Peyote's healing powers are proven. Once Margaret's mother fell off a horse and broke her hip. The doctors wanted to re-break her bone so it would mend correctly, but Margaret's grandfather wouldn't let them. Instead he held a prayer ceremony, and her mother walked again. The doctors were amazed.
Another time, Margaret's sister-in-law had Crohn's Disease, and the doctors had given up on her. Crohn's is a physical disease, but the family thought emotions that were causing it. Once again, Margaret's grandfather and uncles did a healing ceremony and before their eyes, Margaret's sister-in-law was healed. Again, the doctors couldn't believe it.
When Grandmother Margaret's son was eight years old, he had a high heart rate. The doctors wanted to fly him to Boston Children's Hospital. Instead, a ceremony was held. "My grandfather and uncles did the ceremony, and the doctors couldn't believe that my son was completely well afterwards," she recalls. "The doctors were very excited and came to see the family because they'd never heard of such a thing."
In 1918, Grandmother Margaret's grandfather helped legalize peyote. A white couple had brought their dying baby to her grandfather for a cure. Her grandfather and uncle agreed to do a medicine ceremony and the baby lived. Afterward, the baby was raised to "never forget the Indians. They did their magic for you. Never forget them!" That baby grew up to become a lawyer and then a senator. During his time in the senate, he met with Margaret's grandfather and told him he wanted to legalize the medicine ceremony. To do so, he had to put it under the auspices of the Native American Church, which he helped establish in order to protect their medicine ways.
Now peyote is legal for certain
indigenous peoples' ceremonies after the passage of the Freedom of
Religion Act of 1974. Before then, all Native American ceremonies
were illegal because the First Amendment did not protect Native American