11 Quotes or Proverbs by Native Americans on Wisdom


A well-known proverb says to respect your ancestors, for you are the result of a thousand loves.

And some of the most important sayings come from our elders (and ancestors) after we’ve learned a life lesson. In our lifetime, the culmination of these lessons give us the wisdom we need to teach our children greater lessons.

Here are 11 quotes or proverbs from Native Americans on wisdom:

“Old age is not as honorable as death, but most people want it.”

-- Crow

“Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins.”

-- Cheyenne

“By listening to the inner self and following one's instincts and intuitions, a person may be guided to safety.”

-- Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), Lakota

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“If a man is as wise as a serpent, he can afford to be as harmless as a dove.”

— Cheyenne

“There is no death, only a change of worlds.”

-- Duwamish

“Don't be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts.”

— Hopi

“His grandfather had often told him that he tried too hard to move trees when a wiser man would walk around them.”

― Patricia Briggs, Hunting Ground

“You already possess everything necessary to become great.”

— Native American proverb

“When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us.”

-- Arapaho 

“Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark.”

-- Cheyenne

“Those who have one foot in the canoe, and one foot in the boat, are going to fall into the river.”

-- Tuscarora


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