Notable Quotes

The Spirits

One of the things the old people taught me about the spirits was to never have a doubt. — Wallace Black Elk

Losing the Language

Losing the language means losing the culture. We need to know who we are because it makes a difference in who our children are. — Dottie LeBeau


Every single person has leadership ability. Some step up and take them. Some don't. My answer was to step up and lead. — Wilma Mankiller, Cherokee

People Will Surprise You

Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you. — Jeffrey Zaslow

Spiritual Limbo

We all need a belief system. Christianity really disrupted the kinship unit. In the 1930s we weren’t even allowed to go to some of the traditional funerals. Now, our people no longer go to the Christian churches, and they don’t know their own Native belief systems. In a sense they are in spiritual limbo. — Beatrice Medicine, Lakota


The most cowardly way of quitting is hitting. — Billy Mills

Remember Who You Are

I never thought about my culture. But now I see. You always have to remember who you are, where you came from. — Priscilla Makil

Our Job

Our job is to leave more behind than what we started with. — Curt Holmes, Kalispel

Pick Yourself Up

Don’t listen to peers who say you can’t do what you want to do. If you fail at something, just pick yourself up and try again. That’s what I did. — Milton Paddlety, Kiowa

We Can't Be Selfish

We can't be selfish. We don't come here for ourselves. Whether we know it or not, our people, our tribes, are depending on us. — Casey Douma, president of Haskell Indian University's Student Senate