You create the world around
you with your words.
from the Diné
I was in Victoria, and I saw a very large house.
They told me it was a bank and that the white men place
their money there to be taken care of, and that by and by
they got it back with interest. We are Indians and
we have no such bank; but when we have plenty of money or
blankets, we give them away to other chiefs and people,
and by and by they return them with interest, and our
hearts feel good. Our way of giving is our
bank. -Chief Maquinna
people of Indian nations have interpreted the two roads that face the
light-skinned race as the road to technology and the road to
spirituality. We feel that the road to technology. . . . has led
modern society to a damaged and seared earth. Could it be that the
road to technology represents a rush to destruction, and that the road to
spirituality represents the slower path that the traditional native people
have traveled and are now seeking again? The earth is not scorched
on this trail. The grass is still growing there.
protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be
born. We must protect the forests for those who can't speak for themselves
such as the birds, animals, fish and trees. -Qwatsinas
What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a
buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across
the grass and loses itself in the sunset. -Crowfoot
the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every
person a mission. This is the Indian theory of
existence. -Mourning Dove
The beauty of the trees, the
softness of the air, the fragrance of the grass, they speak to me.
The summit of the mountain, the thunder of the sky, the rhythm of the sea,
speaks to me.
The faintness of the stars, the freshness of the morning, the dewdrop on
the flower, speaks to me.
The strength of the fire, the taste of the salmon, the trail of the sun,
and the life that never goes away,
they speak to me. And my heart soars. -Chief
May the sun bring you new energy by
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world
and know its beauty all the days of your life.
do not force their way with great strife. Flowers open to
perfection slowly in the sun. . . . Don't be in a hurry about
spiritual matters. Go step by step, and be very
sure. -White Eagle
Creator gives us
Comes with every new day,
The gift of breath, the gift of life,
Opportunities in a vast array.
How do we count our blessings,
Through the choices life can bring?
Is it through joyful lessons?
Or the fears to which we cling?
Are we learning to show gratitude,
For the victories over human pain?
By honoring the feeling choices,
We grasp the will we've regained.
Can we change our focus,
With no need to defend?
Acknowledging joy and sorrow,
Without judging foe or friend?
Tomorrow promises the fullness
Of every human way to know:
How we master each challenge
Determines our balance -
reflecting how we grow.
The Promise of Tomorrow
was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be
overcome. Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed
its way, it will in time disturb one's spiritual balance.
Therefore, children must early learn the beauty of generosity.
They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste
the happiness of giving. -Ohiyesa
always more beautiful than stone buildings. Living in a city
is an artificial existence. Lots of people hardly ever feel
real soil under their feet, see plants grow except in flower pots,
or get far enough beyond the street light to catch the enchantment
of a night sky studded with stars. When people live far from
scenes of the Great Spirit's making, it's easy for them to forget
his laws. -Walking Buffalo
the center of the world. Everything is
sacred. -Black Elk
breath of the new dawn and make it part of you. It will give
you strength. -from the Hopi
Once you have
heard the meadowlark and caught the scent of fresh-plowed earth,
peace cannot escape you.
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)
I am poor and
naked, but I am the chief of the nation. We do not want
riches but we do want to train our children right. Riches
would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the
other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love.
it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled
with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and
pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a
different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going
home. -Chief Apumut
Humankind must be a
steward of the Earth;
Caretakers for all that dwells upon it;
To be of one heart with all things.
Human beings must learn to share
the tears of every living thing,
To feel in our hearts the pain
of the wounded animal,
each crushed blade of grass;
Mother Earth is our flesh;
the rocks, our bones;
The rivers are the blood of our veins.
We are all children of God.
Traditions are open to anyone
who wants to learn.
Huichol Holy Man
earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned
to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our
Ancestors; we borrow it from our Children.
-Ancient Native American Proverb
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step you take should be a prayer. And if every step you take
is a prayer, then you will always be walking in a sacred
manner. -Oglala Lakota Holyman
Training began with
children who were taught to sit still and enjoy it. They
were taught to use their organs of smell, to look where there was
apparently nothing to see, and to listen intently when all
seemingly was quiet. A child who cannot sit still is a
half-developed child. -Luther Standing
people who are living on this planet need to break with the narrow
concept of human liberation, and begin to see liberation as
something that needs to be extended to the whole of the natural
world. What is needed is the liberation of all things
that support life--the air, the water, the trees--all the things
which support the sacred web of life. -from
the Haudenosaunee address to the western world, 1977
the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come
back again to where they were. The life of a person is a
circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything
where power moves. -Black Elk
There are many
things to be shared with the Four Colors of humanity in our common
destiny as one with our Mother the Earth. It is this sharing that
must be considered with great care by the Elders and the medicine
people who carry the Sacred Trusts, so that no harm may come to
people through ignorance and misuse of these powerful forces.
-Resolution of the Fifth Annual Meetings of the Traditional Elders