I don't know how to save the world. I don't have the answers or The Answer. I hold no secret knowledge as to how
to fix the mistakes of generations past and present. I only know that without compassion and respect for all of
Earth's inhabitants, none of us will survive--nor will we deserve to. ~Leonard Peltier
The rivers are our brothers. They quench
our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes, and feed our children. If we sell you our land, you must remember, and teach your
children, that the rivers are our brothers and yours, and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would give
any brother. ... The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has
been poisoned and the last fish has been caught, will we realise that we cannot eat money. ~19th Century Cree Indian
We humans must come again to a moral comprehension
of the earth and air. We must live according to the principle of a land ethic. The alternative is that we shall not live at
all. ~N. Scott Momaday, Kiowa
A Hopi Elder said he is dying and with him will
die the old ways. But he doesn't care because the old ways don't work anymore. I believe the old ways
cannot die--because it is in the old ways that the truth will be found.
Some day the earth
will weep, she will beg for her life, she will cry with tears of blood. You will make a choice, if you will help her or let
her die, and when she dies, you will die too.
~John Hollow Horn,
Whatever befalls the
earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the
web, he does to himself.
~Chief Seattle, Salish/Divamish
We ourselves stand
at the very Crossroads of understanding the positive and negative influences that affect all Life yet to come.We ourselves—you and me and all of us—must make the right decision of behalf of the Seventh
Generation. ~Arvol Looking Horse, Chief and 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Pipe of the Lakota,
Dakota, Nakota Nations.
It is time for the woman. It is time to talk and set things right, for women to stand
up. And when the world honors women, the mothers, and Mother Earth, everyone will be better off.
The battle for Indian
children will be won in the classroom, not on the
streets or on horses.
The students of today are our warriors of tomorrow. ~Wilma P. Mankiller, Cherokee
When you see a new
trail, or a footprint that you do not know, follow it to
the point of knowing. ~Grandmother
of Charles Eastman, Santee Sioux
old Lakota was wise. He knew that man's heart away from nature becomes hard; he knew the lack of respect for growing, living
things soon led to a lack of respect for humans too. So he kept his youth close to its softening influence. ~Luther Standing
Bear, Oglala Sioux
We must have
respect and understanding for women and all female life on this Earth which bears the sacred gift of life." --Traditional
Circle of Elders, Onondaga
The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region
of forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned
the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers, he belongs just as the buffalo belonged....
~ Luther Standing Bear Oglala Sioux
... 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
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) Ojibwa Chief
"Treat the 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. ~ Indian Proverb
Grown men can learn from very little children
for the hearts of the little children are pure.
Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them
many things which older people miss. ~Black Elk
The old Indian teaching was that is is wrong to tear
loose from its place on the earth anything that may be growing there. It may be cut off, but it should not be uprooted. The
trees and the grass have spirits. Whatever one of such growth may be destroyed by some good Indian, his act is done in sadness
and with a prayer for forgiveness because of his necessities... ~Wooden Leg (late 19th century) Cheyenne
We are taught to believe that the Great Spirit sees and
hears everything, and that he never forgets: that hereafter he will give every man a spirit-home according to his deserts....This
I believe, and all my people believe the same. ~Chief Joseph Nez Perce
The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man's heart
away from nature becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans
too. ~Chief Luther Standing Bear
How can the spirit of the earth like the white man?...
Everywhere the white man has touched it, it is sore. ~Anonymous Wintu Woman
Know that you yourself are essential to this World.
Believe that! Understand both the blessing and the burden of that. You yourself are desperately needed to save
the soul of this World.
Did you think you were put here for something less?
~Chief Arvol Looking Horse
"Silence is the Mother of Truth, for the silent man was ever
to be trusted, while the man ever ready with speech was never taken seriously." Chief
Luther Standing Bear, (Teton Sioux)
be walking in the middle of your soul." Oklahoma Cherokee
Out of the Indian approach to life
there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a Supreme Power, and principles
of truth, honesty, generosity, equity, and brotherhood as a guide to mundane relations. ~Luther Standing Bear
Man has responsibility, not power.
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
do not always come as a trickster. Sometimes it is necessary to remind others to enjoy life. To remember to play and
lick another's nose! -Coyote Speak, Spirit Talk
Each of us personally, is put here in this time and this place
to personally decide the future of humankind. Did you think you were put here for something less?
~Arvol Looking Horse
These days people seek
knowledge, not wisdom.
Knowledge is of the past, wisdom is of the future. (Lumbee)
The more you know, the more you will trust and the less you will
Spirit is in all things, he is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother. She nourishes
us, that which we put into the ground she returns to us.
~ Big Thunder (Bedagi) Wabanaki Algonquin
A very great vision is
and the man who has it
must follow it as the
eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky. ~Crazy Horse
"If we do not like what
a future looks like, all we have to do is change our thought patterns and start taking better care of our TOTAL
self, as Life is just what we make it." -David Little Elk
A Cherokee Elder spoke to his grandchildren, teaching
them about life.
He said, "A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between
"One wolf is evil~~ he is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed,
arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego.
"The other is good~~ he is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship,
empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.
"This same fight is going on inside you, and
inside every other person, too."
They thought for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather,
"Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed." ~Unknown
There is a road in the hearts of all of us, hidden and
seldom traveled, which leads to an unkown, secret place. The old people came literally to love the soil, and they sat or reclined
on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. Their teepees were built upon the earth and their altar's
were made of earth. The soul was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing. That is why the old Indian still sits upon
the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to
be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly. He can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in
kinship to other lives about him. ~Chief Luther Standing Bear
To me, if you're Indian, you're Indian. You
don't have to put on our buckskin, beads, and feathers, and stuff like that. --Cecilia Mitchell, MOHAWK
The most important thing that determines who
we are is on our insides, not our outsides. If we are Indian inside, that's all that matters. Being Indian means to think
right, to be spiritual and to pray. Feathers and beads don't make us Indian. Being Indian means to have a good heart and a
good mind. Great Spirit, today, let me think Indian. ~Unknown