Wanted: Medicine Man for Uncle Sam

Are you a medicine man looking for gainful employment with excellent medical benefits? Perhaps you should consider an exciting career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which is looking for their own medicine man to administer to Native American inmates.

This is not your usual employment ad from the government.

The work location is FPC Duluth, in Minnesota starting October 1, 2010. “The contractor will conduct Native American ceremonies and provide instruction to inmates in the Native American Faith.” Here are the relevant topics for the position”

General Topics for Contractors – Native American
1. Red Road
2. All My Relation
3. Medicine Wheel
4. The Sacred Pipe
5. Sweat Lodge
6. Elders
7. Circle of Life
8. Traditions/Rituals
9. Prayers
10. Ceremonies
11. Fasting
12. Smudging
13. The Drum
14. Grandfather/Grandmother
15. Dances
16. The Medicine Pouch
17. Offerings
18. Decision-making
19. Ritual Objects
20. Eagle
21. Eagle Feathers
22. Nature Lessons
23. Family Relations
24. Parenting
25. Learning
26. Healthy Relationships
27. Culture
28. Healing Traditions
29. Herbal Medicines
30. Understanding Self
31. Respect
32. Traditional Games
33. Traditional Foods
34. Seasons
35. Healing Self
36. A Grateful Heart
37. Cleansing Ceremonies
38. What is the role of faith and Community Re-entry?

Obviously, this is a legitimate religious faith and the government must meet those needs for inmates. However, these ads create unique examples of how a government based on the strict separation of church and state must at times review intricate details of religious faith. By the way, out of curiosity I looked up Smudging which involves a burning pot and a type of cleansing or purifying smoke — much like such ceremonies found in other religions.

Notably, however, “[t]he contractor will supply all of their own religious garments and books. The contractor will control, supervise, and be responsible for all government materials and equipment and will ensure that such equipment and materials are used only for legitimate program purposes.”

If you are a medicine man down on his luck, here is your chance. Just contact:

David Grezak,
Contract Specialist
dgrezak@bop.gov
Phone: 2182497322
Fax: 2187334703

Source: FOB

19 thoughts on “Wanted: Medicine Man for Uncle Sam”

  1. Bonnie-the Puritans who fled religious intolerance were probably the least religiously tolerant people on the face of the earth. They ousted Roger Wms and Anne Hutchison for minor theological differences and hung 3 Quakers. The state of Connecticut was founded by Rev. Hooker who lead his flock of 300 people in 1634 through the “howling wilderness” to found Hartford because of some theological difference with the MA Bay Colony “elders” which was so obscure that no one knows what it was.

  2. Exodus 30:34-37
    And the Lord said to Moses: Take unto thee spices, stacte, and onycha, galbanum of sweet savour, and the clearest frankincense, all shall be of equal weight. And thou shalt make incense compounded by the work of the perfumer, well tempered together, and pure, and most worthy of sanctification.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6VHRLMLqE4

    and of course the purifier of choice for the paganish…dragonsblood!

  3. There is a large population of American Indians in the Minnesota area. Unfortunately, it probably means there are more than the average number of American Indians in prison, which is very sad. This is interesting with all the brouhaha going on about the mosque in New York. The Puritans came over to find religious freedom; but, when the US became a country, it promptly outlawed all American Indian religions. Thus, the majority of American Indians are normally the religion of whatever “white man” religion that was most prominent in the particular area. A lot of tribes in the Minnesota area and the southwest are Roman Catholic. I am Pacific Northwest Indian and our “savage souls” were saved by primarily the Presbyterians. Still, I admire the tribes and individual American Indians who have tried to go back to their native religion.

  4. I don’t see how it is racist if only natives of American ancestry can apply. Don’t ya see the signs, only long haired freaky people may apply.

    I can see clearly now, the rains is gone. But if Mr. Columbus did not get lost, would we be American’s, Indian’s or Aborigines of aboriginal origin?

  5. BTW – I found the description of smudging to be about as accurate as needed for the story. Comparable to: communion is giving bread and wine to represent eating the flesh and blood of Christ. That it lacks the complete religious significance of the act hardly makes it insensitive. Its just a short description.

    And I am unfamiliar with the image provided but guessed it to be a shaman from the Northwestern Nations. Again it has no context but does depict one facet of a complex system. If you think the image is insulting I would have to ask why.

  6. Given its Duluth MN I would think Ojibwa or Lakota would be most in need of representation.

    That is what I would take as offensive, that somehow there is a single “Indian” culture so one shaman fits all. Just like any ordained prelate can deal with Jews, Catholics, Methodists and Muslims because the all have the “same deity”

  7. AY, the peyote may be a accouterment to the sweat lodge ceremony but only for certain tribes. The article doesn’t seem to specify amy particular tribal affiliation; the healing/spirit rituals differ among tribes so that may pose a problem in finding a suitable contractor.

  8. I dont have an opinion as to wether this article is mocking or not…I did read the article on smudging sounds a lot like what the Catholic priests do at religious ceremonies with incense..

    WEll having read the article again I guess I do think its a little insensitve…

  9. I am Native American and I find the tone mocking. What’s up with the picture on front. This is very disrespectful. Btw, your description of smudging is very offensive. Geez.

  10. ah, maybe I missed it but where is the mocking in this? He states the facts as listed. I didn’t see the Torah story so I can’t compare.

    One invisible sky being is pretty much the same as another.

  11. I agree somewhat with Vince. Compare the tone of this item to the tone of one a few weeks ago that discussed the US Army seeking a new Torah. It isn’t mocking, but it’s not “look at how careful the Army is to respect the religious beliefs of the troops!” either.

  12. I had to think about it for a moment, but I realized I completely agree with Vince except for the first sentence. Making fun of someone’s religion is par for the course.

    But the second paragraph cannot be argued with.

  13. Everyone must get stoned…..

    Vince this is a public service “advisement”, warning some contents may be offensive to the dignity of others while humorous to others. What makes you the morality police, that you can tell that I have any. At least he didn’t say, uh……JAP……or Wind Talkers wanted….

  14. Why a post making fun of someone’s religion?

    Considered objectively, this stuff is no more nor less funny than any of the practices of the prison chaplains of any of the traditional or not-so-traditional religions.

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