How Sweat Lodge Ceremonies Heal War’s Wounds

Image of Native American sweat lodge
Image of Native American sweat lodge. 

When I arrived for my first Native American Sweat Lodge Ceremony in 2016, I was greeted and warmly embraced by Marty, a person of mixed tribal ancestry. He had long black hair and wore a T-shirt that read “Veteran’s Sweat Lodge.” When, earlier, I had contacted him and asked about attending a ceremony, I worried that I might not be welcome as a White man. I also had concerns that my status as an anthropologist, with the field’s long and problematic history with Indigenous people, might make some uncomfortable. He assured me that any veteran with a PTSD diagnosis was welcome—a criterion I meet.

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