Nemenhah Indigenous Traditional Organization

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The Nemenhah Indigenous Traditional Organization (Nemenhah People, Nemenhah ITO) is a convocation of Medicine Men/Women and Ministers of the Native American Church of Nemenhah (NACNEM), formerly "Numi'Pu TsuPehli Chophunsh", and "Nemenhah Band and Native American Traditional Organization", consecutively, which is the established ecclesiastical institution of the Nemenhah ITO.


The Nemenhah Band (then an independent branch of the Oklevueha/Sioux Native American Church) was formed by an independent Council of mothers representing many recognized tribes and peoples and by ratification of its constitution in 2002. The Nemenhah Great Council (Constitutional Assembly) meets each year at the Ceremonial Grounds located in Cedar County, Missouri, one of the traditional territories cited by the ancient Nemenhah in sacred records of the Nemenhah. The Native American Church of Nemenhah has declared Natural Medicine and all of its modalities to be sacrament, sacred objects and practice of its Native American Religion. Therefore, all members of Nemenhah are considered Ministers of the Church as they strive to heal the individual, the family, the community, the society and the planet through sacred ceremony, with sacrament and with sacred objects.

Phillip R. Cloudpiler Landis was elected as Principle Medicine Chief by the First Mothers Council and was re-elected by the Great Council every year from 2002 to 2011. In 2012, the Nemenhah Great Council (Constitutional Assembly) re-organized the governing offices of the organization into two distinct Branches (Ecclesiastical and Secular) and Jonathan M. Wellamotkin Landis, the son of Phillip Landis, was elected as Nehm Tiwehkthihmpt (Elected Principle/Medicine Chief and Talking Feather) of the secular government in the Nemenhah ITO. During the Nemenhah Great Council of 2012, Phillip Landis was sustained as the Tehk Tiwehkthihmpt (Presiding High priest/President of the Native American Church of Nemenhah) of the established ecclesiastical institution of the Nemenhah ITO.

The organization is listed on the Cherokee Nations "Fraudulent Group List" of unrecognized Indian tribes.,[1] but from its inception the organization has never made claims [2] of seeking Tribal Status[3] from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs. However, the Native American Church of Nemenhah (including prior historical denominations as an organization) has, since 2002, received affiliations with and recognition[4] from Holy Men and Women of Federally Recognized Tribes and Bands[5] within the United States and Alaska.


Membership in the Nemenhah is by the ancient principle and ceremony of Spiritual Adoption whereby all members become Relations. Request for spiritual adoption is always accompanied by a sacred giveaway offering and all services by the Nemenhah, its Chiefs and Officers, and its Ministers are also requested by Sacred Giveaway in accordance with the religious practices of the ancient Nemenhah. The Nemenhah do not dictate the religious beliefs of the Tribes, the Bands or other Peoples and naturally is neither surprised nor concerned when people of differing belief systems make derogatory comments about their religious practices. In the Interest of competence, liability and continuing education, the Nemenhah provides a curriculum for the appropriate training of its Ministers. Nemenhah Ministers do not consider themselves "shamans" and are concerned only with Nemenhah Religious Practices. Whenever anyone expresses interest in "shamanic Practices" that may be associated with the Tribes, Bands or other Peoples, they are always referred to those other agencies.

Some indigenous peoples of the Americas have criticized these practices,[6] despite blessings received by Chiefs Les' Fool-Bull and his successor, Richard Swallow, of the Eagle Clan of the Ogalalla Sioux, of the Native American Church of South Dakota and Wounded Knee, the Maca-Oyate and the numerous members of Nemenhah who are also members of federally and/or state-recognized tribes and bands.


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