The very first thing that should be mastered in honoring the Native American ways is the gifting of tobacco. Using pure tobacco with no alcohol additives is a must. Tobacco, like sage, cedar and sweetgrass are a symbol of a form of sacrament of the fruits of the earth. It is offered in many ways. The most basic is a loose pinch offered to the earth as you make a prayer. It may be an offering before you cut a tree or as you pick up a road kill animal or bird. You take it a step further when you make prayer ties. The same pinch of tobacco wrapped in a small square of fabric and tied together with a specific number of ties to be used in ceremony. The other way, and the most important way is the pouch of tobacco wrapped in a large piece of red fabric to be given to a teacher or leader of ceremony. This is a contract and for some cultures an acknowledgment of payment for services to be rendered. This should always be given before you ask for healing, teaching; or direction in a matter of importance. It is showing honor and respect for what is being offered.