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But it does make me feel good to walk by.
I was a special education teacher focusing on Autism for near 10 years (now retired from the field) and have experienced much in that time. Some parents I worked with did a wonderful job raising and teaching their child, others were more resistant but each agreed that it was a difficult time punctuated with joy. Good luck with your practice and your parenting.
Most natives I have met were more than open with their spiritual practices but some (not all) will ask you to leave when they sing "sad" songs. These songs are of a religious, personal and private nature. I can imagine what those songs are about and I respect that they ask me to leave for them. Does it sting a bit? Yes. But that is just pride.
Could I recoil and complain about reverse racism? Yes, but that would be short-sighted. There is a culture and religion to be shared and a culture and religion that is meant for the tribes only (even then only some tribes).
My comments are not about mythologizing a culture but from my experiences of how natives feel about the appropriation of their rituals by non-natives. You can call that racism if you like. There are still divisions in native communities over whether any ritual or celebration should be open to whites.
Some reading for you: http://www.hanksville.org/sand/intellect/NAbibBel... http://www.uapress.arizona.edu/Books/bid1398.htm
Also "The Journey of Crazy Horse" does a wonderful job of explaining this view or you know, talk to a few natives.
Can a wasicu run a sweat-lodge? Yes, with the proper training. Should they do so? No. I know non-natives in high standing that attend some events but even they admit that it is only after decades-long relationships and even then it is met with side-long glances.
You want to do a sweat-lodge? Find a medicine man and bring him a gift. Build a relationship over years. Then after all that time you will still not be allowed but at least you will, by then, if you listened, understand why.