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Interviews April 21, 2008 5:30 PM

                              Allen Aslan Heart
                             Abenake/Ojibew

This interview first appeared with todayswoman.net.

Todays-womans interview is with Allen Alsan Heart.  I imagine you are wondering who Allen is?  He is a very talented, creative soul.  An Abenake/Ojibew story-teller, is just one of the many things that he does.  What is that you ask?  You will soon find out.

He is also a drummer, poet, writer, artist and teacher.  His beliefs are strongly related to teachings of his Native American heritage, and how the culture is related to- and its connection with all things. His heart is within his beliefs and enjoys spreading the word of how Native American culture contributes to the beauty of Mother Earth.

His crafted dream catchers are made of natural materials.  These materials honor the beauty of animals, nature, stones etc.  He uses his craft of story telling honoring the earth and each other. There is a  living balance and tolerance of rediscovering ones hidden power through Mother Earth and spiritual beliefs.

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 April 21, 2008 5:32 PM

MZ. JANICE:  I’d like to thank you Allen for taking time for this interview.  I would like to start with asking:  Would you share with the readers where your heritage is from?

ALLEN: I am a lineal descendant of the Little Shell Pembina Band of the Ojibwe nation.  My great-great grandmother was also from Vermont, the home of the Abenaki.

MZ. JANICE:  What is an Abenake/Ojibwe?

ALLEN: Over 1100 years ago, seven prophets came to my people and told them what would happen to them in the future. They were told, first of all, that they must leave the home of the ancestors and travel toward the setting sun along the Great River, now called the St. Lawrence Seaway, to find a new home. They would know when they had arrived because they would find a “food that grows on water” and an island in the shape of a turtle.

There were great discussions. Many did not wish to leave their ancestral lands and the plenty of sea and forest…and they didn’t like the idea of traveling to a place they had never seen or their ancestors before them. A few felt that they should listen to the Seven Prophets and some of them began a long migration….some of them remained to help provision the journey. These people who stayed in the direction of the dawn were called, Waubanaki, “People of the Dawn.”

The people who migrated divided their tasks into three primary roles: keepers of the fire, traders and provisioners, and Spiritkeepers. These are today the Potowatomi, Ottawa, and Ojibwe, in that order.

Today the Abenaki are found in Vermont, Maine and in Canada. The Ojibwe are found around the Great Lakes in Canada and the USA.

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 April 21, 2008 5:33 PM

MZ.JANICE:  Where did you learn of Abenake/Ojibwe?

ALLEN: I didn’t grow up on a reservation among the traditional people. I learned of my heritage when I took my dream catchers to my family union. There the elder brothers and sisters told my mother that I was doing these “Indian” crafts because ”Grandma Bertha was Indian.” A few years later I traveled to the Abenaki homeland and I was named by a seer of visions.

MZ. JANICE:  What inspired you to teach their beliefs in story form?

ALLEN: I just started doing dream catchers and new designs, names of the dream catchers and their stories began to come to me. I thought at first that I was just being very creative. After a few years, I heard the one of “my” stories had been told many thousands of years ago by an ancient people known today as the Anasazi. I realized that I had learned to listen with my heart.

MZ.JANICE:  Could you explain how you use the dream catchers within your storytelling and their signifigance?

ALLEN: There are more than 20 different dream catchers so it would take a LOT of telling, but simply each dream catcher has a different story to tell and a different effect on each person. If people learn to listen with their heart they would discover which dream catcher is speaking to them.

But ALL of the dream catchers are important because they teach ancient lessons about the spirit walk each of us does here on Mother Earth. Often I would hear a lesson and question its meaning and validity. Later I would learn by experience what was meant by that story. That’s one way that I knew that the stories weren’t just coming from me. In fact, I found that the dream catchers WOVE ME! Because of the dream catchers, I had many amazing experiences that I relate in my online book, The Stories Dream Catchers Weave

MZ.JANICE:  You are also a drummer and an artist.  Is this also included in some of your teachings?

