Hi Kiesha, we will check, don't worry. Let the truth surface. Some people we know went to your meeting 11 Februari, entrance was 39 Euro, 1200 people attended in Zeist Netherlands, spread over 3 days. So could you help us out on this? What good causes are you using the money for? Do you have links of projects you have been helping? Where can we find them and if possible contacts?With regardsPW Baltink
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2012 12:32:40 -0700
Subject: Re: FW: no connection to this Indian nation
To: firstname.lastname@example.orgPlease see response to your questions below in red.thank you Little GrandmotherOn Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 11:13 AM, Pi-Qui Baltink a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:Hello Kiesha, a disturbing problem for us. You we're mentioned to us, we were asked to have a look at you and the tribe of colours. During the first video we saw, you touched my heart, I had to cry, because I recognised the feeling, and it is also what I am fighting for, a better, aware world, in harmony with nature. And you also touched the heart of my girlfriend. After 10 video's, I send you an email, I offered to help you with the crystal and add positive energy to the vibration. But then things changed. The 11th video had, to my surprise, a totally different story to tell on your 'shaman" ship.( I am not sure what you are refering to here ) This drew my attention, I felt shocked, so I continued with other video's, and decided to contact the native Americans . There seems to be a lot of controversy surrounding your person, and the claim, that you were choosen by the elders, other shamen, to be little grandmother. So we decided to dig into the story.The native Indians, from this organisation tell us this; what you read below. Please understand that i do not in any way shape or form represent Native Americans, their traditions or their teachings, nor do i speak for or represent Wondering Wolf, Don Alejandro, or any tribel ways. When i first became a shaman for the Tribe of Many Colors i made the mistake of mentioning being a shaman for the salish and sioux people in a live interview, i mispoke and quickly called and talked with the tribal leaders apologising for my mistake, I also made a public announcment clearing up any misinformation. I say this with all honesty, i was just made shaman for the tribe of many colors after being a stay at home mom for years in a tiny town, who then was put into the public eye, and i made many mistakes in the first year. This i take full responsablity for, but i also admit my mistakes and moved forward. From this time i made it very clear that i do not represent anyone but myself, I do not speak for any tribe or any indiginous people. I do believe that because of this mistake in the begining that it has lead to all this misinformation about me today.I ask you to please listen to any and all talks that i have ever given, you will see that my message has nothing to do with Native Americans or any Indiginous tribes. When i have spoke of Wondering Wolf, it is in support of what he is teaching but i do not, nor have i ever said i represent him, i simply help spread what he is saying ( all inforamation that i support has been found from his teachings on you tube, where anyone can find this information themselves). There are many things that i have been accused of such as, i make money off of teaching Native American teachings, or that i charge 6,000 dollars a ticket, hold sweat lodges and teach Native American Ceremony to the public, all which are 100 percent false. I do not teach or do any of these things. It saddens my heart that i can teach love and people to remember their own goodness and then be confronted with such lies and alligations. Again i ask you to pleaase listen to what i do teach and the message i do share.Then we contacted other Indians, like Wandering Wolf, who also says you are a self proclaimed shaman. Again, I have never spoken for Wondering wolf, nor have i ever said that i did, i do however respect him as the leader of a great people who have lived threw a pole shift before and i believe we should listen to the wisdom he has to share to the people at this time. I have a hard time trying to understand why Wondering Wolf is even brought up. I am starting to think that people in Europe believe that when i say the word Elder they believe that i am speaking of Native Americans? I truly do not understand actually, Do they not understand that Elder means someone of great importance, who teaches wisdom and knowledge, I have many elders from many different indiginous and non indiginous back grounds. We would like to give you the chance to react to this. In the mean-time we have contacted befriended journalists, to help dig into the story.Because, if you claim to be a self proclaimed shaman, and are telling lies about being choosen, you damage what a real shaman is.In our opinion and that of many people, a shaman is a holy person who works for the benefit of