I'd like to share a little bit about what the 'White Deer' is.
The White Deer is a symbol of peace, a symbol of the peacemaker. A symbol of great strength; of fighting with peace without any physical violence, without mental violence of any kind. This was used in the first world-- before the destruction of the first world. The people had developed their mental powers so strongly, that they became greedy and began to use their mental powers to try to control others. Throughout the world, in many ancient cultures, there are stories of civilizations like we live in today. Our civilization is still very primitive, compared to the civilizations that existed before. And I say primitive-- primitive in the sense of ignorance. The ignorance that we have today. We are not so willing to help people. We are not so willing to share in our world today, because this is what we have learned from the system. Not just the system, through our way of life in this world.
There are many, many stories of how the White Deer helped people in different ways and how it was also used as a 'Spirit power', a guardian Spirit. We had many elders that came here, who used the White Deer power, to open the ceremonies. They sang White Deer songs. They would give gifts away. We had one elderly lady, named Sara Jack, from Duncan, BC. She used to come here in the 60's, and she died about 1969. I always remembered her; she would travel here with drums. She was also a drum maker. She'd make drums, and then bring them here, for the opening of the Winter Ceremonies. She'd start singing a song, a White Deer song. And said, "May great wealth come to all of you, and may all the great wealth that's already in your heart accept the wealth that is coming to you," This is what she used to tell people in English. When she'd talk to everybody she'd talk in her Indian English; and then she'd speak her language. She would hand out these drums, with drumsticks. She'd make drumsticks with her drums. She also used to pass out log drums that she made. She would look at, (I felt sorry for the carvers) whoever was a carver there. She'd say: "you", she's point at the carver. "You, you carve that design on it now, so that beautiful log drum would be decorated with beautiful designs from everybody. "And it better be done by tomorrow." This is what she did, and she said, "don't worry, I'll pay you." She used to pay them $20 or $10 dollars, or give them a drum. That was the way Sara Jack was; that's how'd she would come to open the ceremonies here. Those Old People had their own different ways of opening the winter, a winter ceremony. It wasn't just with dancing, that was her power, that's how she worked with her power, and she had a White Deer power.
She never danced much in public. She said she used like to dance by herself. That way she didn't worry about anyone making mistakes singing or drumming for her. She had a short temper and knew she would get mad at people for making just a little mistake. She didn't want to disgrace herself in public that way. That's what she used to say. She would always talk to us young people, and say: "Never, never make anybody feel disgraced, it is dishonorable; you would not want to feel that way." And she would tell a story about how a lady made her feel one time. The woman said: "Oh you sang my song wrong; what's the matter with you!?" And she said:. After that experience, though, she felt very hurt about hurting people like that. "You teach them respectfully your song. They make their mistakes, but eventually they will learn your song. Your song will teach them. It's the song that will teach them, not you. It's the song." That's the way she believed. And that's why we need to be gentle in that way, in that sense. Gentle with the strong power to encourage people, but not to convict people. This is not a prison; this is not a jail. We're not here to convict people.
I wanted to share the story of Sara Jack and how she worked here, in this house. When she left this house, she'd say "All the dirty rags in the house, I'll take home, and next time I come, I'll bring all new rags." Meaning all new altar clothes, anything. If the curtains were dirty, she'd take them. And the different elders would say, "Oho, Oho, she's taking them." We don't have a word for stealing, in the Native Language. Stealing is a different kind of thing, when you're stealing it, you're doing it in a negative way. She would take the things, and of course we'd never see them again. Some people would say,† "Well I made that, why are they taking that?" And she would just laugh and laugh. And she would come back and put all new curtains up. Sometimes it would be months later, you know, and she'd come back with table clothes, but they would all be brand new cloths that she made. That's the way they used to do things here. We still have old curtains that had been put up there by Auntie Katharine. Nobody has made any new curtains to put up. We don't have anybody that does that anymore. This is the way this lady was. And that was her power, how her power worked. That was a White Deer Women power. And what she would do with the old cloths--she gave them away, and would pin money on them. She'd say, "You are so blessed that you have a cloth from a medicine house, that will strengthen your family, and I'll even added money to it to make you feel good. She'd pin a dollar or five dollars. And that's the way she was in her work. You don't see a lot of little ceremonies like that anymore. Different villages had different things they did. They would do anything they could to encourage people. Sometimes it was behind the scenes --nobody knew anything about them. This person was quite an amazing person, how she worked here. So I'd like to share a story that she shared here, that I remember. In 1967 she told this story of a White Deer here.
