Medicine men and women

The wisdom and knowledge used by medicine people comes from other medicine people who came before them and handed down their ‘medicine’ to chosen ones. They train for many years and the medicine formulas, songs and other rites are handwritten on scrolls and medicine sticks which have been handed down over time.

It is unwise to try to interpret the Native writing in these various forms and use them without the proper training. Most are written in cryptic fashion, leaving out major portions that the practitioner has learned verbally, written in code or even written backwards.

We are told that the Native Medicine People travel to the lonely places to meet with the Little People from the spiritual realm and share in their secrets. Medicine people are still today an integral part of the traditional Native lifestyle.

Neshnabek Medicine People are not “shamans.” They are also not psychics and do not give readings.

Traditional Native Practitioners may consult with medicine people for help with medical problems, dilemmas in their lives or other problems. There are fewer Medicine People alive and practicing today, but those few are still known by traditionalists and others in Native communities. It is not accepted for medicine people to advertise or make their services known in other ways.

The proper way to find a medicine person is to be part of a Native community, ceremonial ground or family and to come to know this person through those connections. Please do not contact a Native Nation asking to be put into contact with a Medicine Man or Woman or asking anyone to help you become one. 

Author: neaseno

I was born on Powers Bluff in Wood County, Wisconsin, into a traditional community of Neshnabek. I was raised speaking only native languages, and learned to speak English upon entering school at the age of 6. As of this writing, I am one of 5 remaining Heritage Fluent Speakers of Potawatomi.

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