the tribe. Shaman is a word used for those who speak to the other side and to mother earth, I am not a Medicine woman nor have i ever proclaimed to be one. ( Medicine woman is Native American, shaman is a world wide term)We heard that there were complaints about you using sacred rituals that are not performed well, and that the native shamans asked you to stop with these rituals. Despite you offering excuses, they say that you continue to abuse these rituals. they even started a petition to let you stop with these rituals and respect their culture, and make money on false claims. Again, I do not teach, use or perform Native American ways or rituals, I have even (out of respect for them and their culture) stopped wearing my medicine pouch and praying in the way i was taught. They have claimed that i have taught sweat lodge, pipe ceremony, lead Inipi and all sorts of things all are something i have never done. They started a petition and even held a riot or protest against me, when we got ahold of the flier they were distributing we found out that they were protesting against me leading sweat lodges and teaching that i was White Buffelo Calf woman. Please understand and feel the untruths of this, I have never in my life had anything to do with a sweat lodge much less lead one nor do i know anything of White Buffelo Calf woman, i certainly do not teach that i am her. They protest against me to stop charging large sums of money in their name, up to 6,000 dollars per ticket to perform ceremony. I have never charge this sort of money for anything and i can honestly and proudly say i have never charged a dime for a ceremony, and all ceremony has been done in the name of Mother Earth and have never been done using any kind of Indiginous traditions. I once wore a shirt that was made for me by my elders ( these elders are from different parts of the world, not native americans ) in sweeden durring a ceremony. After having pictures taken of me the native Americans were very angry that i wore the shirt because it does look very traditionaly Native American. This shirt was made for me with the medicine of anaimals that played a very key role in my life, used to give me courage and stregth in doing a very important ceremony, if you look closely you can see that the animal medicine used is from all over the world, not traditionaly Native American, it is from Africa, India, South America and even the leather used to make the shirt is of water buffelo. It is Not Native American. but i do know what it looks like and i have offered my apologies to the Native Americans because i do understand how they would be upset about it, i have promised not to use anything that could look or does look Native American. This event in sweeden took place over a 5 day period, not only did i not charge 6000 dollars but i did the events, 5 days, 3 talks per day, all for free, i was not paid for the event and it was all done as a dontation to the festival. They also say that im a millionair, living in a mantion in Santa Fe.. In truth i am a single parent living in a small home that i rent.I could continue on and on but the point being that i do not do what i am being accused of, but more so i do not want to give my energy to any of this but keep moving foraward teaching a message of love and kindness not fighting against the old dinamics of hate and judgment.We would like to hear your answer to these "allegations" .I am attaching my official statement about these alligations, which has been posted on my website and the internet for years now. Love,Little GrandmotherWith regardsPW BaltinkCEOonline tv radio europeBarmaheerd 509737 MH GroningenThe NetherlandsTel.nr: +31(0)50-7851824Mobile: +31(0)6-29606015Lid van het Nederlands Media-netwerk.Member of International Society of Investigative Journalism.
Subject: no connection to this Indian nation
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2012 07:46:22 -0700In recent months, employees of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes began receiving numerous phone calls and emails regarding someone who claims to be a shaman, who claimed to receive their training from a Salish elder named Falling Feather. This self-proclaimed shaman, Kiesha Crowther, who calls herself Little Grandmother, first came to our attention because of these calls. We have no record of the family names she's shared in her biographical posts on the Internet.
To make it clear to others who contact this Tribal nation, the Salish and Kootenai have absolutely no connection to Kiesha Crowther. Her numerous video talks posted online are not based in any kind of authentic knowledge from this tribe.
We have been contacted by people from Hawaii, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland and Germany who appear to have given her great fees to speak. Zero dollars from those arrangements have come to support our language, culture, or safety net programs of this reservation. At best, she is a stranger to us. At worst, she has used our name to promote a profitable image.
