I came across the following questions on one of the blog I subscribe to:
One of the tenants of Shamanism is the ‘People’. A shaman works for the People. Different tribes can make up the People. And some tribes are not of the People.
As someone on the Shamanic Path: Who are your People?
My answer was:
I’m not familiar with the terminology you are using, so allow me to answer this in an indirect way.
I do teach that a shaman serves a tribe. The recognition of the shaman is derived from the acknowledgement of the shaman's power/duty/responsibility to the tribe. Hence, a person can claim to be on the shamanic path, but they cannot easily say, "I am a Shaman", until somebody says it for them. I really like this as a component of the shamanic tradition. It keeps down the number of "wanna-be-shamans".
I also teach that a shaman, recognized by one tribe, is not necessarily recognized as a shaman by another tribe. Being a Shaman can be a complicated mixture of tribal lore and innate abilities. Different tribes have different requirements. The analogy would be a general of one nation's army not automatically being recognized as a general in another nation's army. What's the outcome of this? Just because your tribe recognizes you as a Shaman (capital S!), tread lightly in the outer world with proclamations of shaman-hood. A person with true shamanic person-hood will be recognized as such in as many tribes as their abilities dictate.
And finally, what is a tribe? This is not an easy answer in the modern age. A typical person belongs to many tribes. These are based in their work, spiritual life, and play-time. I am an example of a person who walks in several tribes. In the spiritual realm I belong to a new-age tribe, pagan tribe, and holistic healing tribe. Some of these recognize my shamanic walk and others do not. That said, this does not preclude me from tapping into my shamanic path when a person of any of these tribes comes to me for advice/guidance/healing. I share what I can, do what I can, and honor them as a brother or sister.