The sun dancers practiced long into the night. I slept on a small rise overlooking the encampment, the rhythm and music of the drums and singing reverberating in my head. It seemed to rekindle something deep inside. Somehow, I knew the Cheyenne and the sun dance. It is the kind of knowing that is difficult to wrap words around, like a vague memory or smell from early childhood. At the same time, I felt like a white duckling in a flock of brown geese. I looked different, acted different, and perhaps thought and dreamed differently. Why had I come?" We are all seekers. Some find their path on pilgrimage to the Mahabodhi Temple in India or the Haji Ali mausoleum as they embark on a journey to Mecca; others find God at the burial site of St. James in the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. Author and environmentalist Doug Alderson meets the Great Spirit through the ancient spiritual practice of walking. The Vision Keepers is the compelling true story of a seeker who, under the guidance of Bear Heart, a Muskogee Creek Indian and Medicine Man, finds unity with our nation’s native people and reconnects with the earth through profound and mysterious means. At a time when our global community is in great conflict, we can learn much from Native Americans. The Vision Keepers not only recounts the story of one man’s experience with native people and their spirituality, but it offers unique insight into the struggles of an entire culture, personal reconciliation, world peace, and preservation of the Earth and its ancient wisdom. Follow Doug’s journey from coast to coast across the United States as he leads a group walk to support Native American rights and environmental protection, and then across the American Southeast to follow the Trail of Tears in reverse. Meet the legendary "little people"of Muskogee. Attend a Lakota ceremony that had not been observed for decades. Feel the magic of the Cheyenne Sun Dance. Finally, heed the warnings of wise elders—from the Cheyenne, Navajo, and Hopi, to the Cherokee, Sioux and Creek tribes—as they tell of the "earth changes" we now know to be of man’s own design. Throughout his adventure, Doug relays a message of compassion and hope and builds a bridge of friendship and understanding between native and non-native people.
The Vision Keepers: Walking for Native Americans and the Earth
- Douglas Alderson