Notable Quotes

The Horse

Of all the animals the horse is the best friend of the Indian, for without it he could not go on long journeys. A horse is the Indian's most valuable piece of property. If an Indian wishes to gain something, he promises that if the horse will help him he will paint it with native dye, that all may see that help has come to him through the aid of his horse. — Brave Buffalo, Teton Sioux medicine man

Conversation

Conversation was never begun at once, nor in a hurried manner. No one was quick with a question, no matter how important, and no one was pressed for an answer. A pause giving time for thought was the truly courteous way of beginning and conducting a conversation. Silence was meaningful with the Lakota, and his granting a space of silence to the speech-maker and his own moment of silence before talking was done in the practice of true politeness and regard for the rule that thought comes before speech. — Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux Chief

We Know

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

Where Today?

Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican, the Pokanoket, and many other once powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice and the oppression of the white man, as snow before a summer sun. — Tecumseh

Treat the Earth Well

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. — Ancient Indian Proverb

Ravaged

They ravaged neither the rivers nor the forest, and if they irrigated, they took as little water as would serve their needs. The land and all that it bore they treated with consideration; not attempting to improve it, they never desecrated it. ― Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop

Profile

I got in a fight with my girlfriend," I said. "I was just driving around, blowing off steam, you know?"

Well, you should be more careful where you drive," the officer said. "You're making people nervous. You don't fit the profile of the neighborhood."

I wanted to tell him that I didn't fit the profile of the country but I knew it would just get me into trouble.”

― Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

The True Indian

The true Indian sets no price upon either his property or his labor. His generosity is limited only by his strength and ability. He regards it as an honor to be selected for difficult or dangerous service and would think it shameful to ask for any reward, saying rather: "Let the person I serve express his thanks according to his own bringing up and his sense of honor. Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new sweet earth, and the Great Silence alone!. What is Silence? It is the Great Mystery! The Holy Silence is His voice! ― Charles Alexander Eastman, The Soul of the Indian

I Am Tired

I am tired of fighting...from where the sun now stands, I will fight no more. — Chief Joseph

We Are Now

We are now about to take our leave and kind farewell to our native land, the country the Great Spirit gave our fathers, we are on the eve of leaving that country that gave us birth, it is with sorrow we are forced by the white man to quit the scenes of our childhood, we bid farewell to it and all we hold dear. — Charles Hicks, Tsalagi (Cherokee) Vice Chief, speaking of The Trail of Tears, Nov. 4, 1838

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