Dr. Anthony B. James DNM(M), ND(T), MD(AM), DOM(Ac.), DPHC(h.c.), PhD, RAC, SMOKH.
Dr. James, ONACS Chairman and Dean of the SomaVeda College of Natural Medicine and Thai Yoga Center has been apprenticing, practicing and leading Native American Ceremony since the late 80′s. Originally introduced to Native American Spirituality and traditions by his father Ronald Bruce James. His father “Ronny” as he liked to be called, through his Grand mother, Eva Sevier (daughter of John Sevier 1858-1930) was a mixed descendant Eastern Creek/ Cherokee Band according to family traditions. Dr. James is descendent from a long line of French settlers and Eastern Cherokee and mixed Cherokee who survived the Trail Of Tears Holocost of the 1800′s. There were many Sevier/ Severe family members listed in the Eastern Creek/ Cherokees Dawes and Census roles beginning in the 1700′s. Ronny’s Father, William James (my grand father), was also descendent of a mixed Native American heritage. Members of the mixed blood Sevier and James family as they were called in the 1700′s and 1800′s refused to move west to Oklahoma in the forced marches and migrations and instead moved to the Coal Mining areas of South Illinois and Northern Kentucky.
In the coal mines apparently no one cared too much if you were of indigenous origin! Great, Great Grandfather William James worked in the Coal Mines. The various family members also married and re-married non-native men and women and over time the concept of a Native identity was lost. However, not forgotten.
Dr. J’s father Ronny escaped from the coal mining life by joining the US Army where he served with distinction as a First Sargent , 1st. Armored Division, Korea. He was 100% disabled during combat operations in Korea where he was assigned as a Tank Commander.
At the age of seven Dr. James father began teaching him what he knew of Native ways and traditions. Ronny taught him how to hunt, track game, live off the land, shoot guns, pistols, shotguns and to be expert at the use of the bow. A traditional Cherokee skill set. Dr. J learned how to hunt, track, prepare, skin and cook every kind of wild game from squirrels to turkey, from deer to raccoon! Time in the woods was spent hunting, fishing, hiking and climbing, especially trees.
At about age 8 in order to teach Dr. J how to wait and to be still like the earth, Ronny once had him climb a tree with his bow, just before sunrise. He then tied him up into to the tree and gave him instruction to be quiet and not to move until he came back or Dr. J shot a deer which ever came first!
Dr. J was up in that tree about 10 hours. Every time he wiggled or made some noise a voice from the bushes would call out “Shuush!”, “Be still, You’ll scare the animals”!
Ronny had never received formal training in ceremony as that teaching was lost as the old elders died over time in accidents and by disease. But he instilled a love of all things natural an pride that deep inside “your blood is Cherokee”.
Around 1990 Dr. J and his former wife Kat attended the first ever Sevier, surviving Native American Family Union in South Illinois. It was the first common, public gathering of the Sevier, White and James family in over 100 years! Dr. J and Father Ronny were the impetus behind the gathering after Dr. J had shared a vision about the family he had received during a Sweat Lodge ceremony in Michigan. In the vision all the old family members, grand fathers and mothers came to him and said you have medicine, it’s time to claim your heritage and return to your relationship with our mother, Mother Earth.
From this time forward Dr. J has been studying, and trying to flesh out the meaning and message of that vision in respect to medicine, heritage and relationship to Mother Earth.
September 5th, 1993. Dr. James was adopted in NAC Ceremony at Medicine Tail Couly, Little Big Horn River, Real Bird Ranch by Crow (Apsoroka/ Apsalaga) tribal Members of the Whistling Water (Bilagushe) Clan by the late medicine man Floyd Real Bird and by Chuck and Ramona Real Bird. Witnesses to Anthony James (Dr. J) adoption were Medicine Chief Floyd Real Bird, Tribal Historian Mickey Old Coyote, Henry Old Coyote, Chief Robert “Bobbie” Little Light, Richard Real Bird, Kinnard Real Bird, Henry Real Bird, Pius Real Bird, Sean Real Bird, Tim Real Bird, Nicolle Real Bird, John Pretty on Top, Harry and Maggie Moccasin Top and over 20 other Crow Tribal Elders and members of various clans including the greasy Mouth Clan relatives of Grandma Shirley Real Bird (Floyd’s wife).
Dr. James was given the Crow Chanupa or pipe ceremony directly by Chief Floyd Realbird as well as introduced to the NAC Church sacrament during ceremony at Medicine Tail Couly. Dr. James was originally introduced to the Sweat Lodge ceremony by the late elder Sun Bear of the Ojibway Bear Medicine Tribe, and later trained under Crow medicine men and women on Crow Agency, Montana for several years. Participated in first Vision Quest on Bear Butte Montanna under supervision and direction of Lakota Medicine Man Doug White. Additional vision quest were under direction of Chief Floyd Real Bird in the private Crow reserve Big Horn Mountains.
Assisted the head fire keeper at the first three Sun dances (Pipe Carriers Sun Dance 1993, 1994, 1995) held at the Memorial at Pipe Stone National Monument under Sun dance Chiefs Chris Leaf, Clyde Bellecourt, Leonard Crow dog and others. To be clear Dr. J was an invited guest/ support staff of Chief Chris Leaf and was part of the support team building and conducting the Sun Dance, not as a dancer!
Dr. James was given the right and honor to conduct the sacred lodge by his adopted father, Chief Floyd Realbird (Past president NAC- Crow Native American Church), Robert “Bobby” Little light (PastPresident Crow NAC) and Richard Realbird (Past President Crow Nation, Gary Owen , Montana). Additional training and respect was received from Acasio Acatecatl Oltehua Spiritual Leader and healer, born in the Nahuatl Nation of Veracruz , Mexico. The Tehkulle of Kalpulle Olmeca in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico and the spiritual leader of Kalpulli Tonal Teokalli in El Paso Texas.
Dr. Anthony B. James has personally received the blessing and authorization of Seminole Medicine Man and President of the Oklevueha Native American Church’s of Utah and Rosebud Reservation to conduct all ceremony and sacramental duties as an ONAC Medicine Man and Elder. Oklevueha Native American Church Elder Medicine Person Declaration.
Dr. James along with his wife Julie James are the co-founders of the Oklevueha Native American Church of SomaVeda, Florida and conduct regular ceremony and healing work for the church.
Attention, Please Note! Anthony James has never charged for a ceremony or for a sweat! At ONACS, we follow the “Golden Rule” for ceremony, never to charge or ask for money for ceremony. There is NO CHARGE at all for participation in ONACS Ceremony! We are a Non-Profit organization and will accept any donations toward maintenance of the land only. A pot luck feast will be served after the lodge and you are invited to bring a dish for sharing. If you cannot afford to bring food, or are unable to prepare, come anyway and we will feed you!
Ceremony conducted by Anthony B. James, ONACS Medicine Elder
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