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Native American Wisdom
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"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. We are more than the sum of our knowledge, we are the products of our imagination "


"!Ama Sua, Ama Kjella, Ama Lllulla! - Don't lie, don't cheat, don't be lazy".

"Quechua greeting during Inca times".


"A wee child toddling in a wonder world, I prefer to their dogma my excursions into the natural gardens where the voice of the Great Spirit is heard in the twittering of birds, the rippling of mighty waters, and the sweet breathing of flowers. If this is Paganism, then at present, at least, I am a Pagan."

Zitkala-Sa


Native American"Peace and happiness are available in every moment. Peace is every step. We shall walk hand in hand. There are no political solutions to spiritual problems. Remember: If the Creator put it there, it is in the right place. The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears."


Tell your people, that since we were promised we should never be moved, we have been moved five times.

An Indian Chief, 1876.


"The death of fear is in doing what you fear to do."

Sequichie Comingdeer


"If you live on this land, and you have ancestors sleeping in this land, I believe that makes you a native to this land. It has nothing to do with the color of your skin. I was not raised to look at people racially. What I was taught is that we're flowers in the Great Spirit's garden. We share a common root, and the root is Mother Earth."


"I have Indian Blood in me. I have just enough white blood for you to question my honesty!"

Will Rogers


"We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can't speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees."

Qwatsinas (Hereditary Chief Edward Moody), Nuxalk Nation


"When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home."

Tecumseh, Shawnee


"The white people who are trying to make us over into their image, they want us to be what they call assimilated, bringing the Indians into the mainstream and destroying our own way of life and our own cultural patterns. They believe we should be contented like those whose concept of happiness is materialistic and greedy, which is very different from our way. We want freedom from the white man rather than to be integrated. We don't want any part of the establishment, we want to be free to raise our children in our religion, in our ways, to be able to hunt and fish and to live in peace. We don't want power, we don't want to be congressmen, bankers, we want to be ourselves. We want to have our heritage, because we are the owners of this land and because we belong here. The white man says there is freedom and justice for all. We have had "freedom and justice," and that is why we have been almost exterminated. We shall not forget this."

1927 Grand Council of American Indians


"A treaty, in the minds of our people, is an eternal word. Events often make it seem expedient to depart from the pledged word, but we are conscious that the first departure creates a logic for the second departure, until there is nothing left of the word." Declaration of Indian Purpose

(1961) American Indian Chicago Conference


"Traditional people of Indian nations have interpreted the two roads that face the light-skinned race as the road to technology and the road to spirituality. We feel that the road to technology.... has led modern society to a damaged and seared earth. Could it be that the road to technology represents a rush to destruction, and that the road to spirituality represents the slower path that the traditional native people have traveled and are now seeking again? The earth is not scorched on this trail. The grass is still growing there."

William Commanda, Mamiwinini, Canada, 1991


"When we Indians kill meat, we eat it all up. When we dig roots, we make little holes. When we build houses, we make little holes. When we burn grass for grasshoppers, we don't ruin things. We shake down acorns and pine nuts. We don't chop down the trees. We only use dead wood. But the white people plow up the ground, pull down the trees, kill everything. ... the White people pay no attention. ...How can the spirit of the earth like the White man? ... everywhere the White man has touched it, it is sore."

Wintu Woman, 19th Century


"If today I had a young mind to direct, to start on the journey of life, and I was faced with the duty of choosing between the natural way of my forefathers and that of the... present way of civilization, I would, for its welfare, unhesitatingly set that child's feet in the path of my forefathers. I would raise him to be an Indian!" "We learned to be patient observers like the owl. We learned cleverness from the crow, and courage from the jay, who will attack an owl ten times its size to drive it off its territory. But above all of them ranked the chickadee because of its indomitable spirit."

Tom Brown, Jr., The Tracker


"[The Circle] will not be mended as long as the People war among themselves. It will not be mended as long as we try to mend the Sacred Circle with broken Circles. We all need to pray on this..."

Gary Armstrong


"We know our lands have now become more valuable. The white people think we do not know their value; but we know that the land is everlasting, and the few goods we receive for it are soon worn out and gone."

Canassatego


- "Once I was in Victoria, and I saw a very large house. They told me it was a bank and that the white men place their money there to be taken care of, and that by and by they got it back with interest. "We are Indians and we have no such bank; but when we have plenty of money or blankets, we give them away to other chiefs and people, and by and by they return them with interest, and our hearts feel good. Our way of giving is our bank."

Chief Maquinna, Nootka


"Your emperor may be a great prince; I do not doubt it, seeing that he has sent his subjects so far across the waters; and I am willing to treat him as a brother. As for your pope of whom you speak, he must be mad to speak of giving away countries that do not belong to him. As for my faith, I will not change it. Your own God, as you tell me, was put to death by the very men He created. But my God still looks down on His children." Atahualpa, Inca Chief (On hearing Pope Alexander VI had declared Peru to be a possession of Spain.) The word Inca means "Children of the Sun". "Sukay" is a Quechua word meaning 'to open the earth and prepare it for planting'."


"Nuclear waste is a heavy burden to lay on our children and their children and their children's children and their children's children's children and their children's children's children's children..."

Rufina M. Laws


"My father, you have made promises to me and to my children. If the promises had been made by a person of no standing, I should not be surprised to see his promises fail. But you, who are so great in riches and power; I am astonished that I do not see your promises fulfilled! "I would have been better pleased if you had never made such promises than that you should have made them and not performed them. . ."

Shinguaconse ("Little Pine")


"In an eagle there is all the wisdom of the world."

Lame Deer, Minnicoujou


"For a long time I have been walking and seeing nothing. Now I find this song and it cheers me."

Nitanat

"There are many things to be shared with the Four Colours of humanity in our common destiny as one with our Mother the Earth. It is this sharing that must be considered with great care by the Elders and the medicine people who carry the Sacred Trusts, so that no harm may come to people through ignorance and misuse of these powerful forces."

Resolution of the Fifth Annual Meetings of the Traditional Elders Circle, 1980


Not for the money, not for the money. But so our people can once again find out who they are. And that it's something to be proud of, and we will have our identity back; our children will know who they are."

Les Decheneaux, CRST


I know that all must be brought into the Sacred Hoop for it to be mended. I often wonder how we will bring those who do not see even the simplest of Circles into the greatest Circle of all. Then I remember it is a thing that has been promised by Spirit. That is how I know it will come to be. Aho! Peace!

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