Friday, November 30, 2012

Sitting Bull - Teton Sioux Wisdom

                                                                  Sitting Bull  Above
                                                     Sitting Bull And Buffalo Bill  Above

When I was a boy, the Sioux owned the world. The sun rose and set in their land; they sent ten thousand men into battle.
Where are the warriors today? Who slew them? Where are our lands? Who owns them?
What white man can say I ever stole his land or a penny of his money? Yet they say I am a thief.
What white woman, however lonely, was ever captive or insulted by me? Yet they say I am a bad Indian.
What white man has ever seen me drunk ?
Who has ever come to me hungry and left me unfed ? Who has ever seen me beat my wives or abuse my children? What law have I broken?
Is it wrong of me to love my own? Is it wicked for me because my skin is red? Because I am a Sioux? Because I was born where my father lived? Because I would die for my people and my country?
Sitting Bull - Teton Sioux



If the Great Spirit has desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. He put in your heart certain wishes and plans; in my heart he put other and different desires.
Each man is good in the sight of the Great Spirit. It is not necessary for eagles to be crows. Now we are poor but we are free. No white man controls our footsteps. If we must die, we die defending our rights.
Sitting Bull - Teton Sioux


Doublehead - Creek Chief




On this land there is a great deal of timber, pine and oak, that are much use to the white man. They send it to foreign countries, and it brings them a great deal of money.
On the land there is much grass for cattle and horses, and much food for the hogs.
On this land there is a great deal of tobacco raised, which likewise brings much money. Even the streams are valuable to the white man, to grind the wheat and corn that grows on this land. The pine trees that are dead are valuable for tar.
All these things are lasting benefits. But if the Indians are given just a few goods for their lands, in one or two seasons those goods are all rotted and gone for nothing.
We are told that our lands are of no service to us, but still, if we hold our lands, there will always be a turkey, or a deer, or a fish in the streams for those young who will come after us.
We are afraid if we part with any more of our lands the white people will not let us keep as much as will be sufficient to bury our dead.
Doublehead - Creek Chief

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Geronimo's Song by Geronimo (Goyathlay)

Apache chief Geronimo (right) and his warriors in 1886

 

 O, ha le
O, ha le!
Awbizhaye
Shichl hadahiyago niniya
O, ha le
O, ha le
Tsago degi naleya
Ah--yu whi ye!
O, ha le
O, ha le!
O, ha le
O, ha le!
Through the air
I fly upon the air
Towards the sky, far, far, far,
O, ha le
O, ha le!
There to find the holy place,
Ah, now the change comes o're me!
O, ha le
O, ha le!\

 

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

What is a Warrior

A Warrior is the protector of
his family,clan and his tribe
A Warrior is the guardian of the
old ways so that they are not
forgotten
A Warrior is not motivated by
greed, political ambition or
fame
A Warrior will not put himself
above others in need
And above all
A Warrior is the living spirit of
our Grandfathers 
Mike Baker Aug 95

We Are Urban Indians

We Are Urban Indians
As an Indian I sing this song for you
Who feel like you're on your own
The Indians in cities may be very few
But I'm telling you, you're not alone
There are those of us who'd like to be
With a lot of others of our kind
And if nothing else, we'd like to see
Other Indians, 'cause we're hard to find!
We are Urban Indians
Far away from our tribal land
And as Urban Indians
We should form our very own inter-tribal band
Of urbanized Native Americans
Unknown
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We The First People

I'm proud to belong to one of the original clans
Whose Ancestors occupied all of these lands
Before we were "found" by some wandering seaman
Who knew just where he was and we became "Indian"
Talk to me of our victories, and I will listen
Tell me about our history, a tear will glisten
Stories of how life use to be, bring a rueful smile
Drums and flutes will find me dreaming all the while
In order to "save" us, they killed us
Our peaceful cultures were "dangerous"
And they thought they could just ravage us
But by fighting back, we became “savages”
Call us lazy indeed - we're not driven by their greed
To gather "materials" about them
But my question is
How did we exist
For hundreds of centuries without them?
-- Unknown


