Native American Church – Code of Ethics

Native American Church accepts Indigenous Earth-Based Healing Sacraments as central to our established religious belief. These include: a. Peyote – the significant Indigenous Earth-Based Healing Sacrament (Eucharist) for this church. b. Any other Indigenous Earth-Based Healing Sacrament that has been found to benefit the health and welfare of the recipient, so long as it does not place them in harm’s way.

The names for Spiritual Leaders (Medicine Man/Woman) of  Native American Church are known by a variety of sacred callings: Curandera, Clergy Person, Doctor, Elder, Mara’akame, Reverend, Roadman, Sacred Prayer Pipe Carrier, Water Pourer and etc.  Those who are experienced in some American Native Spiritual Empowering and/or Healing practices and who act to facilitate the spiritual practices of others that are honored with these titles. A Native American Church Medicine Person need not claim exclusive or definitive knowledge of his or her practice, since wisdom and competencies are frequently developed over years of observation and experience.

Even though Native American Church’s primary purpose is to administer Sacramental Ceremonies, and Native American Church Medicine Person is free to choose not to administer a sacrament during any particular American Native ceremony.

All Native American Church Indigenous Ceremonies of North and South America (Birth, Breath, Holy Anointing, Marriage, Passing Over, Prayer Pipe, Sacrament, Spirit Dance, Sun Dance, Sweat Lodge, and Vision Quest, but especially Birth, Sun Dance, Sweat Lodge, and Vision Quest) may include or facilitate extreme mental, emotional and physical transformations. Therefore, when a member chooses to participate in any American Native Ceremony with the assistance of a Native American Church Medicine person, both take on special responsibilities and understandings:

1) Native American Church Medicine People are to practice and serve in ways that cultivate awareness, empathy, and wisdom for all Members during ceremonies.

2) Each participant in Native American Church ceremonies must agree to comply with all directions or instructions concerning the safety and well being of all in attendance,  from  one-hour prior, during, and three hours after ceremonies being conducted by an Native American Church Medicine Person.

3) Efforts should be made to ensure that Native American Church Spiritual Practices are always inspired and conducted in ways that respect the common good, with due regard for public safety, health, and order.  Often, the increased awareness gained from American Native Spiritual ceremonies will catalyze a desire in the participants’ lives for personal and social change. In most cases, these changes should only be made after deep introspection and consideration as to how they will affect the other beings connected to the participant. Medicine People shall use special care in assisting the direction of energies of those whom they serve, as well as their own energies, in responsible ways that reflect a loving and respectful regard for all life.

4) The autonomy and dignity of each Member and/or Authorized Participant are respected and preserved by Native American Church Medicine People. Participation in any Native American Church Ceremony must be voluntary and based on prior disclosure and consent given by each participant while in an ordinary state of consciousness.

a. Disclosure shall include, at a minimum, discussion of any elements of the ceremony that could reasonably be seen as presenting physical or psychological risks. In particular, first time Authorized Participants must be advised that American Native Ceremonies can be difficult and dramatically transforming.

b. Health and Safety during the ceremony and the few hours of vulnerability that may follow a ceremony will be monitored carefully with reasonable preparations by the Medicine People.

c. Limits on the behaviors of Members and Authorized Participants Medicine People are to be made clear and agreed upon in advance of any American Native Ceremony.

d. Cultural / religious customs and confidentiality are to be accepted and honored.

e. Native American Church respects all forms of healing, including allopathic medicine, NAC alternative and naturopathic medicine, so long as they do not violate the fundamental Hippocratic principle of Do No Harm. It recognizes that each form is intended to promote the health and well being of the individual. It believes that all forms of care can be incorporated into healing for the health and welfare of the individual, in a complementary manner.

5) Native American Church ceremonies are to be conducted in the spirit of service. Medicine People accommodate Members and Authorized Participants without regard to race, religious affiliations, gender, cultural background, financial status, and/or political affiliations.

6) Native American Church Medicine People are aware during ceremony that Members and Authorized Participants may be especially open to suggestion. Medicine People pledge to protect participants and not to allow anyone to use that vulnerability in ways that harm themselves or others.

7) Native American Church makes absolutely no claims about being in authority or having the ability to conduct saving ordinances.

8) Native American Church is part of an indigenous Spiritual Earth Based Healing and Empowering International Collective that serves individuals and the wider community when and wherever an NAC member resides.

9) Native American Church is committed to growth through attraction of service rather than proselytizing for membership.

10) Native American Church abhors;  any manner of  physical and/or sexual abuse of any underage person, and any abuse and/or exploitation of ‘any’ person in ‘any’ physical and/or sexual form.  The violation of this Ethic by any NAC member will subject the violator to the full consequence of the Laws of the Land.

11) Native American Church does not condone in any manner, shape, or form, the distribution, and/or utilization of any substance that is addictive and/or has overdosing abilities that may bring about death.  The only exceptions are substances prescribed  and monitored by an NAC Allopathic Medicine Person or other licensed medical care provider.