Notable Quotes

Music of the Indian

The music of the Indian is the spontaneous and sincere expression of the soul of a people. It springs from our own continent, and is thus, of all music, distinctly American. If Indian song be encouraged with Indian, and recognition of it awakened among our own people, America may one day contribute a unique music to the world of art. — Natalie Curtis, Musicologist

Treaties

In 1868, men came out and brought papers. We could not read them and they did not tell us truly what was in them. We thought the treaty was to remove the forts and for us to cease from fighting. But they wanted to send us traders on the Missouri, but we wanted traders where we were. When I reached Washington, the Great Father explained to me that the interpreters had deceived me. All I want is right and just. — Chief Red Cloud

My Father

My Father: A long time has passed since first we came upon our lands; and our people have all sunk into their graves. They had sense. We are all young and foolish, and do not wish to do anything that they would not approve, were they living. We are fearful we shall offend their spirits if we sell our lands; and we are fearful we shall offend you if we do not sell them. This has caused us great perplexity of thought, because we have counselled among ourselves, and do not know how we can part with our lands — Metea, a Potowatami Chief of the Illinois Nation

A Warrior

A warrior who had more than he needed would make a feast. He went around and invited the old and needy. The man who would thank the food—some worthy old medicine man or warrior—said, "Look to the old, they are worthy of old age; they have seen their days and proven themselves. With the help of the Great Spirit, they have attained a ripe old age. At this age the old can predict or give knowledge or wisdom, whatever it is; it is so. At the end is a cane. You and your family shall get to where the cane is. — Black Elk

Look Deeper

You have to look deeper, way below the anger, the hurt, the hate, the jealousy, the self-pity, way down deeper where the dreams lie, son. Find your dream. It's the pursuit of the dream that heals you. — Billy Mills

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.

SUPPORTHold 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

Give Thanks

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. — Native American saying

Any Great Undertaking

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 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

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

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