A shaman in an indigenous tribe would have spent a lifetime apprenticing with the current Shaman in preparation to one day become a shaman within the community and the leader of the tribe.
Apprenticeships like this are not readily available to modern shamans. There are few fortunate enough to be invited into a tribe for the purposes of studying their ways and being allowed to learn the practices. However, these apprentices are usually months at a time over the course of a few years. It is because of these honorary apprenticeships that we are able to learn and practice shamanism in the Western world today.
Apprenticeships are not just about learning skills and techniques. One does not become a Shaman simply by taking a course or spending a year apprenticing with a Shaman. In addition to learning the ways of a shamanic practice, it is important to be a part of a community, to study with a shaman for several years to observe the behaviors and mannerisms of the role, and to have a platform to receive continued guidance and support as you step into this role for your tribe. I have watched many who chose this path quit after the first year and totally lose this connection, their confidence, and their way. Some find their way back after years of struggling, but at a great cost of time and healing. Very few succeed without this continued commitment to learning and community support.