FAQ for Oklevueha Native American Church (ONAC)
- Why do I need to be a member of Oklevueha NAC before I can sit in ceremony?
We require everyone to become a member of Oklevueha Native American Church prior to sitting in ceremony for several reasons. As a member of ONAC you are legally protected to participate in sacred ceremony and partake of sacred plant medicines through the First Amendment to the Constitution. Our authorized Medicine People are also protected legally when all those who sit in ceremony are members.
Every member of ONAC agrees to our codes of Ethics and Conduct, thus further ensuring that these ways are honored and protected. Retaining the sacredness of these ancient ways is one of our primary missions. It also ensures safety within the container created.
- Can I come to observe a medicine ceremony without participating in the ceremony?
Unfortunately, if you are not a member of ONAC, you will not be able to watch or attend ceremonies where medicines are being worked with. Not only are you not protected legally, but the fact that a non-member is there makes it possible for law enforcement to cause problems for everyone that attends because they contend that the medicines are available to anyone in attendance.
If you are a member of ONAC, you have agreed to the same codes, guidelines, and policies as the other members in attendance. When someone shares or participates in ceremony, there are times where that experience can be very deep and tender. We hold sacred circles in ceremony to cultivate safety and we ask that all in attendance participate to meet the vulnerability and healing on the same level.
- What are the benefits to being a member of Oklevueha Native American Church?
We have outlined some of the benefits of becoming a member of ONAC. Please also read through this website as we believe you will find helpful information.
- May I have contact information and locations for ONAC branches without being a member?
Unfortunately, we do not share we do not share specifics about ONAC branch locations and/or medicine people with anyone who is not a member. We realize that makes it more difficult to connect before you join, but we do this to protect the safety and privacy of our branches, medicine people and ONAC members. You are welcome to email us at [email protected] and ask if there is a branch located in your state or how close one would be to you.
- Does becoming a member of Oklevueha Native American Church – Mother Church mean that I have to convert or change religions?
No, Oklevueha is an earth-based healing church that works with ceremony and natural plants and ceremonies to assist people to become whole, body, mind, and spirit. There is no “conversion” as you may find in a doctrinal church. There is no eternal salvation as you may find in a Christian congregation. There is simply growth and overcoming those things that are keeping you from connections, happiness, and wellness. Oklevueha is not doctrinal, so we believe there is no conflict between someone’s religious beliefs.
We accept people of all races, lifestyles, and religions. Since we are not a doctrinal church, but a Church that offers earth-based healing, what type of relationship our members have with Creator is not our business. We do have Christians who are members, but we also have agnostics, New Age, Hindi, Gaian, Muslim, Rasta, Ba’ha’i and many other beliefs among our people. We believe in Great Creator and Mother Earth and Father Sky as the source of our well-being and blessings. How that is interpreted by each individual is between them and their higher power.
- Am I a member of a Native American Tribe now?
You do not become a member of a tribe when you join Oklevueha Native American Church. We are a federally recognized Native American Church. We are not a tribe. When you become a member under Oklevueha Native American Church, you receive a membership card and membership ID number which enables you to connect with our recognized ONAC branches under Mother Church. Connecting with these branches enables you to sit and participate in ceremonies. Membership in ONAC does not automatically make you a member of a Native American tribe. Tribal Membership can only be conferred by a tribe itself. Each Native American tribe has its own requirements for membership. If your tribal membership is approved, a tribe will give you a Tribal ID card or a notarized letter of membership. By completing membership with us, you will become a member of Oklevueha Native American Church.
- Where can I find a list of ONAC branches that are recognized by ONAC Mother Church?
https://oklevuehanac.com/branches/ Here, you can find a list of ONAC branches that are recognized and have been carefully vetted and approved by the ONAC Mother Church and Council.
- How do I find a ceremony I can attend or ONAC branch near me?
Please email Mother Church at [email protected] and let us know where you are located and what type of ceremony you are feeling called to. We will let you know about any branches that meet your requirements.
