Oklevueha Native American Church is not hierarchical in structure. What this means is that we do not dictate to our members or branches how to conduct their spiritual walk and their use of sacred sacraments provided by mother earth. We do expect our members to make a solemn commitment to abide by the Code of Ethics and the Code of Conduct. Those who repeatedly disrespect other members, sacred sacraments or the Code they have committed to will not be taken from the membership rolls unless it is by their request. However, we will not be able to vouch for them or lend our support in the likely event that their disrespect will bring upon them legal or social consequences that naturally come when we live in a disrespectful manner. The following official policies will assist the members and those who are looking into our community so that all may know what we believe is safe, respectful, legal and in integrity as we all work together to provide blessings, empowerment and healing for individuals, communities and the world.
1) Medicines and/or Sacraments are sacred. We expect all people to treat them with respect. Many of our members see them as a manifestation of deity. As such, members can receive them from other members, medicine people or branch leaders, but may not procure them in any way that could be considered illegal. Members must never give, sell or share medicines that are controlled substances with anyone that is not a member of ONAC. Medicines must always be used in a way the user considers to be ceremonial and with intention, whenever possible in consultation with a medicine person or branch leader.
2) Leaders must make due diligence to see that anyone participating in ceremonies where controlled substances are used or when activities might be considered illegal outside of sanctioned ceremony are members in good standing of ONAC. If the participant has a current membership card, that is considered proof of good standing unless the leader/medicine person has been notified that they are not currently in good standing. If they do not have a membership card and wish to participate, the leader is directed to contact the membership department of ONAC and check on their status. Associate members cards should be checked to be sure they have not expired as they are renewed once each year. If no evidence of membership is available, the person should be excluded from any part of the ceremony where controlled substances are present or being used.
3) Leaders and medicine people are counseled to use their best efforts and judgement in complying with applicable local and national laws. This requires research and understanding on their part. Sometimes those laws or ordinances are unjust or even unconstitutional in the United States. If that is the case, the leader or medicine person must consider carefully if they want to challenge those laws by respectful civil disobedience in order to correct policies that are wrong. This can be expensive and time consuming and is not within the ability of ONAC to assist with, other than by providing information and advice to any attorney or member in good standing in such a situation.
4) Members are counseled to consider the time, money and effort the leaders/medicine people put forward to serve them and request that the members honor that sacrifice and provide assistance to those that bless them. Sometimes that is requested by the provider, but often the member can look and see needs that exist and make an effort to bring what is needed to the leader.
5) We expect that all people who participate in ceremony will honor the concept that the things shared and brought to light during ceremony or use of sacraments are likewise sacred and often private and must commit to leave that knowledge in the sacred circle – not sharing it with others and breaking that trust that exists there among the participants.
As you honor these policies, you will be blessed by your experience and those around you will be blessed by your integrity, kindness and intentions to do good in the world.