How to Find Authentic Native American Spiritual Healers

A pow-wow dancer may know a spiritual healer.

The term "Native American" covers many different tribes and traditions, but generally speaking, a Native American spiritual healer is a man or woman who uses herbs, prayer, ceremony and other shamanistic rituals to heal the spirit, and in doing so, the body. While many people may claim to be trained as a "shaman," a Native person who is respected within his own community is one you can trust as "authentic."

Visit an independent bookstore in your area, especially one known for having a "new age" bent. Local bookshop owners are often knowledgeable about cultural events and figures of note in their area. Speak with the store owner or manager regarding your search.

Speak with another non-Western healer, such as an acupuncturist, aromatherapist, naturopath or Reiki master. One of them may have a professional relationship with a Native American healer.

Attend a pow-wow. Modern pow-wows are partly social, partly cultural and partly spiritual gatherings of Native American people. Most pow-wows are open to the public and welcome people of all cultures. Speak to a few Native Americans at the event about your need for a healer, and someone may offer information.

Find a Native American art store or museum. Speak with the owner/curator about the Native American culture in the area and if there are any well-known healers you might be able to contact.

Call an interfaith ministerial association in your town. Many interfaith associations have close ties with the spiritual leaders of the area's indigenous people.

Speak to anyone you know who might ever have attended a sweat lodge or sundance ceremony. If you begin talking about your desire to contact a Native American healer, you may soon find out that you already know someone who has the information you need.

Consult a directory of federally recognized Native American organization, such as the one listed in the Resource section of this article.

Jo Burns has been a freelance writer since 1980. She specializes in articles relating to home and garden, alternative health care, travel, writing and crafting. In 2007, Burns received an M.F.A. in creative writing.