With Respect & Honour.......
why we are NOT part of the black market!

When Jon first embarked on setting up Sacred Eagle Imports back in 1997 he knew that he only wanted to purchase genuine Native American products from Native Americans - the people to whom the crafts traditionally belonged.

 

At that time we were beginning to see copies of dream catchers being made in Taiwan and Malaysia and we were saddened by the poor quality of the materials and craftsmanship......it felt so disrespectful to the origins of these beautiful Native American items.

 

It could be said that we were WAY ahead of these modern times in recognising 'cultural misappropriation'!

 

Our aim has always been to (as we see it) trade 'ethically'.

Meaning - buying our goods from individual Native American artists; Native American companies or companies buying from/employing Native American people.

 

And then a couple of years ago we were taken aback to be confronted by an earnest young journalist who questioned our use of the term 'ethically sourced' in relation to our White Sage products. He wanted us to provide him with the details of our suppliers of white sage (we had three at that time) which we declined. His inference being that we were obtaining our sage in an underhand way.

 

At the time we posted the following message on social media:

 'Recently we have been asked questions around our use of the phrase “ethically sourced”.

To us this has always meant that we purchase our goods form Native owned companies & artists or companies who buy from them, rather than buying copied merchandise from places like China and Taiwan.  This has been our mission since we started in 1997.

 It has been highlighted that the phrase actually means something slightly different and carries a higher level of responsibility and scrutiny than we had thought about!

Therefore, after some consideration we shall stop using the phrase, and we will be striving to source our products from companies in the USA and Canada who are in turn “ethically sourcing” their products.

Being held to account (personally and professionally) is always a positive thing-it is how we continue to grow and improve our standing in the world as honourable beings.

 Jon and Rachel'

 

Currently we have two trusted suppliers who assure us that their white sage IS ethically and sustainably harvested by members of the Native community. Our products are most definitely not associated with the so called 'black market' in White Sage.

One supplier has provided further information that their white sage.....

"is sustainably and ethically harvested by members of the Native American community with whom we have traded for 30 years. They have permits to harvest sage growing on land near to San Diego. They pick the Sage in a traditional and sacred manner, using blessings and leaving gifts for Mother Earth."

And the other has said

"our sage is both wild harvest and farmed. Wild harvest - it is with permission and no plants are uprooted during harvesting allowing for reharvest". (sic) by members of the Native American community.

Whilst White Sage is not yet classified as threatened, the conservation group United Plant Savers HAS placed it on its 'to watch' list. Cassidy Adlof, an ethnobotanist, says that in addition to rising demand, the species is under pressure from habitat loss and climate change.

And so.....to  continue along the the line of differences within cultures,

even the terminology around ancestral origins is not a set-in-stone science!

When we started out it was beginning to be understood that the term 'Indian' was offensive.

 'Native American' was the newly favoured term.

We happily adopted this and have continued to use it.

However......there ARE citizens in the USA who are very happy, indeed proud, to be called Indian,

AND there are others who prefer the title 'Indigenous People', 'Indigenous American' or

'First Nation People' and really do NOT like 'Native American' at all.

No one name or viewpoint suits every single person within a community.

 

As with everything in life there are many views, many roads, many different ways of being.

And there are many 'truths'.

Each perfectly valid for an individual - however not necessarily true for the whole group.

 

Respect for each others place in, and understanding of, the world is called for and a recognition that 'other' or 'difference' does not need to mean conflict and separation. Now is the time for harmony and unity upon the planet

 

So I respectfully borrow a beautiful Lakota prayer phrase:

Mitakuye-Oyasin meaning "all my relations" or "we are all related",

                                                                                               Blessings, Rachel