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Native American Quotes - Page 2

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Chief Satanta

Chief Satanta of the Kiowa tribe.

 

"I am a great chief among my people. If you kill me, it will be like a spark on the prairie. It will make a big fire - a terrible fire!" - Kiowa Chief Satanta.

"When a man does a piece of work which is admired by all we say that it is wonderful; but when we see the changes of day and night, the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky, and the changing seasons upon the earth, with their ripening fruits, anyone must realize that it is the work of someone more powerful than man.” - Chased-by-Bears, Santee-Yanktonai Sioux

"Soon there will come from the rising sun a different kind of man from any have yet seen, who will bring with them a book and will teach you everything." - Spokan Prophet

 

"We shall live again; we shall live again." - Comanche Ghost Dance Song

 

 

 

"The traditions of our people are handed down from father to son. The Chief is considered to be the most learned, and the leader of the tribe. The Doctor, however, is thought to have more inspiration. He is supposed to be in communion with spirits... He cures the sick by the laying of hands, and payers and incantations and heavenly songs. He infuses new life into the patient, and performs most wonderful feats of skill in his practice.... He clothes himself in the skins of young innocent animals, such as the fawn, and decorated himself with the plumage of harmless birds, such as the dove and hummingbird ...” -- Sarah Winnemucca, Paiute

 

All birds, even those of the same species, are not alike, and it is the same with animals and with human beings. The reason Wakan Tanka does not make two birds, or animals, or human beings exactly alike is because each is placed here by WakanTanka to be an independent individuality and to rely upon itself. - Shooter 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

 

"Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican, the Pokanoket, and many other once powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice and the oppression of the White Man, as snow before a summer sun.” - Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee

 

"The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. It is the blood of our ancestors." - Chief Plenty Coups, Crow

 

"When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear, when that happens, The Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them. " - Chief Seattle [Seatlh],  Suquamish Chief

 

"How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." - From Black Hawk, Sauk

 

 "I love the land of winding waters more then all the rest of the world. A man who would not love his father's grave is worse then a wild animal.” - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

 

"All things share the same breath - the beast, the tree, the man, the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.” - Chief Seattle,  Suquamish Chief

 

"Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.” -- Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee

 

"It is strictly believed and understood by the Sioux that a child is the greatest gift from Wakan Tanka, in response to many devout prayers, sacrifices, and promises. Therefore the child is considered "sent by Wakan Tanka," through some element--namely the element of human nature.” - Robert Higheagle (early 20th century) Teton Sioux

 

"A wee child toddling in a wonder world, I prefer to their dogma my excursions into the natural gardens where the voice of the Great Spirit is heard in the twittering of birds, the rippling of mighty waters, and the sweet breathing of flowers. If this is Paganism, then at present, at least, I am a Pagan." - Zitkala-Sa

"I will follow the white man's trail. I will make him my friend, but I will not bend my back to his burdens. I will be cunning as a coyote. I will ask him to help me understand his ways, then I will prepare the way for my children, and their children. The Great Spirit has shown me - a day will come when they will outrun the white man in his own shoes." - Many Horses

”All things in the world are two. In our minds we are two, good and evil. With our eyes we see two things, things that are fair and things that are ugly.... We have the right hand that strikes and makes for evil, and we have the left hand full of kindness, near the heart. One foot may lead us to an evil way, the other foot may lead us to a good. So are all things two, all two.” - Eagle Chief (Letakos-Lesa) Pawnee

Chief Red Cloud"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.” - Chief Red Cloud (Makhipiya-Luta) Sioux Chief

"I was hostile to the white man...We preferred hunting to a life of idleness on our reservations. At times we did not get enough to eat and we were not allowed to hunt. All we wanted was peace and to be let alone. Soldiers came...in the winter..and destroyed our villages. Then Long Hair (Custer) came...They said we massacred him, but he would have done the same to us. Our first impulse was to escape...but we were so hemmed in we had to fight. After that I lived in peace, but the government would not let me alone. I was not allowed to remain quiet. I was tired of fighting...They tried to confine me..and a soldier ran his bayonet into me. I have spoken.” - Crazy Horse – Sioux Chief

