Notable Quotes

Native Woman

Nine out of 10 people think that as a Native American woman, I'm supposed to look like either that Land-O-Lakes butter girl, or Disney's Pocahontas. — Charlotte Chinanao, Dineh and Jemez youth activist.

We Were Here

We were here prior to U.S. nationhood. The average American needs to get off the fallacy we're going to be like everybody else. It's not going to happen. — Cedric Sunray

My Reason

My reason teaches me that land cannot be sold. The Great Spirit gave it to his children to live upon. So long as they occupy and cultivate it, they have a right to the soil. Nothing can be sold but such things as can be carried away. — Black Hawk

We Do Not Own

We do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water. How can you buy them from us? — Sealth

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

Our Lands

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

Never!

Will we let ourselves be destroyed in our turn without a struggle, give up our homes, our country bequeathed to us by the Great Spirit, the graves of our dead and everything that is dear and sacred to us? I know you will cry with me, 'Never! Never! — Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee

The Land Is Sacred

The land is sacred. These words are at the core of your being. The land is our mother, the rivers our blood. Take our land away and we die. That is, the Indian in us dies. — Mary Brave Bird, Lakota

We Have a Choice

We don't have to say or think what we don't wish to. We have a choice in those things, and we have to realize that and practice using that choice. — Rolling Thunder, Cherokee

Role Model

I've always wanted to be role model. I've always wanted to stay an Indian. I wanted the little kids to know that. — Norval Morrisseau, Anishinabe

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