In 1999, this government passed a resolution vowing to battle those who take tribal traditions and twist them into creations of fiction to make money. Below is the resolution in full.
Resolution No. 00-19
RESOLUTION OF THE GOVERNING BODY OF
THE CONFEDERATED SALISH AND KOOTENAI TRIBES
OF THE FLATHEAD NATION
BE IT RESOLYED BY THE TRIBAL COUNCIL OF THE CONFEDERATED SALISH AND
KOOTENAI TRIBES THAT,
WHEREAS, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council has the responsibility to preserve and protect all resources of the Flathead Reservation; and
WHEREAS, the Congress of the United States proclaimed intent to secure protection to the Indian Religious Freedom Act, PL. 95-341, Stat. 469 (1978) and the Executive Order #13007; and
WHEREAS, the traditional cultural religion of the Salish people and the Kootenai people of the Flathead Reservation continue to be jeopardized by non-Indians “wannabes,” hucksters, cultists, commercial profiteers and self-styled “New Age Shamans” and their followers; and
WHEREAS, for too long we have suffered the unspeakable indignity of having our most precious ceremonies and spiritual customs abused; and
WHEREAS, with horror and outrage we see this disgraceful expropriation of our sacred traditions has reached epidemic proportions in urban areas throughout the country; and
WHEREAS pseudo-religions corporations have been formed to charge people money for admission into phony “sweat lodge” and “vision quest” programs; and
WHEREAS, sacrilegious "Indian-Ceremonies" for non-Indians are being conducted by charlatans and
Cult leaders who promote abominable and obscene imitations of our ceremonial rites; and
WHEREAS, non-Indians have organized themselves into imitation “tribes” assigning themselves make believe “Indian-names” to facilitate their wholesale expropriation and commercialization of our traditional cultural religion; and
WHEREAS, academic disciplines have sprung up at colleges and universities institutionalizing the sacrilegious imitation of our spiritual customs by students and instructors under the guise of educational programs in “shamanism”; and
WHEREAS, non-Indians charlatans and “wannabes” are selling books, herbal plants, ceremonial items and audio/visual materials that promote the systematic colonization of our spirituality; and
WHEREAS, the television and film industry continue to saturate the entertainment media with vulgar, sensationalist and grossly distorted representation of traditional cultural religion which reinforce the public's negative stereotyping of Indian people and which gravely impairs the self-esteem of our children.; and
WHEREAS, non-Indians individuals and cults of various nature will conduct workshops that exploit and make instant experts that will further desecrate by imitating our ceremonial ways and by mixing such imitation rituals with non-Indian occult practices in an offensive and harmful pseudo-religious hodgepodge; and
WHEREAS, the absurd public posturing of this scandalous assortment of pseudo-Indian charlatan, “wannabes”, commercial profiteers, cultists and "New Age Shamans” comprises a momentous obstacle in the struggle for our survival of our Traditional Cultural Ceremonies: and,
WHEREAS, this exponential exploitation of our traditional cultural religion requires that we take immediate action to defend our most precious resource "Our ceremonies" from further contamination, desecration and abuse; now therefore.
BE IT RESOLVED, by the Tribal Council of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes that we not support any individual or groups that persist in exploiting, abusing and misrepresenting Salish and Kootenai Traditional Cultural Ceremonies;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we urge our people to coordinate with their members living in urban areas to identify instances in which our traditional cultural ceremonies are being abused and to resist this abuse, utilizing whatever specific tactics are necessary and sufficient – for example, demonstrations, boycotts, press conferences and direct intervention;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we especially urge all our Salish and Kootenai people to take action to prevent our own people from contributing to and enabling the abuse of our sacred ceremonies;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we urge all people and governing councils of all other Indian Nations for an immediate end to this rampant exploitation of our sacred traditions by issuing statements denouncing such abuse, for it is not only one Indian Nation whose spiritual customs being systematically violated by non-Indians;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, keeping in heart and mind our highest duty as Salish and Kootenai is to preserve the purity of our precious Traditional Cultural Ceremonies for our future generations, so that our children and our children's children will survive and prosper in the sacred manner intended for each of our respective peoples by our Creator.
