Native Skeptic

Native Skeptic
Apache Crown Dancers 1887:

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For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this site, please feel free to read my "Diary of a Native Skeptic" page, especially if this is your first visit.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Rain Dance: Myth and Truth

Culture has the remarkable ability of influencing our perspectives of things without us even being aware of it. Some things get engrained into our minds during our childhood that we simply do not ever think to question.  Sometimes we assume things that are a part of our popular culture are true, but rarely ever look into them for ourselves. Some things are so old that we assume they have always been there. Introduce the notion that some things are also to be considered as sacred, and therefore questioning them is considered to be an act of disrespect that is often discouraged by shaming, and you have the recipe for conjuring up a belief that can go on to take on a life of its' own because when the legend gets printed in our minds it becomes fact in our lives. In this special case, I decided to dive into the surrounding beliefs of a subject commonly associated with Native culture that is most often taken out of context and misrepresented, the Native American Rain Dance.

"As I began to look into the situation, it became apparent that it stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of Native American religion." (Nez 2013)

*The Myth of the Rain Dance
first appeared in the Skeptical Briefs, Volume 23.1 Spring of 2013 edition It can also be accessed online at:

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Background Interview Featuring the Origin Story of How I Discovered Skepticism

I am so grateful for the opportunities that have arisen through my work with skeptical activism. Since the start of this blog, I have found and joined a local Skeptics in the Pub meetup group and took part in the establishment and founding of a non-profit educational organization, the Phoenix Area Skeptics Society (PASS). For the most part, it is quite rare to find people doing things they are passionate about with intentions of receiving praise or recognition for them. The work is the reward. However, sometimes positive attention and the constructive criticism from peers can have a profound impact on validating efforts. So, I was proud to take part in this interview with the deputy editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, research fellow at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the go to scientific paranormal investigator Benjamin Radford. He is author or co-author of six books and over a thousand articles on skepticism, critical thinking, and science literacy. Topics that he covers include urban legends, the paranormal, and media literacy. The newest book from Mr. Radford is titled, The Martians Have Landed: A History of Media Panics and Hoaxes. Amongst all of this great work educating the public, he also finds the time to be a columnist for Discovery News and

Seeing my name and this blog under the Center for Inquiry banner displays to me a respect for Native American beliefs that rarely get acknowledged. The voices from the First Nations of people in America got just a bit louder.

You can follow the link to the entry on the CFI website by clicking in the text or by going here.    

This interview originally appeared in the Skeptical Briefs newsletter, Volume 21.3, Fall 2011, which featured a longer version. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Guest Spot on Freethoughtify

It is not too often that I focus on writing articles which include my own personal perspective. I have made a great effort to look at the subjects that I post on here with the most objective eye as possible by utilizing all of the critical thinking, scientific, and skeptical skills that I have learned through both my formal and personal education. When it comes to Native American culture and beliefs I want to show ultimate respect by depicting them, not as I view them, but as closely to how they were depicted by those tribes practicing them. In most cases, my point of view is not relevant to those types of historical and cultural accounts, so it doesn't get included and is normally weeded out. However, there are those rare occasions in which I do get an opportunity to speak from a frame of reference that reflects my way of looking at and interpreting the world. Well, I present to you one of those special opportunities that I was more than grateful to have in this post titled Native Atheist that I did as a guest blogger for Freethoughtify, "an atypical secular" blog site.       

"While I still feel like an outsider amongst my family, friends, and ethnic group like a minority amongst minorities, I am still more than grateful to have found my way to reason and scientific thinking. Now, I feel that sense of awe and wonder that I was always looking for in acknowledging that I belong to something greater than me called the Universe. I found my humanism and a different spiritual view for my ever-present love for life in understanding the way the world really appears to be." (Nez 2013)

Nez, Noah. 2013. Native Atheist. Freethoughtify. Can be accessed online at:


Sunday, March 31, 2013

An Artist Rises

As many of you might already kind of know, I am a bit of a social activist. But, not everyone is privy to the information that I am also an artist. Writing has allowed me to exercise some of the creative energy that I have been storing away since becoming involved in other efforts. There was a few things that I felt compelled, almost obligated, to tackle first. Such as, writing about things that are not being reflected in society or our American culture that I strongly felt should be. The biggest example being, the importance of utilizing science to help us to better determine our policies and decisions for the future. Not just for Native Americans, but for all people and all circles of life. However, there are some things, like emotions and experiences, that cannot quite be put into words to adequately encapsulate a situation in its' entirety. This is where art can be of great assistance.     

Monday, March 25, 2013

Wisdom from the Origins Conference