Best 351 of Native american quotes - MyQuotes
A Jewish Native American half-breed orphan playing bagpipes wasn't the sort of impression I ever wanted to make
I have built my world through Native American mythology.
For most Native Americans, there's no more offensive name in English. That non-Native folks think they get to measure or decide what offends us is adding insult to injury.
America has always been the richest and most secure, and sometimes the most dangerous country in the world. In the early years, the danger was to everybody near us, slaves, Native Americans, Mexicans. It finally expanded in 1898 to the Caribbean, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the Philippines.
I want to tell you that if the Great Spirit had chosen anyone to be the chief of this country, it is myself.
We also recommit to supporting tribal self-determination, security, and prosperity for all Native Americans. While we cannot erase the scourges or broken promises of our past, we will move ahead together in writing a new, brighter chapter in our joint history.
How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right.
But, my dear friend Wildfire," said Carl Peterson laying his hand on the Indian's shoulder, "this is not a policy to live by." "Then let it be a policy to die by," defiantly spoke the Indian. "If we cannot be free, let us die. What is life to a caged bird, threatened with death on all sides?
Creationists have also changed their name ... to intelligent design theorists who study 'irreducible complexity' and the 'abrupt appearance' of life-yet more jargon for 'God did it.' ... Notice that they have no interest in replacing evolution with native American creation myths or including the Code of Hammarabi alongside the posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools.
My work to me is more like what the Native Americans say: When we walk upon the earth, we always place our feet very carefully upon the ground, because we know the faces of our future generations are looking up at us from below, and we never forget them. I think as a culture today we've forgotten them. This work is a way to help us remember them. It's a way for us not only to find meaning in our individual lives, but to extend that approach all across the planet. Because if we don't, we won't have a planet.
The most common trait of all primitive peoples is a reverence for the life-giving earth, and the Native American shared this elemental ethic: The land was alive to his loving touch, and he, its son, was brother to all creatures.
The Old Ones say you can feel your spirit during a Vision Quest.
Robin Wall Kimmerer
A bay is a noun only if water is dead. When bay is a noun, it is defined by humans, trapped between its shores and contained by the word. But the verb wiikwegamaa—to be a bay—releases the water from bondage and lets it live. “To be a bay” holds the wonder that, for this moment, the living water has decided to shelter itself between these shores, conversing with cedar roots and a flock of baby mergansers. Because it could do otherwise—become a stream or an ocean or a waterfall, and there are verbs for that, too. To be a hill, to be a sandy beach, to be a Saturday, all are possible verbs in a world where everything is alive. Water, land, and even a day, the language a mirror for seeing the animacy of the world, the life that pulses through all things, through pines and nuthatches and mushrooms. This is the language I hear in the woods; this is the language that lets us speak of what wells up all around us.[…] This is the grammar of animacy.
I saw The Revenant, and they were calling Native Americans "tree niggers," and that is not cool.
Don't believe the dark whisperings that invite you to walk backward. At any time in your life, you have the power to turn forward.
We do not want riches, we want peace and love.
When someone was so poor that he couldn't afford a horse, a tent or a blanket, he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift.
As great as is the light above us, greater by far is the light within.
One of the things I've been taught by Native American elders is the importance of patience, of waiting to do things when the time is right. As an Onondaga friend put it to me, "you can't pick berries until the berries are ripe.
Things which do not grow and change are dead things.
Who can declare that money is not a power which rulers of the world cannot withstand?
Racism is not about hurtful words, bruised feelings, political correctness, or refusing to call short people 'vertically challenged.' Racism is about the power to treat entire groups of people as something less than human—for the benefit of that power. That’s why a Native American sports mascot is far from harmless.
Helen Hunt Jackson
There had been no crises of incident, or marked movements of experience such as in Felipe's imaginations of love were essential to the fulness of its growth. This is a common mistake on the part of those who have never felt love's true bonds. Once in those chains, one perceives that they are not of the sort full forged in a day. They are made as the great iron cables are made, on which bridges are swung across the widest water-channels,--not of single huge rods, or bars, which would be stronger, perhaps, to look at; but myriads of the finest wires, each one by itself so fine, so frail, it would barely hold a child's kite in the wind: by hundreds, hundreds of thousands of such, twisted, re-twisted together, are made the mighty cables, which do not any more swerve from their place in the air, under the weight and jar of the ceaseless traffic and tread of two cities, than the solid earth swerves under the same ceaseless weight and jar. Such cables do not break.
I think the African American community, the Latino community, the Native American communities have borne an unfair burden in the last century, and continue to.
I have good genes. My father is Danish and my mother is Irish and Native American. They both have good skin.
I certainly don't object to [writers] trying to imagine the lives of other societies, but you have to do it with a certain amount of humility and respect. If it were not for the ethnographic material that had been collected by missionaries and anthropologists and so forth, much of past Native American society would no longer be accessible. What I object to is making kitsch of things that are very serious.
As you know, today was Don't Take Your Illegal Immigrant To Work Day here in Los Angeles. No, all across the nation they had a Day Without Immigrants, is what they call it. Or, as Native Americans call it, the good ol' days.
