Native American Quotes

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush approved designated November "National American Indian Heritage Month" to honor the culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, and ways and concepts of life of Native people of the United States.

"When you are in doubt, be still, and wait; when doubt no longer exists for you, then go forward with courage.
So long as mists envelop you, be still; be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists
-- as it surely will. Then act with courage."
- Chief White Eagle, Ponca

"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect."
- Chief Seattle, Duwamish

"I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, but rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man."
- Sun Bear, Chippewa

"If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys."
- Chief Dan George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation

"We must 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 (Hereditary Chief Edward Moody), Nuxalk Nation

"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

"I have heard you intend to settle us on a reservation near the mountains. I don't want to settle. I love to roam over the prairies. There I feel free and happy, but when we settle down we grow pale and die."
- Chief Satanta, Kiowa

"The Great 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 Wabanaki, Algonquin

"Honor the sacred. Honor the Earth, our Mother. Honor the Elders. Honor all with whom we share the Earth:-Four-leggeds, two-leggeds, winged ones, Swimmers, crawlers, plant and rock people. Walk in balance and beauty."
- Native American Elder

"Friend do it this way-that is, whatever you do in life, do the very best you can with both your heart and minds. And if you do it that way, the Power of the Universe will come to your assistance, if you heart and mind are in Unity. When one sits in the Hoop Of The People, one must be responsible because All of Creation ins related. And the Hurt of one is the hurt of all. And the honor of one is the honor of all. And whatever we do effects everything in the universe. If you do it that way-that is, if you truly join your heart and mind as One-whatever you ask for, that the Way it's Going to be."
- Lakota Instructions for Living passed down from White Buffalo Calf Woman

"If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian, he can live in peace... Treat all men alike. Give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow.All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief.They are all brothers. The Earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it..."
- White Elk

"Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers,free to think and talk and act for myself, and I will obey every law, or submit to the penalty."
- Heinmot Tooyalaket (Chief Joseph), Nez Perce Leader

"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect."
- Chief Seattle, 1854

"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. The True Peace. The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (the Great Spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men."
- Black Elk, Oglala Sioux and Spiritual Leader (1863 - 1950)

"May the stars carry your sadness away, May the flowers fill your heart with beauty, May hope forever wipe away your tears, And, above all, may silence make you strong."
- Chief Dan George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation

"Hold on to what is good, Even if it's a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe, Even if it's a tree that stands by itself. Hold on to what you must do, Even if it's a long way from here. Hold on to your life, Even if it's easier to let go. Hold on to my hand, Even if someday I'll be gone away from you."
- Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator 1830 - 1890

"And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell, and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being."
- Black Elk, Black Elk Speaks


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