Sun Bear

1929 - 1992

"I feel that I can only follow the rainbow path and the red road of life, to accept all people as human beings wherever they may be, or whatever color of skin they may wear. I pray that others may come to the path of unity that will allow us to overcome the enemy of separation that is now trying to destroy all of the earth." 


"When humans participate in Ceremony, they enter a sacred space. Everything outside that space shrivels in importance. Time takes on a different dimension. Emotions flow more freely. The bodies of participants become filled with the energy of life; and this energy reaches out and blesses the Creation around them. All is made new; everything becomes sacred."

-  Sun Bear

Sun Bear  

Visionary, Author & Ceremonialist


Sun Bear, Gheezis Mokwa, who was born Vincent LaDuke, was a sacred teacher of Ojibwaa/Metis descent and the Founder and Medicine Chief of the Bear Tribe, a multi-racial, educational society. He was a world-renowned lecturer and teacher and the author or coauthor of eight books. He was publisher of the magazine Wildfire and founder of the World Earth Fund. Sun Bear was the founder and Medicine Chief of the Bear Tribe Medicine Society. He was born in 1929 on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. 


As a young boy he began having visions which led to his development as a Shaman, Medicine Man and teacher. He studied with his uncles who were medicine men. He continued throughout his life to learn from his dreams and visions, as well as from other Native Teachers.


He believed that indigenous people the world over had much to offer to each other and to all peoples who came with a good heart.

Up until 1970, he worked only with native people—as a medicine man and helping them in different ways. The only time he went out to talk to non-natives was to raise money. Then in 1971, the Spirit told him that it was time to start working with non-native people. So he formed the Bear Tribe Medicine Society. He brought his medicine teachings to people of all race, color, sexuality and creed for the love of humanity and respect for Mother Earth; so that people could come together as one Earth Family.


Sun Bear had a great Heart. He truly was a good man whose sincerity was quiet and unassuming. He also had a great sense of humor. Many hundreds of people came to his gatherings. His teachings helped people change their lives with an understanding how to be in harmony with each other and Mother Earth. He was an author of 7 books, with Dancing with the Wheel as his most famous.


Sun Bear led the Bear Tribe Medicine Society from 1971 until his death in 1992.  Wabun Wind worked as Medicine Chief until 1996, when other responsibilities called her away.  The chieftainship was then passed to Wind Daughter in 1996 who still leads the Bear Tribe today as Medicine Chief. In 2006, Wind Daughter moved The Bear Tribe into a new era to join her own Panther Lodge Medicine Society. In 2019 both have almalgamated together as the new Panther Bear Tribe Medicine Society. Its new Ceremonial Home of West Winds is in Mobile, Alabama.

Sun Bear was loved and respected by many!

See Sun Bear's Books below.

He authored 13 books.

Sun Bear with Wallace Black Elk

Sun Bear with Wind Daughter



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Wind Daughter - West Winds

Panther Lodge Bear Tribe Medicine Society

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Updated 2020

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