This was passed by the Tribal Council of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes by a vote of 6 to 0, one abstention on October 14, 1999, and further signed by the Tribal Chairman and administration’s Executive Secretary.
Communications Director – CSKT
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
w) 406-675-2700, Ext. 1222
42487 Complex Blvd.
PO Box 278
Pablo, Montana 59855
For an educational CSKT experience look at http://therezweliveon.com
Main Web site: http://www.cskt.org
The Peoples Center http://ww.peoplescenter.org
Who Is The Real Kiesha Crowther?
The real Kiesha Crowther was born Kiesha Rae Kreps in Sanford, Colorado, to a white middle class background, with a truck driver father and a mother owning small businesses. Her mother’s maiden name is Rodda. The Salish tribe she claims to have ancestry from do not have a single known person named Crowther, Kreps, or Rodda, either enrolled or known to the small and close knit community. (Most Salish have Irish last names given them by missionaries. A few Salish have traditional names, but none are ever translated into English.) The Salish elders in fact issued a public statement, saying officially she is not their “shaman,” asking her to quit claiming so, and pointing out no Salish had ever even heard of her. Their statement in full is at the end of this article.
Contrary to Crowther/Krep’s claim of a “fullblood Indian” mother and grandmother, there is no evidence of any Native ancestry in her family line. Her family ancestry has been traced back to her great-grandparents from England. Every census form lists all of her ancestors as white. No one else in the family has ever claimed to be or identified as American Indian, including her mother and grandmother. The only Natives in the family are two children (with no relation by blood) adopted by an uncle near Missoula, Montana. Kiesha Crowther’s mother and other family members have in fact urged her repeatedly to quit lying about the family ancestry.
Kiesha Kreps was raised as a Mormon and baptized into the Mormon Church at age eight at the same time she claims to have been recognized by Indian tribes and living alone in the woods. Crowther was married in the Mormon Church in Littleton, Colorado, and was a practicing member of the church only two years ago. She is married with two children, but separated from her husband and estranged from her entire family due to her “calling.”
In fact, absolutely no one in her family backs her claims of Native ancestry or being a “shaman.” A source very close to the family called her a “fraud” and “elaborate liar.” Numerous stories Kiesha Crowther tells at paid ceremonies are described as “lies,” such as claiming to have lived alone in the woods, nursing a dying owl, and being recognized by tribal leaders. The young Kiesha Kreps was actually fairly popular in school and not the lonely isolated kid she claims. Crowther's stranger lies include once giving a "Viking treasure ring" to her sister, who then noted one could see the trademark symbol on it.
The same source close to the family also claims Crowther’s veterinary degree is fake and came from an online degree mill, with the "degree" printed in notebook style paper rather than the stock paper degrees generally come on. It was also confirmed an animal rescue group Crowther claimed to have started is phony. The same source says Crowther plagiarized the poems she claimed to write and largely copied the paintings and other artwork she did.
Even Kiesha Crowther’s online biography as an artist is filled with falsehoods. She claimed to have been awarded Poet of the Year in 2003, 2004, and 2005 in separate cities. The “awards” are given out by the International Society of Poets, a pay to publish outfit that will include you in vanity editions for twenty five dollars each. She claimed her poem “Reach For My Hands” was made into a song by the “Willow Folk Group.” There is no sign of such a group, but there is a Willow Folk Festival in England. She claimed one of her poems was published in a book, “Poems for Peace,” chosen by former First Lady Laura Bush. There is no sign of the book nor of Laura Bush’s involvement, unless one counts her refusing to show up at a gathering of poets reciting poems opposed to the Iraq War. Crowther’s bio also claims she was “awarded the Life Experience Bachelors and holds a Masters Degree of Art from Almeda University.” Almeda University is an unaccredited online degree mill. In a 2004 expose by CBS News, a reporter successfully got his dog awarded a degree from Almeda.