If you are listening say Ke Klell.
Sara Jack was half Cowichin, and half Nouchanalth/ Nootka. Also she was Irish; her father was an Irish man. She was quite an amazing looking lady. She had bright red hair. She had real dark skin, copper skin, and green eyes. She spoke very good English, and several Native Languages.
This story was told by Sara Jack, in 1967 on December the 2nd.
There was this power, This Elderly man went out. He never got any medicine power. He never tried to claim to be anything. He would just try to help, when anybody needed help. If someone was hungry, he would go fishing or hunting, and bring food for the families. Or if someone needed something, anything in his long house, he would just give it away. He didn't care about any material things. And That was the way his life was. He was from a high class family. A lot of high class people didn't want their daughters to marry him because he gave everything away. And he didn't save enough things for a potlatch. All that was left was his house. So he'd give that away and tell the people: "You can use my house as a comminute house. I'll build another long house". In the story of this man, his name was 'Te Kah Tah Ma Siet Teah', which means, 'My thoughts when I look at the beach from out in the Ocean--they are waiting for me,at the Edge of the Beach. That was his name.
In this story he is very, very old. He goes out. He says "Oh I must be getting to the end of my years. I'm starting to move slower and slower." As soon as he was out there, he just blacked out, fell down. He heard a buzzing sound, some kind of buzzing sound. This buzzing sound was like a humming sound, kind of like a bee, but not quite, it was very, very loud. He opened his eyes, and there were these people all around him. Very beautiful people. Their bodies were covered with all kinds of flowers and plants. He asked them, "Who are you?" And they just looked at him, and they laughed; they all laughed. He got so angry. He got so angry, he said:,"Don't be laughing at me. I'm asking who you are, answer me right now." And they all laughed again. They laughed and laughed. And then he started getting really dizzy. He found his spirit traveling. His spirit was traveling to some place he did not know. They say this is the place of where these people live, the White Deer people. It is a secret place that only White Deer people should now about. So I will not tell you the name of it, because only the White Deer people know about it. I don't have the White Deer power, so I don't know anything about it, so I can't tell you anyway
. As he awakened he says,† "This must be the underworld." The people start laughing at him again. They said, "This is not the Underworld, this is under the under the under the world." And he said, "Excuse me, what is it?" It's the under the under the under the world." "How many underworlds are there?" There are many, many under, under the under the under the under worlds, under the under, under worlds, under all of the underworlds under that, and then there's the under and then there's the worlds under that. And then there's nothing in between the under the under, under the under and the world." They just kept talking like that. In the story it goes for a half and hour. The elders sing this part of the story. Just singing underworld. Under, the under, under, under, under the world, for a half an hour. That is how long he must have been blacked out, it says in the story. That's why they sang it for half and hour. He awakened, after a half an hour.
Remember that in the stories, in the native stories, there's not a time, a timing. We didn't say, "Well this didn't happen a half an hour ago, or one hour ago." After white men came and brought the clock, the people started timing their stories. And elders would laugh and say: "Oh, this space of time that the white man calls a half an hour". This is a different way of looking at one of our ancestors, how long they blacked out, listening to under the world. And just to think about that, looking at story through the white man view, was such a different way. Sara Jack, would even bring a clock to give away at the end of the story. When she'd tell the story, she'd have the clock lying on the altar. When she was done with this story, she'd give the clock away to symbolize that part of the story. Before the clock, they used the altar, or a bowl of water, to give away.
