V'v- there are way too many pretendians, it's true...
The Red Road is not a blood quotia thing, but does belong to natives. It is not a poverty/oppression thing, but is also not a book-learned priviledge. It is not a religion but way of living, and practicing proper ways. I have found, if a person says outright without request that they do a native spirit thing, be wary- they are looking for validation, and are hardly behaving like an Indian. I once even had a man say, unrelated to anything & not even in conversation, that they were a 'shaman'- to impress the Indian. One may as well tell a stranger 'I am wise and holy'.
Now, I can understand a non-Indian person wishing to honor a way that appears balanced to them. But it is too easy for many to tag a label on it and call it Red Road with very little awareness. Usually this is more to serve the ego. Many do not understand the ongoing learning, the discipline- and most importantly, the part that sacrifice and direct experience with proper teaching it takes to be on the Red Road. A non-Indian may actually be initiated to the path by a proper elder/teacher, but it is rare. The eurocentric mindset often finds it hard to grasp that it is not a matter of ownership. It is also very tribal, and too many think of it as an individual thing, like many other 'religions'.
Edited 6/30/00 12:14:31 AM ET by STORMSTUDIO