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TO WALK THE RED ROAD

Long road winding began in the stars,
spilled onto the mountain tops,
was carried in the snow to the streams,
to the rivers, to the ocean
It covers Canada, Alaska, America,
Mexico to Guatemala,
and keeps winding around
the indigenous.
~
The Red Road is a circle of people
standing hand in hand,
people in this world, people between
people in the Spirit world.
Star people, animal people, stone people,
river people, tree people
The Sacred Hoop.
~
To walk the Red Road
is to know sacrifice, suffering.
It is to understand humility.
It is the ability to stand naked before
the Creator in all things for your
wrong doings, for your lack of strength,
for your discompassionate way,
for your arrogance - because to walk
the Red Road, you always know
you can do better. And you know,
when you do good things,
it is through the Creator, and you
are grateful.
~
To walk the Red Road
is to know you stand on equal ground
with all living things.  It is to know that
because you were born human,
it gives you superiority over nothing.
It is to know that every creation carries
a Spirit, and the river knows more
than you do, the mountains know
more than you do, the stone people
know more than you do,
the trees know more than you do,
the wind is wiser than you are,
and animal people carry wisdom.
You can learn from every one of them,
because they have something you don't:
~
They are void of evil thoughts.
~
They wish vengeance on no one,
they seek Justice.
~
To Walk the Red Road,
you have God given rights,
you have the right to pray,
you have the right to dance,
you have the right to think,
you have the right to protect,
you have the right to know Mother,
you have the right to dream,
you have the right to vision,
you have the right to teach,
you have the right to learn,
you have a right to grieve,
you have a right to happiness,
you have the right to fix the wrongs,
you have the right to truth,
you have a right to the Spirit World.
~
To Walk the Red Road
is to know your Ancestors,
to call to them for assistance
It is to know that there is good medicine,
and there is bad medicine
It is to know that Evil exists,
but is cowardly as it is often in disguise.
It is to know there are evil spirits
who are in constant watch
for a way to gain strength for themselves
at the expense of you.
~
To Walk the Red Road,
you have less fear of being wrong,
because you know that life is a journey,
a continuous circle, a sacred hoop.
Mistakes will be made,
and mistakes can be corrected -
if you will be humble,
for if you cannot be humble,
you will never know
when you have made a mistake.
~
If you walk the Red Road,
you know that every sorrow
leads to a better understanding,
every horror cannot be explained,
but can offer growth.
~
To Walk the Red Road
is to look for beauty in all things.
~
To Walk the Red Road
is to know you will one day
cross to the Spirit World,
and you will not be afraid
Author Unknown


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Cherokee Angel

She has a burning
A yearning spiritual desire
Burns deep inside
Like flame of fire
A spiritual desire
That yearns to be free
To fly beyond rainbow sky's
Of native Cherokee
Her spirits arise
Her wings are formed
She's Cherokee angel
Most adored
Wings spread out
Far and beyond her native land
To gently touch
with guided hand
Cherokee angel I hear you
Far beyond forest floor
Cherokee angel
Guide us forever more
Click Here To See "Sacred Spirit - A-La-Ke - Native American Chant"


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COME ON THE TRAIL OF SONG

COME ON THE TRAIL OF SONG,
LEAVING NO FOOTPRINTS THERE
OVER THE RAINBOW BRIDGE
DOWN THE MOUNTAIN STAIR.
COME ON THE TRAIL OF SONG,
GODS OF THE NAVAJO,
OUT OF THE SKY-LAND
AND THE FIVE WORLDS BELOW.
EDA LOU WALTON


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Summer Rain

Father Sky is gray
As the new light appears
And the laughter of the birds is still
the clouds shed their tears
and the land drinks of this heavenly dew
puddles replace the dust
irresistible temptations for little feet
Turning my face to the sky
and feeling the gentleness of the mist
washing away my cares
filling my heart with happiness
Lifting my spirits
like the quenching of the crops
Raising my arms
I turn to the four winds
and give thanks for this
gentleSummer Rain.
Gerald Fisher
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The Trail of Tears

I look to the long road behind
My heart is heavy with my people's sorrow
Tears of grief I weep - for all that we have lost
As we march ever farther from the land of our birth
On the Trail of Tears
Mile after mile and day after day
Our people are fewer with each rising sun
Disease and starvation they take their terrible toll
And though we suffer still we march on
On the Trail of Tears
I watch my beloved weaken and fall
Upon the road like so many before
With tears in my eyes I hold my wife to my breast
And in my arms she breathes her last
On the Trail of Tears
Mile after mile and day after day
We march to a land promised us for all time
But I know that I can no longer go on
I know that is a land that I shall never see
On the Trail of Tears
As my body - it falls to embrace the earth
My spirit - it soars to greet the sky
With my dying breath am I finally set free
To begin the very long journey towards home
On the Trail of Tears
Brian Childers


