Email Contact: info@NHNAC.org
1. I am a Healer that runs a small clinic. How can I be legally protected by the New Haven Native American Church?
A: In the section under Education we go over this in quite some detail. To make it brief, you have to demonstrate to the government that you are sincere in your religious belief and are competent in what you are doing. (Not harming the public.) So the first step is for you to become adopted and then you will want to become a Medicine Person before any governmental harassment occurs. (If governmental harassment is occurring before you do this, it is harder to show you are really sincere in your beliefs and not just trying to find a loophole in the law.)
By becoming Adopted and becoming a Medicine Person you show a sincerity of belief and you can now use your Healing Modalities, that you have been trained in using, during your Ceremony of Healing.
Here is an extreme example: Let’s say as a Healer you have a clinic and are using the Peyote Sacrament to assist people to be better
and be healed. According to the law you are committing a felony and would probably go to jail for being a drug dealer or
practicing medicine without a license.
Once you become a New Haven Medicine Person you can legally use the Peyote Sacrament during your Bundle Ceremony for you
and your family. Your religious belief system and Ceremony is protected under the law. You still cannot use the Peyote Sacrament
for the public, however once you have the necessary training and approval by the New Haven Native American Church you then
could legally perform your Peyote Healing Ceremonies to the public. This example is the same legal position you will need as a
Healer for essential oils, herbs, and other natural healing modalities!
If you are following the New Haven Code of Conduct in administration of Ceremonies and then some government agency harasses you, we can offer objective evidence of the sincerity of your religious beliefs. If you get harassed by a government agency, we suggest that you show them your Minister Identification Card and inform them that you are a Medicine Man or Medicine Woman performing a Native American Ceremony.
If the government agency continues to ask questions or further harass you in any way, we suggest that you exercise your right to remain silent and politely agree to temporarily refrain from the religious exercise being challenged until you get legal advice specific to your situation. (Our experience with the controlling government agencies is no matter how polite and sincere they seem to be, they do not have your best interest in mind.)
If you are arrested, we suggest you immediately inform the arresting officers that you are going to remain silent and that you want to speak with an attorney. (The government officials want you to talk so they can trick or trap you into saying something they can twist to be used against you. Do not be fooled by their tactics and remember they are not your friend. They are at war with your religious belief so remain silent.)
Remember you can contact us at the telephone number or email on your Welcome Letter to discuss your options. There is a reservoir of legal information under the Education tab that can assist you in asserting your rights to exercise of your religious freedom. The New Haven Native American Church is dedicated to protecting our Healers' rights and we would be happy to inform the offending agency how they are not only violating our legal rights but also breaking the law themselves.
2. After I send in my adoption form, what should I expect?
A: Once your adoption request is approved, normally within a couple of weeks, you will receive a Welcome Letter, Certificate of Adoption and your first assignment. The first assignment includes making up your own personal Medicine Bundle Ceremony so you can become a Medicine Person and have the protection under the law. You can review and start this Bundle assignment under the Education tab at the top of this page. The New Haven Native American Church also suggests that you familiarize yourself with all the information on this website.
In the Welcome Letter you will receive instructions how to proceed to the next level. You will also want a picture for your Minister/Medicine Identification Card, so make sure you have your passport-style photograph ready.
3. Is there a cost for Adoption?
A: No, but you should read and take your covenant obligations serious. All the money collected by the New Haven Native American Church is used for getting the word out, producing documentaries, establishing a fund for any pending legal battles, purchasing Ceremonial Grounds, supporting the members of the Church, and so forth. We are a Church and not a business! We hold all of our bona fide Ceremonies and Traditional Practices as Sacred and do not have a paid clergy.
One of our main goals with the Sacred Funds collected is to establish our legal fund to protect the legal rights of our members. Once we feel we have adequate funds, we will be starting work on a Church Ministry documentary. We believe everyone deserves to join our Church and exercise their right to religious freedom.
Currently, we are asking our members to keep their normal "low profile" until the Church can be more fully established. Once we become more established, we will be greatly forwarding the movement by actively requesting volunteers/missionaries of the Church to go forth and share the knowledge of the Sacred Healing Way. More information about this will be forthcoming.
4. What plants can be used in a certified Native American Ceremony?
A: There are literally millions of sacred plants used by Native Americans and other indigenous peoples in Ceremony. According to the New Haven Native American Church beliefs, in your personal Religious Ceremony you can use any part of the natural plant, animal, mineral, or other material that has a sacred use as long as that use does not harm others. This creates powerful legal protection for you as a Medicine Person from misguided government agents who sometimes overlook the law and rather than try to protect our freedoms, try to take them away.
The general rule for getting something certified is for the item to “First, Do Good" under normal Ceremonial use. (Read more about "First, Do Good" under the Constitution tab above.) An easy way for you to have a personal item certified by the Church is to include it in your personal Bundle Ceremony. Once we have read and approved your Ceremony, it will be filed and become a Certified Ceremony for your personal use and for sharing with all New Haven Native American Church Members.
Another way to have an item approved is to request its approval through the New Haven Native American Church. Simply write us a letter with the description of the item you want Certified and how you would be using it in Ceremony or Traditional Practice. For example, if you discovered a new energy healing device and want to use it in your Healing Center, simply request its approval in writing. We are a “Living Church” that constantly adapts to new technology, environments, and circumstances as the Spirit directs. We ask all members to remember to “First, Do Good" and practice their Healing Ministry wisely.
Now keep in mind that just because you are sincerely practicing your religion, some governmental official can still take offence of your religion and prosecute you. They can make you spend tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in defending yourself and your legal rights. Sadly it seems to be the practice of government agencies to take away freedoms rather than defend them. We highly suggest if you are using anything in your Ceremonies that my trigger any governmental prejudices, keep a low profile. Once the Church has enough legal funds donated to assist our members, we will be actively taking a bolder stand to defend our Members’ legal rights.
5. Can I have my Ceremonies anywhere?
A: You will have to get permission from any land holder to use private land for Ceremonies. For public lands, you will have to follow the laws according to the freedom of assembly. For example, holding a ceremony in your house, car, or at the local park during assigned hours of operation is more likely to be legally protected, whereas forcing your way into a large corporate office and holding a ceremony in their foyer is trespassing. Respect others and "First, Do Good".
6. Is being adopted permanent?
A: Yes. A person can only be removed from the New Haven Native American Church by personal request or by the Principle Medicine Chief for not following the Constitution or the Ethical Code of Conduct of the Church. Normal disassociation from the New Haven Native American Church is when a member is not following Ceremonial Practices or doing harm to others. Respect the Ceremonies and respect others.
7. How do I have a Ceremony?
A: You can attend any number of the different organized Ceremonies put on by the New Haven Native American Church or establish your own personal Ceremony. An easy Ceremony is your own personal Medicine Bundle Ceremony, which will be your first assignment to create. You can tailor this Ceremony into your own life and personal belief systems and make it simple or complex. There are numerous other Ceremonies and Traditional Practices that you can adapt into your own personal Ceremony as well.
Remember to “First, Do Good" when performing Ceremonies of any kind. If you desire to hold your own Ceremony with others, you will have to be trained and certified in the Ceremony you want to perform. For example, anyone wanting to officiate in the Sweat Lodge Ceremony should feel that they have been instructed by the Creator to perform the Ceremony, pass the training program for this Ceremony, and at least have attended twelve Sweat Lodge Ceremonies conducted by trained Medicine People.
You will find some Ceremonies are specifically tailored to specific belief systems where others are very general in their application. Train in the Ceremonies that you feel called to preform and assist in sharing the Sacred Healing Way.