How It All Began For a Would Be Shaman
Kiesha Crowther/Krep’s claims of how she became a “shaman” have changed rapidly and dramatically in less than two years since she began. In April of 2010, Crowther made the claim she originally had gotten a phone call from a group of all the Salish elders who told her she was the “fair haired child of prophecy” and they had a sacred bundle waiting for her made centuries ago.
But in June of 2010, that account changed. She claims instead an unnamed “Sioux man” made her a shaman.
That same month, Crowther also claimed she was made shaman by a group of “grandmothers” of both the Salish and “Sioux” tribes.
(Note for non-Native people: Natives generally don’t refer to the “Sioux” since this is an outdated outsider’s term. The actual tribes are called the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda, often called collectively the Lakota. There are dozens of Lakota bands at reservations and reserves. The Salish is an entirely different people and culture.)
In December 2010, Crowther’s story changed dramatically. No longer was there any mention of groups of women elders, nor of “Sioux men.” Instead she now claims there was a single Salish elder she calls Falling Feathers who made her “shaman for the Sioux and Salish tribes.”
There is no evidence at all that Falling Feathers ever existed, other than Crowther’s claims. Crowther claims he was an important elder, so widely known she assumed he was speaking for all Salish elders. The Salish elders have never heard of him and neither have any other Salish contacted for this article. His alleged name does not fit typical Salish names, which are either Irish or traditional Salish names not translated into English.
Conveniently, Crowther claims Falling Feathers recently died. There is no mention on tribal sites of a prominent elder dying recently. Crowther’s supporter, manager, and longtime friend Jennifer Ferraro also claims Falling Feathers was a member of the “governing council” for the “Confederated Sioux Salish.” Neither of those exists, but there is a tribal council for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai. The Lakota bands and tribes, as mentioned before, are spread across over two dozen reservations and reserves.
Only a few days after her December statement, Crowther changed her story in the most drastic way yet. She now claims to have never been teaching Native ways at all. This despite dressing up in American Indian regalia (though it was a shirt only worn by Native males), using what she seems to have believed was American Indian face paint, using what she claims was a Native pipe, and claiming her initiation came from Native elders, or alternately, a single Native elder who has passed away no one else ever heard of.
Crowther has also continually claimed the endorsement of numerous indigenous elders and other religious leaders, without evidence. Many of those she claims are Native elders actually are imposters.
She claims the endorsement of Cherokee elders. None of the traditional Cherokee elders in the Eastern Band ever heard of her.
She claims to have been recognized as a shaman by “lamas of Nepal and Tibet.” There are hundreds of such Buddhist teachers, but the only one she ever named was Lakha Lama, whom she met in Sweden. Lakha Lama gave her a blessing when Crowther asked for one, but this is neither an endorsement nor recognition, only kind words. Buddhist lamas, like American Indian traditionalists, also condemn teaching for a fee, especially very high fees as Crowther does.
Crowther also for a time claimed Sammi elders in Sweden authorized and endorsed her. Then her claim was removed from her websites. She further claimed Inuit elders gave her a crystal “from the North Pole” and that she was “giving the crystal back to the Sammi” when she buried the crystal in Sweden. There is no land, only ice at the North Pole. Crystals do not form in ice, only in land. Geologists consulted for this story say it likely is an ordinary crystal bought in a shop for less than 200 dollars, one dug up by strip mining.
On one of her visits to Sweden she claimed all Native tribes recognized and endorsed her, and that she was shaman for all of them. Since there are over 500 tribes in the US alone, the absurdity of this claim is obvious.
More recently, Crowther also claimed she was made shaman by a “Sioux” named Grandmother Lota or Lootha. Crowther also claims to be related to “Sioux” she calls Ciqalah Lotah and Ciqala Jensen. Fluent Lakota speakers we spoke to pointed out those words do not exist in the Lakota language. No one in any of the Lakota communities we contacted ever heard of Crowther or the people she claims to be related to or authorized her.
