Notable Quotes

The Earth Is Sore

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

Four Colors

There are many things to be shared with the Four Colors 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

Humankind

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. — Chief Seattle

Deliberation

In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations. — Iroquois maxim

Hold On

Hold on to what is good,
Even if it's a handful of earth.

Hold on to what you believe,
Even if it's a tree that stands by itself.

Hold on to what you must do,
Even if it's a long way from here.

Hold on to your life,
Even if it's easier to let go.

Hold on to my hand,
Even if someday I'll be gone away from you.

— Pueblo Prayer

A Long Time Ago

A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers, but when I go up to the river I see camps of soldiers on its banks. These soldiers cut down my timber, they kill my buffalo and when I see that, my heart feels like bursting. — Satanta, Kiowa Chief

My Son

My son, you are now flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone. By the ceremony performed this day, every drop of white blood was washed from your veins; you were taken into the Shawnee Nation. — Black Fish, Shawnee, recalling 1778 adoption of Daniel Boone into the tribe

In All Things

The Great Spirit is in all things. He is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother. She nourishes us. That which we put into the ground she returns to us. — Big Thunder (Bedagi) Wabanaki, Algonquin

Impact

In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations. — Iroquois maxim

I Am Poor

I am poor and naked, but I am the chief of the nation. We do not want riches but we do want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love. — Red Cloud

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