Notable Quotes

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

When a Child

When a child my mother taught me the legends of our people; taught me of the sun and sky, the moon and stars, the clouds and storms. She also taught me to kneel and pray to Usen for strength, health, wisdom, and protection. We never prayed against any person, but if we had aught against any individual we ourselves took vengeance. We were taught that Usen does not care for the petty quarrels of men. — Geronimo

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, Seneca

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. — Satanta

I Can Go Everywhere

I was warmed by the sun, rocked by the winds and sheltered by the trees as other Indian babes. I can go everywhere with a good feeling. — Geronimo

I Want My People

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, Paiute

When You Know Who You Are

When you know who you are; when your mission is clear and you burn with the inner fire of unbreakable will; no cold can touch your heart; no deluge can dampen your purpose. You know that you are alive. — Chief Seattle

Consider the Impact

In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.

— Iroquois Maxim

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