Native American Church (NAC) Ceremonies
By Bill Donovan and George Joe
Non-Indians have been invited to sweat lodge ceremonies and if this happens, again be aware of any rules beforehand. If you are driving down the road and you see a teepee near the side of the road, and wonder what that is about, it’s for a Native American Church (NAC) ceremony. An NAC ceremony is an all-night ceremony in which attendees sit around in a circle, pray, and sing songs with a drum and rattle, and ingest peyote. The ceremony ends at dawn and then everyone eats. When it’s completed, the teepee is taken down and stored away. It’s very rare for a non-Indian to be invited to a Native American Church ceremony — you usually have to be a very close friend for a Navajo family to issue that type of invitation, but if this happens to you, be aware that while it is legal for Natives to use peyote in an NAC ceremony, it’s against federal and tribal law for a non-Indian to do so.