Community Gratitude for Lakota Culture Teachings

Bringing it Home gives 1% of its annual gross income, from its yearlong 8 Shield immersion program, as a lineage gift of gratitude. For the 2021-2022 cycle, we would like to honour the Lakota Woptura lineage of Gilbert Walking Bull, who shared the 7 Sacred Attributes (qualities expressed in human beings) with Jon Young when he witnessed them alive in the children that Jo was working with. As a result, they became the 'North Star' of the 8 Shields model. The 8 Shields model of deep nature connection and cultural repair is dedicated to re-activating these qualities in all human beings. Our 1% is a humble £160, but with your help and donations from a workshop we are running exploring how nature connection can bring cultural change and healing, we hope to raise this sum significantly!
We ask you to look into your heart for how it has grown in understanding and connection from these teachings (or other similar indigenous teachings) and give what you can from this place. We are grateful for the opportunity to give back in some way.
Salvatore Gencarelle (Sal, a teacher of Sky's) has undertaken a journey of indigenous mentorship with Benjamin Godfrey Chipps Sr. (deceased), a Lakota from the Oglala Sioux tribe. Godfrey Chipps was a 4th generation Yuwipi Spiritual Interpreter and the great-grandson of the famed Holy Man Woptura.
The Seven Sacred Attributes
Words from Sal:
'The teaching of the 7 Sacred Attributes comes from the Woptura Lineage - who, against odds, were able to preserve this knowledge and wisdom. The ancient teachers, prophets, shamans and women, medicine people and holy ones—those ancestors who have continuously sought wisdom from nature for the health and well-being of others. The message of these great healers has always held consistent and true: “Live in connection!”
The teaching of the attributes of connection, also called the Seven Sacred Attributes, are a measure of an individual’s internal and external relationships and is an indicator of the regeneration of healthy culture. The more people display the attributes, the stronger the community becomes. The attributes give us a metric to gauge grief, connection and healing. Presented below are the attributes in Lakota and translated into the English concepts'.
Statement on Wopila/Memorial Dinner and Giveaway:
Words from Sal:
'On April 6, 2022 Helpers Mentoring Society will be co-hosting a memorial feast and giveaway to honour the life of Waylon Red Elk - a descendant of the Woptura Lineage. Waylon was a dear friend and brother to Helpers Mentoring Society founder Salvatore Gencarelle. Waylon was a dedicated Helper who supported the ceremonies of the Woptura Lineage for decades. He was born and raised in Wanblee, South Dakota, attending Crazy Horse School. He began helping with ceremonies at the age of 17. Waylon was a brother and uncle to many and is missed greatly by all who knew him. Waylon, his pregnant wife, and their young son were killed by a drunk driver in November 2017.
Helpers Mentoring Society will be supporting the memorial dinner and supplying gratitude gifts (Wopila) to be distributed to the Native American community of Wanblee on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where the Chipps family live. This traditional event is an opportunity to celebrate life and remember our deceased loved ones'.
All money raised from this crowdfunding campaign will go towards supporting this Wopila. Through this, we intend to offer a gift of thanksgiving to the family, community, and lineage that has held and generously shared the Sacred Attributes' teachings so that we may all find our way home.
We intend to run this crowdfunding until March 18th when the next cycle of Bringing it Home begins.

It is important to also honour that the 8 Shields model is also inspired and influenced by many other elders and other cultural lineages including the San Bushmen, Apache, Mohawk, Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Akamba, Odawa, Dagara, and Hawaiian peoples alongside the Lakota culture.
With love and thanks for any support you can contribute,
Sky & Peter (co-hosts of Bringing it Home)
Waylon and his family
Eagle Nest Butt near Wanblee
Horn Chips and his wife 1907
The Seven Sacred Attributes (as shared by Sal)
1. Wo-wah’wala – The state of peacefulness, inner quietness (humility.) Known as QUIET MIND, PEACE & CREATIVITY in the 8 Shields Model.
This is based on maintaining a non-dualistic perspective. Emotional development and understanding are critical as is developing the quiet mind through meditative practices in nature.
2. Wo-canto’gna’ke – The feeling of deep love. Known as EMPATHY & RESPECT FOR NATURE in the 8 Shields Model.
This is a deep feeling of love for all of creation. This is the first level of external connection built upon the love of infants for their parents, siblings and caretakers.
3. Wo-wa’unsila – The feeling of deep caring and compassion for all creation. Known as COMPASSION/LOVE & FORGIVENESS in the 8 Shields Model.
This is compassion for all of creation, developed by instilling connections to the natural world. This includes acts that build deep nature connections such as sit spots, wandering, animal forms, bird language, and other core routines. Survival living also enhances this virtue.
4. Wo-wa’wo’kiye – The act of being helpful. Known as TRUELY HELPFUL in the 8 Shields Model.
This virtue is taking love and compassion and turning it into the action of being helpful, it comes in many forms. It is often revealed at a young age when children help people and the natural world based on the Wocantognake and Wowaunsila they have developed. Later, it is developed through adult Rites of Passage.
5. Wo-bli’heca – Fully alive in activity and working on a sacred purpose. Know as FULLY ALIVE in the 8 Shields Model.
This is the state of being in which one focuses on living fully—heart, mind, body, and spirit—through connecting belief (mind) and passion (heart) and living in fullness in the moment. This virtue is the full connection of the heart, mind, body, and spirit working as one.
6. Wo-wi’yu’skin – Happiness and delight, pleased, delight, joyful. Known as INNER HAPPINESS/HAPPINESS OF A CHILD in the 8 Shields Model.
This virtue refers to a person having a sense of awe and being fully present in the moment: living fully present with a connected heart and mind. In that moment, life is an incredible experience and one can perceive beyond the confines of individual ego. This is happiness in its purest state.
7. Wo-za’ni – Health in all four parts of being; heart, mind, body, and spirit. Known as VITALITY in the 8 Shields Model.
This is being in a state of healing in which one recognises the connectedness of the four parts of being, understands the communication methods of the four parts of being, and knows how to learn and grow from life's experiences. This is a process of growth and purification, which is a constant component of life.
We often abbreviate the attributes into Wicozani na Wowiyuskin or simply Health and Happiness. This contains all other attributes, needs, and wants.
Jon Young added an eighth attribute known as 'COMMITMENT TO MENTORING'.
  • Rebecca Jacob 
    • £5 
    • 1 mo
  • leona Johnson 
    • £50 
    • 2 mos
  • Chris Holland 
    • £30 
    • 2 mos
  • Bringing It Home Contribution 
    • £160 
    • 2 mos
  • Savannah Lovelock 
    • £10 
    • 2 mos
See all


Peter Cow 
Michelcombe, Newton Abbot