ALLEN:  What is teach is that each of us have within us a natural heritage of power and wisdom.  We just need to quiet the ego-mind so that we can listen to the whisper of the quiet spirit wind in the heart.  All wisdom comes this way, not through thinking and reading. Actually, we must unlearn many things so the wisdom can be heard. Drumming and art is an expression of the heart.

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 April 21, 2008 5:34 PM

MZ. JANICE:  Not only are you spreading the word regarding the Abenake/Ojibwe culture, but you are certified to teach what subjects?

ALLEN: I’m certified to teach all the sciences and social sciences in the public schools grades 7-12. I’ve also taught computer literacy, rocketry, natural art, natural lawn care, energy healing, natural therapies for Attention Deficit Disorder, and dream catcher weaving.

MZ.JANICE:  Are you currently teaching within a school system, or is it through cultural events/conventions and such?

ALLEN: My teaching career in the public schools ended in 1988 when I was required to teach history the way it was presented in the school district’s selected textbook. My principal, the one who had hired me from an avant-garde university campus school, forced me to resign after 18 years as one of his lead teachers. I knew that I couldn’t teach children what I knew to be a lie.

The day before my public school teaching career ended I was backing my car into a small parking spot when I noticed a few cars ahead there was plenty of parking space. I realized for the first time how spirit can “speak” to us through what seems to be ordinary events in our life, even in the daytime. I was being shown that I was trying to back into a small, difficult space when in front of me there was an abundant vastness waiting.

I once taught about 125 students each year. Now, through my website The Seventh Fire, I teach twice that many in ONE HOUR. For several years, in six nations, I taught over 10,000 children and adults about the dream catchers and their stories. I’ve been honored for my teaching and weaving, and danced the honors dance with the elders. I’ve spoken from the circle at powwows, taught at the United Nations in Vienna, taught the children of the UN staff at the Vienna International School.

Spirit is again moving me to teach, but this time it is an intensive that incorporates the spirit teachings, T’ai Chi for the Heart, dream catcher weaving, other art forms, writing, poetry, but also web site development, internet marketing, debt elimination, tools of freedom, alternative money system, organic gardening, cooking, health and nutrition, survival skills, gathering medicinal herbs from the mountains, gathering and bundling sage, sage ceremony, pipe ceremony, sweat lodge…..

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 April 21, 2008 5:35 PM

MZ.JANICE:  This is a two part question.  You were giving the name “White Eagle Soaring” by whom, and why?   

ALLEN: I was named by a Passamaquoddi/M’kmaq seer of visions…..because it is so….this is what she saw.

MZ.JANICE:  Could you explain to the readers what the Seventh Fires means?  

ALLEN: As I mentioned at the outset, seven prophets came to my people while they lived near the great salt sea. They said that the people must leave or their way of life would be lost. Each of the prophets told a story that represented a “fire”….a point in the journey that the people would fulfill another prophecy and they would stop to celebrate the occasion.  Each of the first six prophecies were fulfilled and each time they recognized what had been told them hundreds of years before.

Now is the time of the Seventh Fire and it’s prophecy is now being fulfilled. The fish can no longer live in the water and the air is losing its power of life. The water drum is now sounding and the stories are being returned to the people. A new people is coming forth to teach others to take back the treasures that were left along the trail, to remember who they really are and to dance a new dream for the people, all people, that they might live.

MZ.JANICE:  How long have you been writing poetry, and what inspired you to do so?

ALLEN: I wrote poetry in elementary school, usually in lieu of an arithmetic assignment. I began again when Spirit moved me. Near the end of my teaching career, I began to write an assignment on the blackboard and poetry started  coming out. The students asked if they were supposed to copy it and I replied that they could if they wished but I was going to copy it immediately. It comes out when it’s supposed to…sometimes at inconvenient times.

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 April 21, 2008 5:36 PM

MZ.JANICE:  Do have you any books that have been published or are have you gave it any thought?

ALLEN: Actually, I’ve written The Stories Dream Catchers Weaveand a children’s book, called The Littlest Acorn but I haven’t taken the time to get them published. The time is too precious so I make them available for free on my website.

