Akimel O'odham (Pima) Elder
Rod McAfee speaks from his own experience about the connection between Earth and Spirit. His words go beyond cultural traditions, race, or creed to the fundamental experience of being a human being on this planet today. He encourages people to develop practices that are grounded in the teachings of the natural world. Rod is an Akimel O'odham (Pima) elder. Raised “by the desert” on his Arizona reservation, he witnessed the assimilation of most of his family by Western religions, education, and culture, yet still managed to retain his native language and beliefs. For fifteen years Rod led ceremonies for Native inmates in prisons in Oregon and Washington. A former drug and alcohol counselor for the Native American Rehabilitation Association, he is active in ceremonies throughout the Northwest. Rod is the lead singer for the Spirit Learning Drum and is intimately connected to the original medicine of water. He has spoken at many Earth Day activities and conferences around the United States and is the founding elder and chairman of the Natural Way Speaker Series.