Notable Quotes

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

White Army

When a white army battles Indians and wins, it is called a great victory, but if they lose it is called a massacre. — Chiksika, Shawnee

When ...

When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money.

— Cree Prophecy
 

May the Stars

May the stars carry your sadness away,
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
May hope forever wipe away your tears,
And, above all, may silence make you strong.

— Chief Dan George

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, 1854

Assimilated

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 intergrated. 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 live in peace. We don't want power, we don't want to be congressmen, or 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. — From the 1927 Grand Council of American Indians
 

All Birds

All birds, even those of the same species, are not alike, and it is the same with animals and with human beings. The reason WakanTanka does not make two birds, or animals, or human beings exactly alike is because each is placed here by WakanTanka to be an independent individuality and to rely upon itself. — Shooter Teton Sioux

Brother

Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agreed, as you can all read the Book? — Sogoyewapha, "Red Jacket"

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