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    American Indian Quotations

    “Think not forever of yourselves, O chiefs, nor of your own generation. Think of continuing generations of our families, think of our grandchildren and of those yet unborn, whose faces are coming from beneath the ground.
    Peacemaker, Founder of the Iroquois Confederacy
    circa 1000 AD”,

    “We believe that the Sun Spirit is all powerful, for every spring he makes the trees to bud and the grass to grow. We see these things with our own eyes, and, therefore, know that all life comes from him.
    Unknown
    Blackfoot”,

    “The heart of the family is the mother because life comes from her.
    Onondaga”,

    “Every step you take should be a prayer. And if every step you take is a prayer, then you will always be walking in a sacred manner.
    Oglala Lakota Holyman”,

    “It does not matter where his body lies for it is grass, but where his Spirit is.
    Black Elk on Crazy Horse’s burial site”,

    “You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round… Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing. Our tepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle. The nation’s hoop, a nest of many nests, where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children.
    Black Elk
    Oglala Sioux Holy Man”,

    “God gives us each a song. That’s how we know who we are. Our songs tell us who we are.
    Charlie Knight
    Ute”,

    “When your brother falls behind you don’t leave him there. Wait for him to catch up.
    Albert Ward
    Mic Mac Elder”,

    “With one mind we address our acknowledgment, respect, and gratefulness to all the sacred Cycle of Life. We, as humans, must remember to be humble and acknowledge the gifts we use so freely in our daily lives.
    Audrey Shenandoah
    Onandaga”,

    “We give thanks to the Creator for these fruits of the sea. We ask his blessings on the food that we eat and on all the generations that follow us down to the Seventh Generation. May the world we leave them be a better one than was left to us.”,

    “We only ask to survive so that we can remain who and what we are – and for that we will always thank the Creator. We ask only the chance to pass on our way of life and our love for the Creator to our children and grandchildren.
    Harriett Starleaf Gumbs
    Shinnecock”,

    “I, as a spritual Indian man, am convinced that it is time to reach out to my white brothers and sisters and to share with whomever wishes to partake of what we, the indigenous people of this land, still have. It is time that the buckskin curtain be drawn back. It is time, I know it.
    Eddie Benton-Banai
    Ojibway”,

    “These days people seek knowledge, not wisdom. Knowledge is of the past; wisdom is of the future.
    Vernon Cooper
    Lumbee”,

    “Man sometimes thinks he’s been elevated to be the controller, the ruler. But he’s not. He’s only a part of the whole. Man’s job is not to exploit but to oversee, to be a steward. Man has responsibility, not power.”,

    “I do not see a delegation for the four-footed. I see no seat for the eagles. We forget and we consider ourselves superior. But we are after all a mere part of the Creation. And we must consider to understand where we are. And we stand somewhere between the mountain and the Ant. Somewhere and only there as part and parcel of the Creation.
    (From an address to the Non-Governmental Organizations of the United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 1977)
    Oren Lyons
    Onondaga”,

    “We don’t give money to God. We give Him our prayers, our thanks. And sometimes we give Him the only thing that’s really ours; our flesh, our pain. That’s what the Sun Dance is all about – giving God our flesh, our pain, and – never forget – a prayer of thanks.”, “The only law we obey is the natural law, God’s law. We have the Black Hills for our church. We have the wind and the rain and the stars for our Bible. The world is an open Bible for us. We Indians have studied it for millions and millions of years.
    Mathew King
    Lakota”,

    “All children are my children. I teach them the songs and whatever else I can. That’s what Grandmothers are for – to teach songs and tell stories and show them the right berries to pick and roots to dig. And also to give them all the love they can stand. No better job in the world than being Grandmother.
    Leila Fisher
    Hoh”,

    “Birds have always been important to the Indian because they go where they wish, they light where they may and they’re free. …The eagle flies highest in the sky of all the birds and so he is the nearest to the Creator, and his feather is the most sacred of all. He is the highest of the birds and so belongs to all the tribes, to all the peoples.
    Buffalo Jim
    Seminole”,

    “I myself have no power. Real power comes only from the Creator. It’s in His hands. But if you’re asking about strength, not power, then I can say that the greatest strength is gentleness.”,

    “You call it wild, but it wasn’t really wild, it was free. Animals aren’t wild, they’re just free.”,