Attending to your own words and ideas as well as those of others is an admirable trait in any person, but a necessity in a leader.
Istagunga sought for the magic that ran beneath the soil like a network, each thread connecting all living things together. It was this immense power that held Iktomi's Web together...
In our hurry of utilitarian progress, we have either forgotten the Indian altogether, or looked upon him only in a business point of view, as we do almost everything else; as a thriftless, treacherous, drunken fellow, who knows just enough to be troublesome, and who must be cajoled or forced into leaving his hunting-grounds for the occupation of very orderly and virtuous white people, who sell him gunpowder and whiskey, but send him now and then a missionary to teach him that it is wrong to get drunk and murder his neighbor.
But nobody wanted to speak on the true disposition of the world. And no one wanted to hear it... The whites came to this land for a fresh start and to escape the tyranny of their masters, just as the Freeman had fled theirs. But the ideals they held up for themselves, they denied others. Cora had heard Michael recite the Declaration of Independence back on the Randall plantation many times, his voice drifting through the village like an angry phantom. She didn't understand the words, most of them at any rate, but created equal was not lost on her. The white men who wrote it didn't understand it either, if all men did not truly mean all men. Not if they snatched away what belonged to other people, whether it was something you could hold in your hand, like dirt, or something you could not, like freedom.
It is important to understand that there are many different ways of seeing the world and expressing the wisdom of Native belief...No one voice speaks for all voices.
I once said, "You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent." When Bobby Jindal entered the Republican campaign, my comment should have been covered again, more prominently. I mean, Jindal is not Native American, he's a real Indian.
At the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit. And that center is really everywhere. It is within each of us.
There's an old, private cemetery here in Palm Springs, where I live, just down the street from the airport, that belongs to one of the local Native American tribes, and it occurred to me one day that if you really wanted to get away with murder, you'd kill someone, put them in a coffin and bury them in a private cemetery or, better, an abandoned one. And then suddenly this whole idea of a long con appeared before me and I had this idea of using a Jewish cemetery.
We want trumpets that sound like thunder, and men to act as though they were going to war with those corrupt and degrading principles that rob one of all rights, merely because he is ignorant, and of a little different color. Let us have principles that will give every one his due; and then shall wars cease, and the weary find rest.
No matter how hard I try to forget you, you always come back to my thoughts When you hear me singing I am really crying for you.
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.
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 nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours.
The Native American side was tragic. It's just unbelievable what has happened to them.
Helen Hunt Jackson
But undying memories stood like sentinels in her breast. When the notes of doves, calling to each other, fell on her ear, her eyes sought the sky, and she heard a voice saying, "Majella!
Creationists have also changed their name ... to intelligent design theorists who study 'irreducible complexity' and the 'abrupt appearance' of life—yet more jargon for 'God did it.' ... Notice that they have no interest in replacing evolution with native American creation myths or including the Code of Hammurabi alongside the posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools.
Silence,they say,is the voice of complicity. But silence is impossible. Silence screams. Silence is the message,just as doing nothing is an act. Let who you are ring out and resonate in every word and deed. Yes,become who you are. There's no sidestepping your own being or your own responsibility. What you do is who you are. You are your own comeuppance. You become your own message. You are the message. In the Spirit of Crazy Horse.
I studied trumpet for almost 15 years and was performing with a professional concert marching band in parades and rodeos. I was headed back east to study music, and if I hadn't been intrigued with the Native American flute, I suppose I'd now be jockeying for first chair of the brass section of some orchestra, or perhaps I'd be teaching music in a school system.
Luther Standing Bear
It is the mothers not the warriors who create a people and guide their destiny.
What's with everybody always trying to get rid of the Indians?" I said, not really asking for an answer. I thought again of the history-book pictures. Astronomers and brain surgeons. They should have done brain surgery on Columbus while they had the chance.
I feel sorry for people of good heart who have never had a chance to learn the realities of Native American everything - not just our history but the sweetness and the beauty and the reasons why were so close to Mother Earth.
No tribe has the right to sell, even to each other, much less to strangers.... Sell a country! Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth? Didn't the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children? The way, the only way to stop this evil is for the red man to unite in claiming a common and equal right in the land, as it was first, and should be now, for it was never divided." We gave them forest-clad mountains and valleys full of game, and in return what did they give our warriors and our women? Rum, trinkets, and a grave.
There is an old and very wise Native American saying: Every time you point a finger in scorn—there are three remaining fingers pointing right back at you.
Robin Wall Kimmerer
In the Western tradition there is a recognized hierarchy of beings, with, of course, the human being on top—the pinnacle of evolution, the darling of Creation—and the plants at the bottom. But in Native ways of knowing, human people are often referred to as “the younger brothers of Creation.” We say that humans have the least experience with how to live and thus the most to learn—we must look to our teachers among the other species for guidance. Their wisdom is apparent in the way that they live. They teach us by example. They’ve been on the earth far longer than we have been, and have had time to figure things out.