- How do I find the right branch or medicine person for me?
This is a wonderful question and one we are happy to assist with. Just drop us an email at [email protected]. There we can ask you clarifying questions to assist you in connecting with the branch that is most aligned for you.
- I reached out to an ONAC branch, but I haven’t heard back from them, what now?
We ask that you please be patient with our ONAC branches and ONAC medicine people as they respond to you and give them at least 7 days to respond from when you email them. ONAC branches have current members that they work with, some may have other jobs, families, and other responsibilities that they attend to. If you do not hear from them after 7 days, we encourage you to email them again. If you still do not hear a response, we ask that you please email us at [email protected] so we can further assist you or reach out to the ONAC branch on your behalf.
- Do I have to travel for ceremony?
It is likely that you will have to travel for ceremony depending on where you are located. We do have ONAC branches around the US and some branches that travel to other states. Unfortunately, we do not have an ONAC branch or ONAC medicine person in each state or they may not be offering the ceremony or medicine you are feeling called to.
- Do I have to make a contribution for an offered ceremony or service from an ONAC branch / ONAC Medicine Person?
Most branches are contribution based. We believe that you should always make a contribution for services that are given, as it is an even exchange of energy. For example, when attending a Sweat Lodge, you always bring something for the medicine person pouring the lodge. The contribution could be money, sage, wood, tobacco, etc. We do have some branches that will require a minimum contribution for ceremonies. These contributions will go towards obtaining more medicine for branch members, paying traveling road men to bring medicine and to get back home, needs of elders and much more. Again, this may depend on the branch and some branches may even offer a work exchange as the contribution for the branch and the medicine or ceremony offered. If you are not offering any reciprocity energetically, that would be out of ‘right way’ or balance.
As our species and cultures have changed to an extent, we no longer live in our own cultural tribes where the healers and medicine people are looked after in the same way (such as bringing them a deer at the end of the day and making sure their needs are met) most of us now live in some type of home, have to pay for certain bills to sustain the location where ceremonies are held, to bring up the sacred medicine from the South, and in a good way. The ways we now take care of our healers and elders look different such as our exchange that we provide them but there would be some energetic exchange or reciprocity in services. It is likely in whatever your experience, you are going to only get out of it what you are willing to put into it, even if that is energetically. There should be some type of balance in exchange and reciprocity.
- Are there ONAC branches located outside of the United States?
We do have a few ONAC branches located outside of the United States but these branches are focused on preservation work. They do not work with members or receive membership referrals. We also do not share their branch information. Branches that offer ceremonies and receive ONAC member referrals are located within the United States. It is likely the protections we have here in the US do not automatically happen in other countries just by being a member of ONAC. We cannot dictate laws or beliefs to other countries.
- As a member of ONAC, can I cultivate my own sacred medicine?
This will depend on the medicine and where you are receiving the medicine. We ask that you please read through the links below to make sure you remain in alignment and good standing as a member.
- As a member of ONAC, can I travel with sacred medicine?
We do have all the laws on the website about what is protected and what is not. Also, we believe it is unwise to air travel with any medicine because there are authorities that don’t understand how the laws work with religious freedom. Some may only confiscate your sacrament; others may take legal action and you would have to fight that out in court. While you are in your rights, we would say it is unwise at this time to take medicine with you on your carry-on or in your suitcase that may be checked. You are welcome to take that chance, but we cannot guarantee that you will not have problems arise. We never recommend traveling across country borders with sacred medicines.
Only recognized ONAC medicine people of our church should be traveling with large amounts of medicine. If you go anywhere with medicine on you physically, you should only have enough on you in quantities that are reasonable to work with on a personal level and under the direction of an ONAC medicine person. That being said, we are very careful on where sacred medicines come from. As an ONAC member, you should only be receiving sacred medicines from our recognized ONAC branches / Medicine People. We have specific paperwork that must be completed when you are given medicine by an ONAC medicine person and strongly recommend you keep this paperwork with your medicine.
- Now that I am a member of ONAC, can I facilitate my own medicine ceremonies?