    “Look behind you. See your sons and your daughters. They are your future. Look farther, and see your sons’ and your daughters’ children and their childrens’ children even unto the Seventh generation. That’s the way we were taught. Think about it: you yourself are a Seventh Generation!
    Leon Shenandoah
    Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy”,

    “And when your childrens’ children think themselves alone… they will not be alone…At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled and still love this beautiful land.
    Chief Seattle
    1855”,

    “My friend, I do not blame you for this. Had I listened to you this trouble would not have happend to me. I was not hostile to the white man….All we wanted was peace and to be left alone…I came here with the agent (Lee) to talk with Big White Chief, but was not given a chance. They tried to confine me, I tried to escape, and a soldier ran his bayonet into me. I have spoken.
    Crazy Horse’s final words
    Oglala Sioux”,

    “My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food; no one knows where they are – perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me my chiefs. I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.
    Chief Joseph
    Nez Perce'”,

    “Brothers, we must be united; we must smoke the same pipe; we must fight each other’s battles; and more than all, we must love the Great Spirit.
    Tecumseh
    Shawnee”,

    “We never had a thought of exchanging our land for any other… Fearing the consequences may be similar to transplanting an old tree, which would wither and die away.
    Levi Colbert
    Chickasaw”,

    “We lived on our land as long as we can remember. The land was owned by our tribe as far back as memory of men goes.
    Standing Bear
    Ponca”,

    “When God made the world, he gave one part to the white man and another to the Apache.
    Cochise
    Chiricahua Apache”,

    “Will you ever begin to understand the meaning of the soil beneath your very feet? From a grain of sand to a great mountain, all is sacred. Yesterday and tomorrow exist eternally upon this continent. We natives are the guardians of this sacred place.
    Peter Blue Cloud
    Mohawk”,

    “Somewhere a good man must rise from the young ones among us.
    Crazy Horse’s Father to a young Crazy Horse”,

    “One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk”,

    “We had buffalo for food, and their hides for clothing and our tipis. We preferred hunting to a life of idleness on the reservations where we were driven against our will.
    Crazy Horse”,

    “That flute of ours, the “Siyotanka” is for only one kind of music – love music.
    The Legend of the Flute
    Brule Sioux”,

    “Inside Mount Scott the world was green & fresh, as it had been when she was a small girl. The rivers ran clear, not red. The wild plums were in blossom, chasing the redbuds up the inside slopes. Into this world of beauty the buffalo walked, never to be seen again.
    Legend of The Buffalo Go
    Kiowa”,

    “The white buffalo woman disappeared over the horizon. Sometime she might come back. As soon as she vanished, buffalo in great herds appeared, allowing themselves to be killed so that the people might survive. And from that day on, our relations, the buffalo, furnished the people with everything they needed – meat for their food, skins for their clothes and tipis, bones for their many tools.
    Legend of the White Buffalo Woman
    Brule Sioux”,

    “We recognize our relationship to the past and to our future because they are the same thing.
    Winona LaDuke
    Anishinabe”,

    “We are truly unique things because we are the descendants of our ancestors and we are the ancestors of our descendents.
    John Trudell
    Shante Sioux”,

    “All of nature is in us, all of us is in nature.”,

    “The Great Spirit made the flowers, the streams, the pines, the cedars – he takes care of them. He lets a breeze go through there, makes them breath it, waters them, makes them grow. He takes care of me, waters me, feeds me, makes me live with the plants and animals as one of them. This is how I wish to remain, an Indian, all the days of my life.
    Pete Catches
    Sioux”,

    “Listen to the air. You can hear it, feel it, smell it, taste it.”, “Animals are part of us, part of the Great Spirit. The winged and four-legged are our cousins…There is power in the buffalo. There is power in the antelope. There was great power in a wolf, even in a coyote. To us, life, all life, is sacred.
    John Fire Lame Deer
    Sioux”,

    “If our young people do not participate and learn from our leaders, it is just a matter of time before the work that our elders have done is forgotten.”
    Luke Cordell, to United Nations, July 25,2000
    Dakota/Lakota

    “…the supreme law of the land is the Great Spirit’s, not Man’s law.
    Thomas Banyacya
    Hopi”

    “Until we meet again, may the Great Spirit make sunrise in your heart, And may your moccasins make tracks in many snows yet to come.”
    *unknown author*

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