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Has never supported 'theft, abuse of spirituality'

It was brought to my attention, in an alarming fashion by a friend who read ''Speaking out on the theft and abuse of spirituality'' [Vol. 27, Iss. 7] by Shadi Rahimi, of a fellow who was taken as an example of a non-Native stealer of Native spiritual practices, from a Web site. I read this article myself, and was quite shocked to see his name in this very important article. If I had not known this gentleman, I would have lost some respect for his apparent attitude. And if we had been friends, I still would have questioned his choices, according to what the article portrayed.

But I found it necessary to respond to this information with more urgency, for this unrecognizable human being is me!

First let me say, that in exploring my ancestry, I have found a paternal great-grandmother to have been full-blooded Native and lived on a reservation in Costa Rica. I additionally found a maternal great-grandmother who was kicked out of the Catholic Church for ''primitive'' beliefs. So please let me correct the reader that I have First Nations blood, and am learning more of my history every day.

I'm sure on that Web site Ms. Rahimi could find non-Native people who try to justify monetary gain, or want to pick and choose other people's history for their own practice. Let it be known that I never have supported this behavior.

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- Mark Montalban

Colchester, Vt.