Crowther also claims the endorsement of Don Alejandro Cirilo Perez, sometimes called Wandering Wolf. Perez is a Mayan leader who appears on a number of New Age sites. However, there is no evidence of Perez ever endorsing Crowther. Perez is actually on record as strongly disagreeing and even mocking the claims of Crowther and other that the world will end in 2012. The maker of a documentary on Perez and Crowther denounced in fierce terms the “exploitation” of Perez by New Agers such as Crowther.
Crowther also is an associate of and claims the endorsement of two imposters who falsely claim to be Native elders, Adam DeArmon, a white New Age operator in Sedona, and John Kimmey, a white New Ager barred from the Hopi reservation and condemned by Hopi spiritual leaders for selling ceremony and making false claims.
The (All White) Tribe of Many Colors
Why would a self styled “shaman” who spent most of two years claiming Native elders authorized her suddenly claims to have never been doing Native teachings? Numerous family and friends of Crowther’s followers, as well as former followers, began to ask Native activists about the authenticity of her claims. By September of 2010, the chorus of criticism began to rise and put Crowther and her management on the defensive.
Crowther’s following she dubbed the Tribe of Many Colors has some striking characteristics. It has absolutely no Native members at all (including Crowther.) Outside of a member of Crowther’s management team, all seem to be exclusively white. Much like the Tea Party, they are also prone to throwing around the claim that they are hated supposedly for being white.
Such a claim falls apart because many of her critics are themselves white, especially former followers. The claim is even more striking because of the racism in some of the imagery and words used by Crowther and her “tribe.” In one trip to Sweden, Crowther spoke about the alleged superiority of Swedish people over all others. Crowther frequently claims all Native elders, or even all Native people, are supporting her, waiting for her, and depend upon her and her message even for their very survival. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Most Natives never heard of her. Those that have are strongly opposed to her.
Who is behind Crowther’s rapid rise among New Age leaders? Our source very close to the family says Crowther has no computer skills nor business or organizing acumen, nothing that could account for her success except a vivid imagination. The same source attributes everything Crowther has done to two people and one group; Adam DeArmon AKA Adam Yellowbird, a white New Age operator in Sedona; Santa Fe Soul, which sponsors some of Crowther’s talks; and especially Crowther’s longtime friend Jennifer Ferraro. Our source described Fierro as a failed performance artist who claims to be Native but is actually Italian and Greek. Online discussions between Crowther and Ferraro seem to show Ferraro as the real brains of the operation, the power behind the throne, her manager, website operator, and even her director. Crowther defers to her in public talks, and Ferraro frequently talks in one messages to Crowther like a mother to a small child.
Our source close to the family is worried the Tribe of Many Colors will "become another Jonestown" and is at a loss for how her family can get her to see sense. Whether the “tribe” self destruct violently is yet to be seen, but they are extraordinarily intolerant of dissent or criticism of any kind. Its website was heavily censored, with any daring to question Crowther kicked out. Recently their website was so overwhelmed by dealing with criticism it was taken down entirely. Crowther’s inner circle, especially Ferraro, have begun throwing around legal threats at any who dare to critique Crowther. Ferraro, though she is not a lawyer, sent threats to sue to at least five people. The “tribe” also sent infiltrators to sites critical to Crowther to gather information on critics.
There are currently plans for a book by Crowther, and two documentaries, one favorable to her and one critical. There are also ongoing plans for protests of Crowther’s ceremony selling by Native activists and her many non-Native critics. The Salish tribal council is considering legal action. The controversy is not going away.
Dr. Al Carroll is a historian, professor, former Fulbright Scholar, and activist for Native causes. His first book is Medicine Bags and Dog Tags: American Indian Veterans From Colonial Times to the Second Iraq War from University of Nebraska Press.