Notable Quotes

Bottom Line

It makes sense to have people who depend on a place also manage its resources.  Timber companies just don’t have to think about fish or the long term on the earth — only this year’s bottom line. — Guujaaw, President of the Council of the Aida Nation

Brave Man

An Indian respects a brave man, but he despises a coward. — Chief Joseph


Traditions are not laws. They’re just agreements that people agree to do certain things at certain times with each other to keep order, harmony  … Traditions have to bend and flex, and they have to meet the needs of the people in the current times. — Howard Bad Hand, Sicangu Lakota

Native Veterans

There are hundreds and hundreds of books about Vietnam veterans written by Vietnam veterans, but there are less than a handful written by Native American Vietnam veterans, and only one by a Potawatomi Vietnam veteran. Our stories must to be told for future generations. — Larry Mitchell, Potawatomi 

The Discoverer

There were [nearly 50 million] people here who had found the continent tens of thousands of years before him. I think he loses the right to be called the discoverer. — Chuck Hunt, on Columbus

A Historic Debt

We owe a historic debt to American Indians. They have a unique set of concerns that haven’t been addressed, and I’d like to stand with them. Also, I’d like to get their views on immigration. — Al Franken


The way to kill a man or a nation is to cut off his dreams, the way the whites are taking care of the Indians: killing their dreams, their magic, their familiar spirits. — William S. Burroughs

Native History

As long as Native history is treated as a separate field of study, Native peoples will likely remain marginal to serious discussion of “colonial America,” absurd as it might seem to discuss settler colonialism without accounting for the people who lived in the areas being colonized. — Brett Rushforth

The White Man Says

The white man says, “There is freedom and justice for all.” We have had “freedom and justice,” and that is why we have been almost exterminated. We shall not forget this. — Tecumseh

Indian Against Indian

There is an internal attack — Indian against Indian. If we don’t protect sovereignty, we will see termination. — Ron His Horse is Thunder,  Standing Rock Sioux