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My Grandfather Is The Fire

My grandfather is the fire
My grandmother is the wind.
The Earth is my mother
The Great Spirit is my father
The World stopped at my birth
and laid itself at my feet
And I shall swallow the Earth whole when I die
and the Earth and I will be one
Hail The Great Spirit, my father
without him no one could exist
because there would be no will to live
Hail The Earth, my mother
without which no food could be grown
and so cause the will to live to starve
Hail the wind, my grandmother
for she brings loving, life-giving rain
nourishing us as she nourishes our crops
Hail the fire, my grandfather
for the light, the warmth, the comfort he brings
without which we be animals, not men
Hail my parent and grandparents
without which
not I
nor you
nor anyone else
could have existed
Life gives life
which gives unto itself
a promise of new life
Hail the Great Spirit, The Earth, the wind, the fire
praise my parents loudly
for they are your parents, too
Oh, Great Spirit, giver of my life
please accept this humble offering of prayer
this offering of praise
this honest reverence of my love for you.


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Two Renditions of the Native American's Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments, Version 11. The Earth is our Mother; care for Her
2. Honor all your relations.
3. Open your heart and soul to the Great Spirit.
4. All life is sacred; treat all beings with respect.
5. Take from the Earth what is needed and nothing more.
6. Do what needs to be done for the good of all.
7. Give constant thanks to the Great Spirit for each day.
8. Speak the truth but only for the good in others.
9. Follow the rythms of Nature.
10. Enjoy life's journey; but leave no tracks.

The Ten Commandments, Version 2

1. Treat the earth an all that dwell theron with respect
2. Remain close to the Great Spirit
3. Show great respect for your fellow beings
4. Work together for the benefit of all humankind
5. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed
6. Do what you know to be right
7. Look after the well-being of mind and body
8. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good
9. Be truthful and honest at all times
10. Take full responsibility for your actions



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Wounded Knee Story



After Sitting Bull's death, Big Foot feared for the safety of his band, which consisted in large part of widows of the Plains wars and their children. Big Foot himself had been placed on the list of "fomenters of disturbances," and his arrest had been ordered. He led his band toward Pine Ridge, hoping for the protection of Red Cloud. However, he fell ill from pneumonia on the trip and was forced to travel in the back of a wagon. As they neared Porcupine Creek on December 28, the band saw 4 troops of cavalry approaching. A white flag was immediately run up over Big Foot's wagon. When the two groups met, Big Foot raised up from his bed of blankets to greet Major Samuel Whitside of the Seventh Cavalry. His blankets were stained with blood and blood dripped from his nose as he spoke. Whitside informed him of his orders to take the band to their camp on Wounded Knee Creek. Big Foot replied that they were going that way, to Pine Ridge. The major wanted to disarm the Indians right then but was dissuaded by his scout John Shangreau, in order to avoid a fight on the spot. They agreed to wait to undertake this until they reached camp. Then, in a moment of sympathy, the major ordered his army ambulance brought forward to accept the ill Minneconjou chief, providing a warmer and more comfortable ride. They then proceeded toward the camp at Wounded Knee Creek, led by two cavalry troops with the other two troops bringing up the rear with their Hotchkiss guns. They reached the camp at twilight. At the camp, the Indians were carefully counted; there were 120 men and 230 women and children. Major Whitside decided to wait until morning to disarm the band. They were assigned a camp site just to the south of the cavalry camp, given rations, and provided with several tents as there was a shortage of tepee covers. A stove was provided for Big Foot's tent and the doctor was sent to give aid to the chief. To guarantee against escape from the camp, two troops of cavalry were posted around the Indian tents and the Hotchkiss guns were placed on the top of a rise overlooking the camp. The guns were aimed directly at the lodges. During the night the rest of the Seventh Cavalry marched in and set up north of Major Whitside's troops. Two more Hotchkiss guns were placed beside the two already aimed at the lodges. Colonel John Forsyth took over command of the operation and informed Major Whitside that he had orders to take the band to the railroad to be shipped to a military prison in Omaha. In the morning a bugle call awakened the camp and the men were told to come to the center of the camp for a talk. After the talk they would move to Pine Ridge. Big Foot was brought out and seated before his tent. The older men of the band gathered around him. Hardtack was issued for breakfast. Then the Indians were informed that they would be disarmed. They stacked their guns in the center, but the soldiers were not satisfied. The soldiers went through the tents, bringing out bundles and tearing them open, throwing knives, axes, and tent stakes into the pile. Then they ordered searches of the individual warriors. The Indians became very angry but only one spoke out, the medicine man, Yellow Bird. He danced a few steps of the Ghost Dance and chanted in Sioux, telling the Indians that the bullets would not hurt them, they would go right by. The search found only two rifles, one brand new, belonging to a young man named Black Coyote. He raised it over his head and cried out that he had spent much money for the rifle and that it belonged to him. Black Coyote was deaf and therefore did not respond promptly to the demands of the soldiers. He would have been convinced to put it down by the Sioux, but that option was not possible. He was grabbed by the soldiers and spun around. Then a shot was heard; its source is not clear but it began the killing. The only arms the Indians had were what they could grab from the pile. When the Hotchkiss guns opened up, shrapnel shredded the lodges, killing men, women and children, indiscriminately. They tried to run but were shot down "like buffalo," women and children alike. When the mass insanity of the soldiers ended, 153 dead were counted, including Big Foot; but many of the wounded had crawled off to die alone. One estimate place the final death toll at 350 Indian men, women and children. Twenty-five soldiers died and 39 were wounded, most by their own shrapnel and bullets. The wounded soldiers were started back to the Pine Ridge agency. Then a detail of soldiers went over the battlefield, gathering up any Indians that were still alive and placing them in wagons. As a blizzard was approaching, the dead were left where they had fallen. The wagons with the wounded arrived at Pine Ridge after dark. They contained only 4 Sioux men and 47 women and children. These people were left outside in wagons in the bitter cold while a search was made for housing for them. Finally the Episcopal mission was opened, the benches removed and hay scattered over the floor as bedding for the wounded Sioux. As they were brought in, those who were conscious could see the Christmas decorations hanging from the rafters. After the blizzard a burial party returned to the battlefield, they found the bodies including that of Big Foot, frozen into contorted shapes.
I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream . . . . the nation's hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead.
---- Black Elk


