Notable Quotes

A Very Great Vision

A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky. — Crazy Horse

Never Let This Land Go

We, the great mass of the people think only of the love we have for our land, we do love the land where we were brought up. We will never let our hold to this land go, to let it go it will be like throwing away (our) mother that gave (us) birth. — Letter from Aitooweyah to John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee

Being Indian

Being Indian is an attitude, a state of mind, a way of being in harmony with all things and all beings. It is allowing the heart to be the distributor of energy on this planet; to allow feelings and sensitivities to determine where energy goes; bringing aliveness up from the Earth and from the Sky, putting it in and giving it out from the heart. — Brooke Medicine Eagle

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," Senaca

You Ask Me

You ask me to plow the ground. Shall I take a knife and tear my mother's bosom? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest.

You ask me to dig for stones! Shall I dig under her skin for bones? Then when I die I cannot enter her body to be born again.

You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it and be rich like white men, but how dare I cut my mother's hair?

I want my people to stay with me here. All the dead men will come to life again. Their spirits will come to their bodies again. We must wait here in the homes of our fathers and be ready to meet them in the bosom of our mother.

— Wovoka

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. — Chief Santanta

 

Plow the Ground

You ask me to plow the ground. Shall I take a knife and tear my mother's bosom? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest. — Wovoka, Paiute

Among the Indians

Among the Indians there have been no written laws. Customs handed down from generation to generation have been the only laws to guide them. Every one might act different from what was considered right did he choose to do so, but such acts would bring upon him the censure of the Nation.... This fear of the Nation's censure acted as a mighty band, binding all in one social, honorable compact. — George Copway (Kah-ge-ga-bowh) Ojibwa Chief

More Powerful Than Man

When a man does a piece of work which is admired by all we say that it is wonderful; but when we see the changes of day and night, the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky, and the changing seasons upon the earth, with their ripening fruits, anyone must realize that it is the work of someone more powerful than man. — Chased-by-Bears

The Life of an Indian

The life of an Indian is like the wings of the air. That is why you notice the hawk knows how to get his prey. The Indian is like that. The hawk swoops down on its prey; so does the Indian. In his lament he is like an animal. For instance, the coyote is sly; so is the Indian. The eagle is the same. That is why the Indian is always feathered up; he is a relative to the wings of the air. — Black Elk

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