Ed McGaa, Eagle Man, is an Oglala Sioux writer, lecturer, and ceremonial leader. He is the author of Mother Earth Spirituality. He holds a law degree from the University of South Dakota and is a graduate of St. John's University in Minnesota.
McGaa points out that there are seven sacred ceremonies in his tradition:
1. The Sweat Lodge
2. The Vision Quest
3. The Sun Dance
4. The Making of Relatives
5. The Keeping of the Soul
6. The Womanhood Ceremony
7. The Throwing of the Ball
The author calls these the seven Mother Earth Ceremonies because they connect us with the natural world in meaningful ways. While some Native Americans are against having outsiders participate in these rituals, McGaa sets forth his reasons for inviting members of the four races — red, yellow, black, and white — to join the Rainbow Tribe and experience these ceremonies for themselves. He is convinced that Native American spirituality can be applied to peoples of all races and creeds. Here are his words:
"No one tribe or people can lay claim to the forces of nature. Across the planet, down through the ages, tribes of all colors have prayed to a natural, Great Mystery form of power. I hope that no one nationality or ethnic group owns the willows or the saplings or the fallen firewood in the forest."