Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

James ‘Flaming Eagle’ Mooney (James)[1] [2] is an American Native Black Seminole, and a bloodline descendant of Seminole Medicine Man and War Chief Osceola (1804 –1838) and his escaped African American slave wife (Name, date of birth and death unknown).  James is also the namesake and bloodline descendant of one James Mooney[3] (02/10/1861 – 12/22/1921), Irish-Scottish son of Irish Catholic immigrants, and American born U.S. Citizen.  James Mooney was employed as an Ethnologist at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. (1885 – 1921). Here is an account of three men doing everything in their power to assist the indigenous peoples and their ancient ceremonies of North America to survive the onslaught of atrocities perpetrated by misguided United States government agencies for more than 200 years.

War Chief Osceola was an influential Seminole leader who fought the United States to a standstill in the Florida Everglades, during the second Seminole War, also known as the Florida War of 1835.  James’s ancestral family fought the U.S. military in an attempt to stop the expulsion of our First Nations people from their ancestral homeland and bringing about the deliberate annihilation of our indigenous culture.

In 1918, James’s forefather James Mooney fought a war of words before Congress, successfully halting the passage of a Peyote law[4] that was designed to make illegal the entire American Native way of life. Pointedly, the dominant Christian religious mainstream sought to end our earth-based ceremonies and healing and empowerment rites[5], supplanting these traditions with those imported from across the seas.  Of late, this codified denial of our constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom was promoted and enforced by a federal agency known as the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).  James’s great grandfather’s successful defense of our sacrament before Congress was a first step in a long journey to restore and maintain our ancient heritage.  Later in that same year, he persuaded a group of Oklahoma American Native Spiritual leaders, gathered by Frank Eagle (Ponca Tribe), and wrote the by-laws that incorporated the first United States Native American Church  (est. El Reno, Oklahoma, 1918).  He astutely sought to use the laws of the insurgent intruders to protect the sacred use of the Native American Church’s indigenous ceremonies.  Sadly, this diplomatic and judicial establishment of the Native American Church has only provided nominal legal protection for the rights of its members.

James Mooney understood the relentless nature of the illegal and immoral political maneuvers designed to outlaw the First Nation’s entire earth-honoring religion. He foresaw the overwhelming influences of zealot religious ministries from a variety of churches, conspiring with greedy business owners seeking profits at any cost.  These political factions have continued for decades to persuade the BIA to attempt to outlaw many practices of the Native American Church, supplanting our ceremonies with soul-killing ‘modern’ alternatives.

As James Mooney predicted, our culture would endure decades of anti-American Native persuasions, enacted and propagated by the BIA.  This agency has repeatedly conspired with the entire United States Judicial system, including but not exclusive to the United States Attorney General’s Office, through State, County and City Attorney’s offices, in an orchestrated effort to continue to deny America’s First Nations of its’ civil liberties.

This vertical hierarchy has been a conspiracy to deny our indigenous culture from practicing and honoring our ancient Mother Earth and Father Sky healing and empowerment ceremonies.  Ninety-four years ago, James’s great-grandfather planted the seed for our legal victories, and like a giant Cypress tree that has grown to a force to be reckoned with, known as Oklevueha Native American Church (ONAC)[6] [7] and founded by James ‘Flaming Eagle’ Mooney in 1987.  As of 2012, ONAC has chartered over 153 branches throughout the United States, as well as U.S. Military bases around the globe, and on civilian land in five countries. Oklevueha in the Seminole language means ‘the unstoppable river’, and we are delivering this truth.  With deep roots provided by James’s elders, and the power of modern technology, we are now able to fulfill our dream of preserving this ancient wisdom stream for future generations. ONAC has successfully stood up against the state of Utah and the United States governments judicial systems to be granted in court the power to save our indigenous spiritual healing and empowering traditions using protections guaranteed to all citizens under the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

ONAC (Federal ID # 841402813) is a federally recognized Native American Church branching from a federally recognized Rosebud Reservation[8] [9].   Our treatise in the Oklevueha Band Indian Colony-Alabama Tribal Community[10] is unique in that we worship with a racially’ opened door’ policy, which allows Americans of all ethnicities to take part in our more than a thousand-year old culture, and most uniquely, off Federal Indian Reservation lands.  In 2012, our earth’s ecology and resources are being stripped nearly beyond the point of return to balance.  ONAC’s religious ceremonies and teachings, our respect for the land and waters, plants and animals, sky and Great Spirit is a much needed boon to people of all races who are starved for practices which honor all of Mother Earth, and Her gifts, under the blessings of Father Sky. This is true, and yet our charter branches remain under attack:

·       ONAC Heart Song Living Center in Utah (2010);

·       ONAC Mother Medicine Wheel in Arizona (2011)

·       ONAC International School of Temple Arts in Arizona (ISTA), (2011)

·       ONAC Kauai Hawaii, (2012).

Our spiritual leaders, teachers, shamans, custodians, healers and guides continue to be arrested; their sacred ground desecrated in armed SWAT raids by local authorities.  Many are being falsely prosecuted and facing prison time if convicted for enacting their sincere religious beliefs.  In all of these illegal actions, federal and state law enforcement officials do not have empirical evidence, which meet a ‘governments compelling interest standard’, wherein there is potential harm to life or property.  Public safety is not an issue.  Subsidiary city and county governments, in spite of our hard-won federal and state recognition, have continued centuries-old military-style assaults on and seizures of sacred spaces, sacraments, and the arrest of our spiritual leaders.

Even with the Utah Supreme Court unanimous ruling [11] [12] [13]and a Federal investigation[14] that validated the authenticity of ONAC and of James’s heritage in the State of Utah[15] [16], the BIA influenced the State of Utah legislators to enact a Bill of Attainder law[17] with the specific intent to deny ONAC of its civil liberties within its state.

“Like the miner’s canary, the Indian marks the shifts from fresh air to poison gas in our political atmosphere: and our treatment of Indians, even more than our treatment of other minorities, reflects the rise and fall in our democratic faith” Felix S. Cohen

The time has come to end this racist war against the American Native Culture for the sake of our children’s children, our future, and our nation’s moral stature throughout the world.  Your support of the ONAC independent branches can be made manifest by informing your local political and law enforcement authorities of this truth: that this country must honor and uphold the original custodians of the Mother Earth, Father Sky and the Great Spirit that flows through us all.


[1] Seminole Medicine Man – James ‘Flaming Eagle’ Mooney,

[2] James Warren Flaming Eagle Mooney,

[3] James Mooney short biography, American Anthropologist, page 209

[4] Harvard Science, “Study: No psychological or cognitive deficits from peyote” and “In fact, members of the Navajo tribe who regularly use peyote actual scored significantly better on several measures of overall mental health than did subjects from the same tribe who were not members of the religious group and did not use the hallucinogen, according to a paper published in the Nov. 4, 2005 issue of Biological Psychiatry.

[5] ONAC Healing & Empowerment Ceremonies,






[11] Oklevueha NAC Utah Supreme Court Hearing,


[13] Oklevueha NAC Religious Freedoms Prevails,

[14] Oklevueha NAC Prevails Again,

[15] Oklevueha NAC Religious Civil Liberties Violated,

[16] Oklevueha NAC Making a Stand,

[17] Governor should veto peyote bill,