Best 329 quotes in «native american quotes» category

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    Wonder what opportunities you pass, unwittingly, because your hands are so busy clasping what you think you have always known.

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    You think I am a fool, but you are a greater fool than I am.

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    Among our Potawatomi people, women are the Keepers of Water. We carry the sacred water to ceremonies and act on its behalf. “Women have a natural bond with water, because we are both life bearers,” my sister said. “We carry our babies in internal ponds and they come forth into the world on a wave of water. It is our responsibility to safeguard the water for all our relations.

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    An old man spoke to his grandson. "My child," he said. "Inside everyone there is a battle between two wolves. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, inferiority, lies, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth." The boy thought for a moment. Then he asked, "Which wolf wins?" A moment of silence passed before the old man replied. And then he said, "The one you feed." - Native American Folk Tale

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    Any story worth telling has been embellished a little bit, Skyco, but the best stories are born from an honest seed that simply grows a little in the retelling of it.

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    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.

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    A brusque whisper coaxed Phillip from slumber. Someone had called his name. The cot squeaked as he sat up and squinted at a featureless silhouette. “Who is it?” “Rise. Quick. Bring your medicine maker.” The ragged voice belonged to True Seeker. Tasked with keeping a watchful eye on Milly, the young man would come to Phillip at this hour for only one reason. He swung his legs to the ground. With one foot going into his trousers, he took a wide step across the narrow barracks and jostled Buck’s shoulder. His friend was on his feet and half-dressed before Phillip left the building, alarm urging his feet to a gallop. No one need tell him which direction to go. He buckled his sword belt as he went. The scabbard slapped his leg with each footfall, bringing to mind a similar night not long enough ago. His stride lengthened. This time, he would run Collins clean through.

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    A Jewish Native American half-breed orphan playing bagpipes wasn't the sort of impression I ever wanted to make

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    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.

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    As chief, I will represent my people in many different ways and might never know which particular action is destined to matter more than another, thus, all my actions should be considered potentially important and worthy of my best effort.

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    As great as is the light above us, greater by far is the light within.

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    Bad and cruel as our people were treated by the whites, not one of them was hurt or molested by our band. (...) The whites were complaining at the same time that we were intruding upon their rights. They made it appear that they were the injured party, and we the intruders. They called loudly to the great war chief to protect their property. How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right.

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    Blind Thrust makes good use of Marquis' background as a professional geologist. It is the novel's characters, however, that really stand out. Charles Quantrill is far from a cardboard villain, and as for the heroes, Joe and John Higheagle have a particularly endearing rapport. For suspense fans who enjoy science mixed with their thrills, the novel offers page-turning pleasures. --BlueInk Review

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    Before Sutter, native people had heeded the cycle of the seasons, time was infinite, and life's rhythms were unchanging. Now, for at least part of their lives, some Indians were wedded to a concept that proclaimed that time was limited and that it had economic value. The clang of Sutter's bell announced that time was money, that it marched onward, and that it waited for no man, including Indians in the 1840s.

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    At the end of our lives, when our bodies are about to be laid in Mother Earth, we will know for ourselves whether we are a Two-Legged being full of light or a Two-Legged being full of darkness.

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    Blind Thrust' kept me up until 1 a.m. two nights in a row. I could not put it down. An intriguing mystery that intertwined geology, fracking, and places in Colorado that I know well. Great fun.

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    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.

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    .. but I know somebody must be thinking about us because if they weren't we'd just disappear just like those Indians who used to climb the pueblos. Those Indians disappeared with food still cooking in the pot and air waiting to be breathed and they turned into birds or dust or the blue of the sky or the yellow of the sun. There they were and suddenly they were forgotten for just a second and for just a second nobody thought about them and then they were gone.

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    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!

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    Captain Bailey’s face went rigid as he stepped aside, revealing another bicorne-crowned officer just behind him. The gentleman joined their circle, probing Milly with his gaze. He was handsome, more so than the other two. The upward tilt of his chin, confident set to his shoulders, and seductive smile lifting one corner of his mouth sent a wave of disquiet through her middle. She’d met this sort before. The silver tassels on his epaulettes glimmered in the firelight and spoke of power, and she lowered her eyes, pointedly aware she didn’t belong here, surrounded by such important men, addressing them as if anything she said were worthy of their consideration. She sucked in a deliberate breath and drew back ever so slightly. Captain Bailey matched her move and slipped a hand to the back of her elbow. She suspected the touch was meant to be one of support. Instead, she felt trapped. “Miss Milly Wilkins, may I present Captain Jameson Collins?” Captain Bailey’s voice was clipped, and Milly feared he was beginning to see through the ruse. The sound of rattling chains stemmed from the shadows and her eyes darted toward it. Any minute these officers would realize she should be shackled as well. Could they see through the shadows of her hood to the pulse pounding in her neck?