At this time he received this power of this White Deer. He said, "I am to old to receive a power. Why do I have to receive it at my age? I cannot move around very fast. I have to walk with a cane now, and even my cane doesn't like to move very fast". This cane was made of a two thousand-year-old tree. The two thousand-year-old tree-- they had names for the treesówas called Ta Ka Nin. I guess they'd measure them through the width of the tree. And this is how they know; they measure them with the stories that way. And so they knew this cane was from this tree, it was a branch of the tree. They said. " this cane is a two thousand-year-old grandchild from the two thousand-year-old grandmother" This man would always find himself walking back to the tree. Because this cane would pull him towards the tree because he wanted to visit his grandmother again. He had to visit this tree, three times every day. As long as he owned that cane, he could not travel very far because wherever he would travel he would have to go back to this tree. He was very impatient even at his old age. So one day, he left the cane there at the tree. "You can stay with your grandmother, and you can visit her all the time now, I have no use for you. I'm tired of visiting your grandmother. You visit her. I cannot stand visiting three times a day."
This part of the story, it's repeated several times in the story. Why is it repeated several times? The ritual of going back again and again. Going home and going back to where there is knowledge. It is work. You have to work for knowledge. You have to go back and forth, back and forth. You have to study where you walk, wherever you walk. You have to study yourself; you have to feel things. You have to keep that within you heart and humble yourself. It is a lot of work to do that. That's the meaning of that, going back and forth. He finally got impatient, By doing this he knew his work was done when he left that cane there. In this story of this White Deer, the White Deer makes him do this with everything that he makes with his hands. Everything that he creates, or the Spirit creates. He has to go back and forth, back and forth, several times. The objects are the ones teaching him. This is what this kind of power does to people. So that should give you an idea of whatever kind of power you use. The more powers you acquire, the many, many time you'll have to travel to many places.
This old man was kind of getting irritated because he's old and said: "Why at my age do I have to be running around for these Spirit power things." That's what he said in the story, complaining: "Why do I have to do this, why didn't this come to me when I was younger, when I could run". The White Deer said,† "We don't like people to run when they're learning. If you want to complain, we can make you move slower." He never complained again to his Spirit power. "Three times is not that bad, to go and visit". It was only three times he had to go back and forth. Three times is not too bad. Actually, you know its better then doing it four times. A lot of people that had Spirit powers, they had to do it four times, five times, seven times. Some people I've heard even had to go thirty seven times. "I'm just so fortunate--three times, I have to pray in a ritual way. When they come in a long house, people go around once, before they sit down but only in the wintertime. It would be to irritating to do it all year round. In the rest of the seasons you could go straight to your seat. He would have to go around three times, before he could sit down. He'd have to turn around three times before he sat down. And then he received the White Deer power, the White Deer said; "This is how we learn about peace. Peace moves in the light of Sa Twat Kwan Nin, the speed of light. The speed of light of the orange and white light. And this speed of light is very, very fast. It can make your mind go crazy if you let it. This is why we take our time. And in the speed of light, there's the peacemaker. The peacemaker is seen every time the sun rises, every time the sun sets. Then you see the peacemaker's soul. This is teaching us how to cleanse our soul. To wash our soul with peace, to wash our soul with the light of the setting sun and the rising sun. For the White Deer powers are the children of that sun that live on the earth here. This is why you do not see the sun move very fast, to your time, it would burn you up, it would destroy you if it was to move quickly. Quickly, what is quickly, what is fast? There's no such thing in the time of the spirit. So this is what the elderly man learned in the last years of his life from the White Deer power. Why sometimes we have to wait upon the Spirit, and not rush things.
