Rupert Encinas (Eagle Flying)

Native elder, ceremonial leader
San Xavier Indian Reservation
Arizona, USA

Rupert Encinas is a special guest of the day, a long-time friend of Lilleoru and Estonia. Many Estonians have found their way back to own roots and identity thanks to Native American teachings.

Rupert, with a spiritual name Ba’ag Da or Wanbli Kinyan (Eagle Flying), comes from a long line of traditional ancestors of his people and grew up knowing his first language and the traditional ways of his ancestors. He is of O’Odham tradition (meaning Human Being), he lives and works for his people in San Xavier reservation, close to S-cuk son (now called Tucson), Arizona.
His grandfather, Harry Ba’ag Encinas survived the boarding school era at Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, he was not deterred by the treatment of the boarding school and continued to revive their traditional ceremonies. Already at a young age, Rupert sat with traditional men through all night ceremonies.

His formal education continued Haskell National Indian School Lawrence, Kansas where he started to learn from other tribes. 1975 he met a Lakota Spiritual Man in Oregon Tatanka Ohitika Brave Buffalo english name Deavir Eastman who was his mentor to Sweat Lodge and to his first Sundance in Green Grass South Dakota. Since then, Rupert has traveled among different Indian nations and attended Sweat Lodge, Sun Dance and Native American Church ceremonies, in addition to the traditional Ceremonies of his own people.
In addition to helping his people with leading various ceremonies, he worked for long years for the reservation, including being a counselor and teacher to promote community-based well-being and education. He also has a long-time experience in working with children and youth, problems like alcohol-drug abuse, family violence etc.

In 1999 Rupert went with five tribes to Estonia to share his spiritual ways. From this experience, he started presenting workshops on native spiritual teachings. He has traveled to Finland, Norway, Copenhagen, Warsaw and Switzerland and continues to make his pilgrimage every year embracing the traditional way of life he lives to this day.

Interesting fact: The Sweat Lodge symbolizes a mother’s womb, or the Universe and is a place for cleansing, clearing the mind and healing for Native Americans.

“The tobacco was given to humans for prayer, nothing more”

You can see him here:

Rupert and two other Native American Elders (Tom Tso and Shirley Tso) will be present at the conference and share the spiritual ways of their ancestors. They will guide Sunrise ceremonies in the early mornings and Sweat Lodge ceremonies in the afternoons. During the days, Tipi at Lilleoru’s Flower of Life park will be their home. This year, Lilleoru invited them as special guests to support the conference in their beautiful humble ways of Prayer.

Sunrise Ceremony

12.07.2018, 13.07.2018 and 14.07.2018 / 7 AM – 7:45 AM

With Tom Tso and Shirley Tso.

Welcome to greet the Sun and give the day a blessed start with Morning Prayer! This is a beautiful early morning ceremony guided by Native American spiritual leaders Rupert Encinas, Tom Tso and Shirley Tso from Arizona.

“We believe that the Sun God is all powerful, for every spring he makes the trees to bud and the grass to grow. We see these things with our own eyes, and therefore know that all life comes from him“. – anonymous, Blackfoot

“In the morning as I wake up, I say, “Aho! Father, thank you for letting me sleep through the night and see another day. This is a start of another day. Today, whatever we do, be with us and guide us, watch us and protect us. Let us live through this day, helping each other.” – Thomas Yellowtail, Crow

Sweat Lodge Ceremony

With Tom Tso and Shirley Tso.

The Sweat Lodge is a sacred and safe space to look inside, to be close to Mother Earth and pray together. Sweat lodges have been there for First Nations throughout North America since time immemorial. It is shared with us by Rupert Encinas, Tom Tso and Shirley Tso from Arizona. We will hold it every evening.

“THE EARTH is our Mother. Our skin is the same as the soil from the Mother Earth, our blood flows as the rivers that flow from the mountains, and our voices are like thunder, The Great Spirit is inside each of us. We are all part of Creation.” – Peterson Zah, former chairman and president of Navajo (Diné) Nation

“The tobacco was given to humans for prayer, nothing more”


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