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    But the effects were hidden, evident only in the sterility of their art, which continued to feed off the vitality of other cultures, and in the dissolution of their consciousness into dead objects: the plastic and neon, the concrete and steel. Hollow and lifeless as a witchery clay figure. And what little still remained to white people was shriveled like a seed hoarded too long, shrunken past its time, and split open now, to expose a fragile, pale leaf stem, perfectly formed and dead.

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    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.

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    Carleton took issue with Steck’s advocacy on behalf of Natives and embarked on a campaign with military leaders on Capitol Hill that eventually forced Steck out of his job.

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    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?

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    Children, language, lands: almost everything was stripped away, stolen when you weren’t looking because you were trying to stay alive. In the face of such loss, one thing our people could not surrender was the meaning of land. In the settler mind, land was property, real estate, capital, or natural resources. But to our people, it was everything: identity, the connection to our ancestors, the home of our nonhuman kinfolk, our pharmacy, our library, the source of all that sustained us. Our lands were where our responsibility to the world was enacted, sacred ground. It belonged to itself; it was a gift, not a commodity, so it could never be bought or sold. These are the meanings people took with them when they were forced from their ancient homelands to new places.

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    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.

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    Darkness within clouds the world without.

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    Do you and I allow light to chase darkness from our souls as well?

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    Cozy was a fun night by a fireplace with marshmallows. Cozy was a grandmother knitting Christmas sweaters. Cozy was new puppies in a litter. Cozy was not what he had in mind to do in that tent with Tes.

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    Each of the three cultures in New Mexico during the mid-1800s (Caucasian, Hispanic, and Native American) were actively involved in kidnapping each other. As competition and fighting occurred between the three races, cruelty and violence were rampant on all sides. Yet, some captives found kindness among their captors.

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    Fear still haunted Sunktokeca as he recalled the pair of blue eyes in a face of bleached bone.

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    From THE SPEED OF LIFE, Part III, Chapter "Running on empty." I put the Jeep in park and felt that odd sensation that comes over me when stuck in traffic. Instead of speeding along on its way to wherever it needs to be, my body – the heart pumping blood, the muscles in my shoulders contracting, the side of my head throbbing – sits there: a time-bomb of expectation. I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I wasn’t where I was. I was nowhere.

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    For every inch of skin, there is memory. Devils are so made. Saints, too, if you believe in them. His humanity has been broken as an old walking stick that once held up a crippled man named Thomas. He realizes the stick and the man are one thing and he can fall. He has violated the laws beneath the laws of men and countries, something deeper, the earth and the sea, the explosions of trees. He has to care again. He has to be water again, rock, earth with its new spring wildflowers and its beautiful, complex mosses.

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    For being so straight and sure, God’s path held quite the assortment of twists.

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    He came back to her lips and tasted them briefly before settling his forehead against hers. “I don’t care what Grayson or his legal document says,” he muttered between catches of wind. “God’s given you to me, and as soon as He allows, I’ll claim you as my own.” He spoke with such confidence that if she allowed herself, she could almost believe him. But with belief came hope, and with hope, the inevitability of pain. The knocking at the door resumed, more urgently this time. Along her throat, splotches of cool marked where he’d sampled her. Milly lamented that it was already warming. In heartbeats, all she would have was memories. And anguish. Could God truly fill the hollow Phillip would leave? Last night, His promise had filled her to the depths of her soul. It was enough. It would have to be. With his eyes locked on hers, Phillip’s hand trailed her cheek and throat. It brushed over her shoulder and down her arm. Then, in one blink, he wiped every emotion from his face, stunning her with the callous glaze of his eyes. He gripped her by the elbow, whisked her through the kitchen, and opened the door to her wretched future.