As he got older he said, "Oh my, what am I going to do with myself." The power says, "We have found you a wife. She had the power of To Kamy Kalata, of the world beyond all the underworlds, beyond all the underworlds, beyond that, beyond more underworlds, beyond more underworlds, beyond even more underworlds, beyond more and more underworlds. Beyond more and beyond more of that, and even more beyond that. We can not continue, because the more beyond underworlds will continue. And they sang that part of the story for one hour. She was more patient than him, I guess. This lady was very beautiful, and had been looking for a husband like this for a long time . She was around the same age. She says, "Ya know why we look this way, cause we've been so in a hurry, it's time to peel our skin off now." They peeled their skin off with their powers. They thought they were really old, They were only in there twenties. This is how impatient people live. They think they are so old. Now all of you know who you are. He says, Oh, I must be fantasizing." She said, "No, you cannot be fantasizing, under the fantasizing, over the fantasizing, under the fantasizing, over the fantasizing, under the fantasizing, over the fantasizing. Over that and under that. fantasizing, over fantasizing, under fantasizing. Fantasizing over and under, and over and under, and beyond that". She sang for a whole hour. This is how she would give advice. Nobody ever asked her for advice. They would try to run away from her, but the White Deer power makes people freeze and move slower. She would just follow them wherever they would go for a whole hour, and advise them. They say, the White Deer people began to travel more back into the underworld, or the other worlds. Because people did not ask advise anymore. People were not as patient, as the White Deer people. Imagine a Spirit dance of a White Deer person. When they danced the spirit dance, they would dance for a long time. If someone does make a mistake in their song, and (the person that has acquired the White Deer power) complains about it--even if it's just one minute they must dance one minute, one minute, one minute, one minute, one minute, at a time, one minuet, one minute for a whole half an hour. And that's how they get their power. If it is an hour, it was for a whole hour of that minute.
It 's very similar to the Clown powers, but not quite, not quite, not quite, not under, not over, not before, not after. Not under the world, but not quite. And this is sung for an hour, and it's the wife of this man who is singing it. They have a child, and their child is a Clown person. Time is fast or slow. It measures in the time the soul is awake, and when it's asleep. So the Clown power does the opposite. If the person had slept, if they acquired the spirit power, in a half an hour, the Clown powers will chant and sing the words for twenty-three and half-hours. Some people say the White Deer power and the Clowns invented death. But that's a secret, I can't tell you, or it wouldn't be a secret.
As time goes on this elderly man begins to heal many people through his beautiful songs, his gentleness, and the peace he has in his heart. And his wife sings the songs for a whole hour, every time. They say at the end, close to the end of this elderly man life, he said, "I have seen myself as old before I got my Spirit power. Now I see myself as young, that I have my Spirit power. And I have a wife that reminds me for a whole hour, and a child that reminds me for twenty-three and half-hours. I am so rich. I will never become a memorizer, because I don't need to be. I am reminded continuously by my family." This man became a great Peacemaker among the people on Vancouver Island. They say in this ancient story, he became one of the first Peacemakers when Vancouver Island was still connected to the mainland. He was the one that predicted the separations of the Islands. It separated during the first world, through the power of the people trying to use their power to control people by categorizing them. In our language, we call that Te Ka Ta Nah, dropping a soul and watching it shatter. Our soul is very delicate like glass. That is just one word we have of describing categorization. In English, they just have one word.
In the story, when she would sing, her tones would change. She was trying to reach out to people that had been lost or their soul were shattered. That's what a White Deer power does; starts to help people who have been shattered and heal them. That is the job of a Peacemaker. You have to learn patience with yourself, and then with others. Peacemaking job usually comes to people who are impatient. People, who do not want it, receive it. People, who are disgusted with people, make even better Peacemakers if they can live through the conditioning.
When this elderly man finally died, his wife cried for a whole hour. And the child cried for twenty-three and half-hours.† He knew his work was done. As his soul traveled. They said he was still mending souls, as he was leaving the world. You know when a Peacemaker dies because it brings all the people who are shattered together, that otherwise would never come together. And that is all.
There's allot of teaching in this story. Even in our fast-paced society we live in today we see the Peace making spirits. Even today in our own families, or places we go to, friends that die, or people like relatives we haven't seen in a long time. When they die and everybody comes, to their funeral. You know, people that can't stand each other, which we all know as we've experienced things like that. Going to family member's funerals, and weddings, all sorts of things like that. We get people who come together and there's the Peacemaker spirit that is from the White Deer people they say. They say when a White Deer spirit, discontinues doing it work, that is the end of our known civilization, and the next White Deer spirits come from the Under the world, under the world, under that, under the world, under however long, forever it goes. And that's the White Deer Women story of this elderly man, who had a White Deer women power.