Notable Quotes

Our Native Land

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, November 4, 1838

I Have Seen

I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself. — Lone Man (Isna-la-wica), Teton Sioux

A Purpose

Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence. — Mourning Dove

We Walk

We walk in our moccasins upon the Earth
And beneath the sky
As we travel on life's path of beauty
We will live a good life and reach old age.
— Navajo Blessing

It's Our Stuff

It's our stuff. We made it and we know best how to use it and care for it. And now we're going to get it back. — John Pretty on Top, Crow

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. — Santana, Kiowa Chief

I Will Follow

I will follow the white man's trail. I will make him my friend, but I will not bend my back to his burdens. I will be cunning as a coyote. I will ask him to help me understand his ways, then I will prepare the way for my children, and their children. The Great Spirit has shown me—a day will come when they will outrun the white man in his own shoes. — Many Horses

I Am Going Ahead

You stay here. I am going ahead. — Ishi (Yahi), before his death.

The Environment

The environment is everybody. It's not strictly tribal. — Jesse Urbanic, Lummi

In the Old Days

In the old days, everyone who was born had a purpose, but that belief had faded away some over the years.  Now we are working with our kids to re-instill that mind set. We want our future to remain strong and to continue to move forward. — Jennifer Porter, Kootenai