Legend of the White Buffalo Woman, Brule Sioux




The white buffalo woman disappeared over the horizon. Sometime she might come back. As soon as she vanished, buffalo in great herds appeared, allowing themselves to be killed so that the people might survive. And from that day on, our relations, the buffalo, furnished the people with everything they needed - meat for their food, skins for their clothes and tipis, bones for their many tools....Legend of the White Buffalo Woman, Brule Sioux


From the 1927 Grand Council of American Indians



"The white people, who are trying to make us over into their image, they want us to be what they call "assimilated," bringing the Indians into the mainstream and destroying our own way of life and our own cultural patterns. They believe we should be contented like those whose concept of happiness is materialistic and greedy, which is very different from our way.

We want freedom from the white man rather than to be integrated. We don't want any part of the establishment, we want to be free to raise our children in our religion, in our ways, to be able to hunt and fish and live in peace. We don't want power, we don't want to be congressmen, or bankers....we want to be ourselves. We want to have our heritage, because we are the owners of this land and because we belong here.
The white man says, there is freedom and justice for all. We have had "freedom and justice," and that is why we have been almost exterminated. We shall not forget this." …From the 1927 Grand Council of American Indians


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Where today are the Pequot?



"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.

"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!'" …Tecumseh (Shawnee)


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Mourning Dove



...... everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence.
…Mourning Dove (Salish) 1888-1936



Eagle Chief (Letakos-Lesa) Pawnee



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

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Black Elk (Oglala) 1863-1950




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....
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.
You have noticed that everything an 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) 1863-1950


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Native American Quotes



The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives....An Indian proverb

"I am a red man. If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. He put in your heart certain wishes and plans, in my heart he put other and different desires. Each man is good in his sight. It is not necessary for Eagles to be Crows. We are poor..but we are free. No white man controls our footsteps. If we must die...we die defending our rights."
...Sitting Bull Hunkpapa Lakota



"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." 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....Red Cloud



The whites were always trying to make the Indians give up their life and live like white men....If the Indians had tried to make the whites live like them, the whites would have resisted, and it was the same way with many Dakota....Wambdi Tanka (Big Eagle)

Treat The Earth Well, It Was Not Given To You By Your Parents,It Was Loaned To You By Your Children.
...ancient proverb

Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agreed, as you can all read the Book?...Sogoyewapha, "Red Jacket" - Senaca

When a white army battles Indians and wins, it is called a great victory, but if they lose it is called a massacre....Chiksika, Shawnee