MZ.JANICE:  I took this information from your website to share with the readers.  I found it to be very interesting, and I hope that you do not mind.

Art is a medium through which you can express the multi-layered and interwoven truths of the universe.  In form, color, texture, sound, and rhythm you can discover the unspoken beauty that hides behind each moment and within each space.  Through art may come INsight and UNDERstanding of the nature of the divine fundament of True Reality.  Poetic forms of expression may bridge the verbal and the non-verbal, reaching deeper levels of meaning at the frontiers of imagination far beyond the obvious and mundane.

I feel that is a very meaningful piece of information, art can be used for many things, even healing.  Do you find this to be true? 

ALLEN: Yes, of course. If drumming is considered an art, I’ve used drumming several times for specific healings. Rattles, too. Sometimes though, it’s a story, a dream catcher, photography, a conversation, perhaps it’s prose as in the segment you included. Life is an art and people can learn the art of living in the spirit whispers of the heart.

MZ.JANICE:  What is the link to your website, so that others can read more information about you and what you are doing?

ALLEN: www.the7thfire.com

MZ.JANICE:  I found this interesting, and I would like to know if you would share a little bit of information on how you met your wife?  How you felt the two of you connected?  

ALLEN: When I was in Europe, I discovered the Internet. After traveling part way around the world, teaching and marketing the dream catchers, I saw the magic that was possible through the World Wide Wisdom of the Internet. I saw that is was one the most important to reach many people very quickly and easily.

As I examined the potentials, I discovered the personals where people could meet each other from around the world. The world had become a lot smaller. So I joined Senior Friend Finder and Friend Finder. I wondered how I might find a suitable mate who could do this awesome journey with me.  I looked for some one how had something to do with “Heart”, my chosen name. I found braveheart. We emailed, talked a few times though we were thousands of miles apart.

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 April 21, 2008 5:38 PM

She lived in Mt. Shasta. I had been told to go to Mount Shasta three times before but I always talked myself out of it. She was an artist and didn’t take life too seriously.  We clicked.

When I got to Mount Shasta, she showed me the two eagles from an old weather vane that she had attached to the outside wall of the house facing Mount Shasta four years before we met on the Internet. These two eagles were flying toward each other calling. Well, that told me that I had made another good choice on the journey.

MZ. JANICE:  I ask everyone this question.  Could you share with the readers- What is your philosophy on life?

ALLEN: Each of us has a purpose. Generally that purpose is to fully experience life on Earth and to discover the natural heritage of power and wisdom in ourselves. External activities such as reading a lot of books, going to seminars, workshops, finding a guru can be useful but they must not become the journey. We often look silly as we seek this initiation and that teacher or teaching, always on the outside of us, usually with some attachment to the external that gets in the way of the journey within.

I’ve likened it to the Buddha riding an ox into the world looking for an ox. We don’t realize that we already are that to which we aspire… until we do REALIZE. That REALIZATION of who we are IS THE ENLIGHTENMENT so many talk about. When that happens, all the aspiration, the yearning, the effort looks almost comical. Where I AM, there I AM. It’s simple. So simple that it’s a big joke, the cosmic joke. We expend enormous effort seeking and it’s been there all the time. You didn’t have to move a finger.

MZ.JANICE:  On behalf of todays-woman, I would once again like to thank Allen Aslan Heart for this interview.  I wish the best of luck with your teachings/writings and creativity.  Many Blessings….~Peace~Mz.Janice~

ALLEN:  (Comments if any) Thanks for your time and contribution. We’re just here to learn what we can from experience and not take ourselves or anything, seriously.

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 April 21, 2008 5:39 PM

Interview with Allen Alsan Heart

© 2005 Janice Eakle


No one person(s) is allowed to reprint this interview without permission from Mz.Janice Eakle and Allen Alsan Heart. 

 
  

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 April 21, 2008 5:44 PM

Please excuse my typo's....I couldn't edit my post...

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