy back down. Peter bent down over the boy, nose to nose, and put something in his mouth. Then he blew his breath over the boys face. He commanded, “Open your eyes; come back to us!” Nothing happened. “Come back; I told you! You come back here and open your eyes!” The boy’s eyelids began to flutter. Peter continued, “Open your eyes! Open them all the way, but don’t move until I tell you.”
The boy awakened, disoriented and attempted to get up. Mad Bear & Peter held him down and calmly talked to him, while they worked to assure that all levels of the boy’s spiritual self were back in place for good. Once the boy gained his cognition, he was released to the medics and taken to the emergency room. The miracle healing that occurred via Peter’s “breath of life” was never officially acknowledged by the hospital. He did, however, receive some visits by hospital staff when they were in need of healing.
Peter and his Miniature Animals
In Peter Mitten’s world, “Miniature Animals” jumping in & out of places in his backyard for the Little People, were a part of his reality.
After Peter Mitten had passed away, it was his wish for his son to take over his medicine practice and look after the Miniature Animals in the backyard of his home. Peter’s son declined to follow his father’s medicine path, even though he too had witnessed the Miniature Animals & Little People in his father’s yard.
Mad Bear pointed out to Peter Mitten’s son that he had a “gift”. He explained that these multi-dimensional Miniature Animals “allowed” themselves to be seen by him, and thus they are essentially communicating that it would be permissible by them for him to take on his father’s role and work with them. Still Peter’s son declined the offer. He said he did not feel comfortable with taking on his father’s practice & medicine path. This was unfortunate, but was an honest assessment by his son and Mad Bear honored his wishes.
Mad Bear went ahead and held a ceremony for the Little People & Miniature Animals to close the portal in Peter Mitten’s backyard, from which these entities were time jumping in & out of. He didn’t want an unattended open portal to disturb or interfere with the everyday life & activities of others.
Peter and the Tornado
When Peter Mitten passed away on April 1, 1974, Mad Bear was out of town in Ohio and was driving a VW bug on his return trip home. Mad Bear witnessed a rare tornado that touched down close to the highway and blew his car off the road. Immediately, he recalled Peter in the past telling him, “When I leave, you’ll know that I left because a very strong wind will tell you.” Mad Bear knew he was given a sign of Peter Mitten’s passing. Sure enough, when Mad Bear arrived home he learned that Peter had made his departure; he “walked west”.
This is the way medicine people stay connected on other levels. They share signs & synchronistic experiences together. All possible within the Quantum Universe that we all share.
[This article was sourced from DJ MACKBOOGALOO (Asatru) & MICHAEL BASTINE’s (Algonquin) FREE E-BOOK written for humanity, called “WE MUST GATHER OUR NATIONS TOGETHER” (Mad Bear and the Red Road of Spiritual Activism), which documents the lost history & present state of Inter-Tribal Unity Consciousness. The indigenous Traditional Elders (medicine people) have messages & prophecies that are disclosed in this E-Book. We are being called to act on their direction to spread the word. Let’s take higher action… Now! Let’s gather our nations together! Let’s unite the tribes!]