No, becoming a member of ONAC does not authorize you or protect you in facilitating your own ceremonies under the ONAC name. You would have had to check this box on your membership application stating this understanding and agreement, “By checking this box, you are indicating that you understand there is a difference between a member and a Medicine Person. You are applying to become a member of Oklevueha Native American Church. You are not being recognized as a Medicine Person, nor are you given authorization to conduct your own ceremonies under the name of Oklevueha Native American Church.
Additionally, being a member of ONAC and having a membership card does not qualify you to carry Bird of Prey feathers. Being a member makes you eligible to connect with our existing ONAC branches in good standing. Being a member does not preclude you from doing things outside of Oklevueha Native American Church.
If you feel that you have a calling to pursue these things and work with other groups, you are welcome to. However, what you cannot do is to represent yourself as part of ONAC in those activities. We have a vetting process at ONAC Mother Church for those who wish to be considered for an ONAC branch or ONAC medicine person status.
- I want to start my own ONAC branch and/or become a recognized ONAC medicine person, how do I do this?
We have a careful vetting process for those that wish to be recognized as an ONAC branch or medicine person under Oklevueha Native American Church. We ask that you please email us at [email protected] for more information.
- I am a member of ONAC, but I want to work with another group / organization outside of ONAC. Can I still do this?
Yes. Being a member of Oklevueha Native American church makes you eligible to connect with our existing ONAC branches in good standing. Being a member does not preclude you from doing things outside of Oklevueha Native American Church. If you feel that you have a calling to do things that fall outside of our mission, you can pursue those things in keeping with your own conscience. What you cannot do is to involve ONAC in those activities in any way or expect any protection or support from Oklevueha Native American Church for doing so.
- I have a state medical marijuana card, does having ONAC membership offer extra protection?
When you have a membership with Oklevueha Native American Church, you are required to follow our policies, guidelines, and codes to stay in good standing as a member. When you have a medical marijuana card, you are required to follow the state rules and guidelines regarding Cannabis, which are different from ONAC. You cannot receive protection under both and will need to choose which option is most in alignment for your path.
- How do the Virtual Membership Cards work?
A virtual card is the same as a laminated card. The virtual card can be downloaded to your phone or printed out as you wish. We recommend always carrying the virtual card on your person (by phone or printout).
- I had issues with my membership application, what do I do now?
Please email [email protected] with any questions you may have regarding your membership application, incomplete or any other errors that may have been made.
- I never received my emails after applying for membership, how do I get them?
Please double check the email that you gave us on your membership application to verify it is valid. Please check your junk / spam folders to make sure your emails did not end up there by mistake. If you are still unable to find these emails, please email us at [email protected].
- Does being a member of ONAC make me exempt from vaccines?
We cannot offer exemption letters to members or dictate to employers regarding vaccines. What we can provide you with is our ONAC Personal Choice Policy that you can provide to whomever is seeking it. They may choose to honor it, but it is not a guarantee. Many members have had this letter accepted. If you would like a letter personalized with your ONAC membership information, please email us at: [email protected]
- Does my ONAC membership prevent me from carrying a concealed weapon?
No, being a member of ONAC will not negate you from owning, possessing, or carrying firearms. Firearms laws vary from state to state so you would want to be aware of that. However, in some states, a conviction for controlled substances can interfere with your right to own or carry firearms. We also encourage you to study the links below:
Medicine Limitations: https://oklevuehanac.com/sacraments-personal-use-requirements-and-limitations/
Code of Ethics: https://oklevuehanac.com/code-of-ethics/
Code of Conduct: https://oklevuehanac.com/code-of-conduct/
- What do I do if I am approached by law enforcement or have run into a legal issue?
Please read the information and helpful instructions we have listed here:
We also recommend you familiarize yourself with the links mentioned above to make sure you remain in good standing as a member of ONAC.
If you have had a recent legal issue as a member of ONAC, please review all above and email us at: [email protected] as we will need more information from you to assist you forward.