book coverThe Way It Is

One Water, One Air, One Mother Earth

Corbin Harney

ISBN: 978-0-931892-80-6, 268 pages, 101 photos, paper, 6x9, $16.00

A Western Shoshone medicine man from Nevada, Corbin Harney carries an urgent message for all people to return to a natural way of life. "The Native way," Corbin explains, "is to pray for everything."

If you read only one book by a Native American, this should be it!


"Corbin's words are not polished or eloquent; they are simply the truth ... and come directly from Corbin's heart to the reader." Napra ReView

"This book will touch the spirit of anyone who is concerned for the Earth." Community Endeavor

"Corbin Harney stands as no one else at the moment for that new alliance between indigenous peoples and environmental groups.... His voice could be described as the conscience of our planet." Stephan Dompke, Director, Society for a Nuclear-Free Future, Berlin

"What Corbin talks about is so basic and so real ... when he calls it Mother Earth and he talks about the land - it's so basic. It's just the way it is. It's not any high-tech anything; it's just basic living and life. He puts everything in perspective and gives everybody a sense of why they're here, and, like the burning in the heart, he gives you a renewed feeling that maybe you can make a difference." Claudia Peterson

Table of Contents

Foreword by Bill Rosse, Sr.
Introduction by Nancy and Paul Clemens

What I Stand For
One Water, One Air, One Earth
Prayers and Ceremony
The Way of the Newe Sogobia, Natives of Mother Earth
Rock Creek Canyon
The White Man's Way
Nuclear: Our One Big Enemy
Joining Hands Together
Message to Young People

Treaty of Ruby Valley, 1863
An Outline of Western Shoshone History
The Great Basin Environment, the Western Shoshone, and the U.S. Government
Western Shoshones Protest Nuclear Testing on Their Lands
Death and Healing in Newe Sogobia
People's Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
Lawsuits and Land Titles: The Present Situation
New Gold Mine Threatens Western Shoshone Land
Yucca Mountain: Unsafe for Storage of Nuclear Waste
Radioactive Cycle
Scientists Fear Atomic Explosion of Buried Waste
Nuclear Waste Transportation
Use, Re-use and Misuse of Radioactive Material
Western Shoshone Ongoing and Current Issues
Organizations / Addresses



To a certain extent, I am a spiritual person, a healer, because my blood is that way. I was born with that kind of blood, and I can't get away from it. I've been trying to teach the young people how to take care of themselves if they're born to be healers, if they're gifted people. So far it's been very hard, because even though it's something they know about, they still don't want to use their gifts. I know, because I've been through those feelings myself.

As Indian people, we're shy. We don't want to do anything out there in the world unless we're really up against it. I was sick a couple of times and was told by the Indian doctors that I have to follow what the Spirit tells me to do. See, I wasn't following those instructions for a while, and so I got sick. Then after somebody else told me what this sickness was about, from then on I came out from behind the bush and started doing what I'm doing today.

What I'm doing is praying for people, running sweats, trying to teach our young people what we should be doing in order for us to pass on a healthier life for the next, the younger generation.

I knew I was gifted as a healer right from the beginning when I was very young, when I realized that I could see sickness in people. I could understand their thinking - whatever it was they were thinking, I could pick it up in the air - and what they were saying. Even from quite a distance away, I could still hear what they were saying and thinking. That's how I knew I was gifted, but I didn't want to tell anybody about it. Just one time I told my uncle what I saw in one person, the sickness I saw in him.

He told me, "That's what you saw, but don't tell me. That's your gift, not mine. Don't tell me about it. But you are going to go through the same thing I've been through." That's what I was told by my uncle, who was also gifted.

You see, all gifted people are born with it. They're not taught it from a book. They didn't go to school for it or read up on it. It was just naturally given to them, and some people have a very strong gift.

So that's how we have healers, and that gift is among all of us - not only among the Indian people, but also out among the white man - those are the ones who have the power to heal you, by touching you, praying for you, or however.

Some of the animals are healers, too. Some birds are healers: that's why Indian people really understand and try to connect with the eagle. The eagle is very important to Indians for healing, for doctoring, and so forth, because the eagle is a very wise bird. He understands; he talks to people, and so forth. A healing place like our canyon at Rock Creek (in northern Nevada), with the eagle head medicine rock right there, is part of all that. All these things are connected together. We people have cured sickness for thousands of years using these healing places and our natural gifts, and it is very important that we continue to do so. That's the reason I'm saying to my young people, if you're gifted, you should go to somebody who understands and can guide you, give you guidance, so you can go on to be a healer for the rest of us as life continues on.

Nobody trained me. I see sickness of all kinds. But it's not for me to tell a person, "You've got that kind of sickness in you," unless I am asked by that person. If I'm asked, then I can use my ceremony, and the healing takes place through the songs that come out, not just me talking about it. In other words, you can't train anybody for healing power. We can't train anybody to doctor anybody. It's got to be within their blood. But you can get your healing power from the earth, through herbs, and so on, whatever is out there, to overcome the sickness. You can get help from nature by praying for what's out there.

Copyright 1995

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