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    George Arthur, a tribal council delegate, spoke on behalf of the tribe. Arthur was a chairman, too, of the Navajo legislature's resources committee. . . ."Uranium mining and milling on and near the reservation has been a disaster for the Navajo people. The Department of the Interior has been in the pocket of the uranium industry, favoring its interest and breaching its trust duties to the Navajo mineral owners. We are still undergoing what appears to be a never-ending federal experiment to see how much devastation can be endured by a people and a society from exposure to radiation in the air, in the water, in mines and on the surface of the land. We are unwilling to be the subjects of that ongoing experiment any longer.

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    He carried her over the Owl Creek mountain range without stopping,” he said, quietly this time. “He carried her until he reached one of the hot springs around what became Chapin, and then he walked into the water with her and held her there for three days. He had about given up when she opened her eyes and whispered his name.

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    Her hope was to preserve what she called The Way, to keep it alive, for that future moment when the current obsession with excess and hierarchy imploded. Wilma said many Native people believed that the earth as a living organism would just one day shrug off the human species that was destroying it—and start over. In a less cataclysmic vision, humans would realize that we are killing our home and each other, and seek out The Way. That’s why Native people were guarding it.

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    He inhabited a gray winter fog on a distant elk mountain where hunters are lost indefinitely and their own bones mark the boundaries.

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    Go and be fish again.

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    He turned his attention towards the previous speaker and mumbled again in a language Violet could not understand. “It must be a sign from the Creator. The prophecy… it has come true.

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    Hopis have lived in America longer than anyone. We wanted to explore the concept of Earthly visitation through the eyes of people who have also witnessed the rapid evolution of modern culture. For us, their beliefs ring true on so many levels. Hopi prophecy speaks to the destiny of man...in a universe where we are not alone.

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    Hiking is like life... You can spend the whole trip just watching the trail ahead, worrying that you'll twist an ankle or fall. And then you miss all this.

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    I could see the bay in the distance and where the ship should have been. Instead we found a burnt mast protruding from the waves.

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    I have learned that the point of life's walk is not where or how far I move my feet but how I am moved in my heart. If I walk far but am angry toward others as I journey, I walk nowhere. If I conquer mountains but hold grudges against others as I climb, I conquer nothing. If I see much but regard others as enemies, I see no one.

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    I'd only seen Julius play a few times, but he had that gift, that grace, those fingers like a goddamn medicine man. One time, when the tribal school traveled to Spokane to play this white high school team, Julius scored sixty-seven points and the Indians won by forty. I didn't know they'd be riding horses," I heard the coach of the white team say when I was leaving. ... Hey," I asked Adrian. "Remember Silas Sirius?" Hell," Adrian said. "Do I remember? I was there when he grabbed that defensive rebound, took a step, and flew the length of the court, did a full spin in midair, and then dunked that fucking ball. And I don't mean it looked like he flew, or it was so beautiful it was almost like he flew. I mean, he flew, period." I laughed, slapped my legs, and knew that I believed Adrian's story more as it sounded less true. Shit," he continued. "And he didn't grow no wings. He just kicked his legs a little. Held that ball like a baby in his hand. And he was smiling. Really. Smiling when he flew. Smiling when he dunked it, smiling when he walked off the court and never came back. Hell, he was still smiling ten years after that.

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    I'm not an Indian warrior chief. I'm not some demure little Indian woman healer talking spider this, spider that, am I? I'm not babbling about the four directions. Or the two-legged, four-legged, and winged. I'm talking like a twentieth-century Indian woman. Hell, a twenty-first century Indian, and you can't handle it, you wimp.

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    Implicitly or explicitly, the rhythms of our lives, the movement from season to season, the patterns of the winds, and the pulse of the tides all depend on the apparent motions of the sun and moon and stars. Yet most modern urban dwellers are only dimly aware of the night sky ― the stars and their myriad forms. They are only slightly more aware of the phases of the moon or the motions of the sun. Even those who take the daily horoscope seriously generally have a very poor notion of its connection with astronomical phenomena.

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    I guess you hate the people most who make justifiable demands. Because they go to the heart of our psyche. We know they are right, and therefore, we have to destroy them if we can. I think a lot of people are really afraid of justifiable Indian claims to land and resources. They're most afraid of the fact that the claims are morally right, because when you are confronted with a moral imperative against an immoral imperative on your part, you've got to hate the people who assert that moral imperative...We hate them because their claims are totally justified--and we know it.

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    In our weeks of talk, movies and friendship, I watched as Wilma turned a medical ordeal into one more event in her life, but not its definition. I believe she was teaching me an intimate form of The Way. In her words: "Every day is a good day - because we are part of everything alive.