A warrior who had more than he needed would make a feast. He went around and invited the old and needy....The man who would thank the food--some worthy old medicine man or warrior--said: "...look to the old, they are worthy of old age; they have seen their days and proven themselves. With the help of the Great Spirit, they have attained a ripe old age. At this age the old can predict or give knowledge or wisdom, whatever it is; it is so. At the end is a cane. You and your family shall get to where the cane is." - Black Elk, Oglala Sioux Holy Man

"In 1868, men came out and brought papers. We could not read them and they did not tell us truly what was in them. We thought the treaty was to remove the forts and for us to cease from fighting. But they wanted to send us traders on the Missouri, but we wanted traders where we were. When I reached Washington, the Great Father explained to me that the interpreters had deceived me. All I want is right and just." - Chief Red Cloud (Makhipiya-Luta) Sioux Chief, April, 1870

From Wakan-Tanka, the Great Mystery, comes all power. It is from Wakan-Tanka that the holy man has wisdom and the power to heal and make holy charms. Man knows that all healing plants are given by Wakan-Tanka, therefore they are holy. So too is the buffalo holy, because it is the gift of Wakan-Tanka. - Flat-Iron (Maza Blaska Oglala Sioux Chief

"Will we let ourselves be destroyed in our turn without a struggle, give up our homes, our country bequeathed to us by the Great Spirit, the graves of our dead and everything that is dear and sacred to us? I know you will cry with me, 'Never! Never!'" - Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee

"Traditional 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."  - William Commanda, Mamiwinini, Canada, 1991

"I hope the Great Heavenly Father, who will look down upon us, will give all the tribes His blessing, that we may go forth in peace, and live in peace all our days, and that He will look down upon our children and finally lift us far above the earth; and that our Heavenly Father will look upon our children as His children, that all the tribes may be His children, and as we shake hands to-day upon this broad plain, we may forever live in peace.” - Chief Red Cloud (Makhipiya-Luta) Sioux Chief

Great Spirit, Great Spirit, my Grandfather, all over the earth the faces of living things are all alike...Look upon these faces of children without number and with children in their arms, that they may face the winds and walk the good road to the day of the quiet. - Black Elk,  Oglala Sioux Holy Man

"My father, you have made promises to me and to my children. If the promises had been made by a person of no standing, I should not be surprised to see his promises fail. But you, who are so great in riches and power; I am astonished that I do not see your promises fulfilled!” - Shinguaconse ("Little Pine")

"We know our lands have now become more valuable. The white people think we do not know their value; but we know that the land is everlasting, and the few goods we receive for it are soon worn out and gone." – Canassatego

"In the beginning of all things, wisdom and knowledge were with the animals, for Tirawa, the One Above, did not speak directly to man. He sent certain animals to tell men that he showed himself through the beast, and that from them, and from the stars and the sun and moon should man learn.. all things tell of Tirawa. " - Eagle Chief (Letakos-Lesa) Pawnee

"My Father: a long time has passed since first we came upon our lands; and our people have all sunk into their graves. They had sense. We are all young and foolish, and do not wish to do anything that they would not approve, were they living. We are fearful we shall offend their spirits if we sell our lands; and we are fearful we shall offend you if we do not sell them. This has caused us great perplexity of thought, because we have counselled among ourselves, and do not know how we can part with our lands.” - Metea, a Potowatami Chief of the Illinois Nation

"You ask me to plow the ground. Shall I take a knife and tear my mother's bosom? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest. -- Wovoka, Paiute

You have noticed that everything as Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round..... The Sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours.... Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. - Black Elk, Oglala Sioux Holy Man

 

 

 

Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated August, 2010.

 

 

 

Also See:

 

Native American Proverbs & Wisdom

Legends, Myths & Tales of Native Americans

Native American Photo Galleries

Totems & Their Meanings

 

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