We are now about to take our leave and kind farewell to our native land, the country the Great Spirit gave our Fathers, we are on the eve of leaving that country that gave us birth, it is with sorrow we are forced by the white man to quit the scenes of our childhood...we bid farewell to it and all we hold dear....Charles Hicks, Tsalagi (Cherokee) Vice Chief speaking of The Trail of Tears, Nov. 4, 1838

"We did not ask you white men to come here. The Great Spirit gave us this country as a home. You had yours. We did not interfere with you. The Great Spirit gave us plenty of land to live on, and buffalo, deer, antelope and other game. But you have come here, you are taking my land from me, you are killing off our game, so it is hard for us to live. Now, you tell us to work for a living, but the Great Spirit did not make us to work, but to live by hunting. You white men can work if you want to. We do not interfere with you, and again you say why do you not become civilized? We do not want your civilization! We would live as our fathers did, and their fathers before them."...Crazy Horse - Sioux

Native American Quotes

Think not forever of yourselves, O chiefs, nor of your own generation. Think of continuing generations of our families, think of our grandchildren and of those yet unborn, whose faces are coming from beneath the ground....Peacemaker, Founder of the Iroquois Confederacy (circa 1000 AD)

You have noticed that everything an 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... Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. 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 sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing. Our tepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle. The nation's hoop, a nest of many nests, where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children....Black Elk, Oglala Sioux Holy Man



My friend, I do not blame you for this. Had I listened to you this trouble would not have happened to me. I was not hostile to the white man....All we wanted was peace and to be left alone...I came here with the agent (Lee) to talk with Big White Chief, but was not given a chance. They tried to confine me, I tried to escape, and a soldier ran his bayonet into me. I have spoken....Crazy Horse's final words, Oglala Sioux



My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food; no one knows where they are - perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me my chiefs. I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever....Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

Brothers, we must be united; we must smoke the same pipe; we must fight each other's battles; and more than all, we must love the Great Spirit....Tecumseh, Shawnee

Will you ever begin to understand the meaning of the soil beneath your very feet? From a grain of sand to a great mountain, all is sacred. Yesterday and tomorrow exist eternally upon this continent. We natives are the guardians of this sacred place....Peter Blue Cloud, Mohawk

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




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Native American Quotes

"A Nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. Then it is done, no matter how brave its warriors nor how strong its weapons."...Cheyenne

"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, Blackfoot warrior and orator

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 (Bedagi) Wabanaki Algonquin

All birds, even those of the same species, are not alike, and it is the same with animals and with human beings. The reason WakanTanka 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 Lakota

"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

When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home. ...Chief Aupumut, Mohican (1725)

Chief Joseph, Nez Perce





Our fathers gave us many laws which they had learned from their fathers. They told us to treat all men as they treated us. That we should never be the first to break a bargain. That it was a disgrace to tell a lie. That we should speak only the truth. We were taught to believe that the Great Spirit sees and hears everything and that he never forgets. This I believe and all my people believe the same.
...Thunder Rolling in the Mountains-Chief Joseph, Nez Perce


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Laws





Our fathers gave us many laws which they had learned from their fathers. They told us to treat all men as they treated us. That we should never be the first to break a bargain. That it was a disgrace to tell a lie. That we should speak only the truth. We were taught to believe that the Great Spirit sees and hears everything and that he never forgets. This I believe and all my people believe the same.
...Thunder Rolling in the Mountains-Chief Joseph, Nez Perce



A Sioux Prayer, Translated by Chief Yellow Lark – 1887



Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds
Whose breath gives life to the world, hear me
I come to you as one of your many children
I am small and weak
I need your strength and wisdom
May I walk in beauty
Make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
And my ears sharp to your voice.
Make me wise so that I may know the things you have taught your children.
The lessons you have written in every leaf and rock
Make me strong--------!
Not to be superior to my brothers, but to fight my greatest
enemy....myself
Make me ever ready to come to you with straight eyes,
So that when life fades as the fading sunset,
May my spirit come to you without shame.
…A Sioux Prayer, Translated by Chief Yellow Lark – 1887


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Chief Arvol Looking Horse


Each of us 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?
...Chief Arvol Looking Horse

Crazy Horse Story of a Brave Sioux Leader

Crazy Horse
Story of a Brave Sioux Leader

A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky ... 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 left alone. Soldiers came and destroyed our villages. Then Long Hair (Custer) came...They say 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.
…Crazy Horse, as remembered by Charles A. Eastman. Crazy Horse, Tashunkewitko of the western Sioux, was born about 1845. Killed at Fort Robinson, Nebraska in 1877, he lived barely 33 years.


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Once We Walked The Earth

"Once we walked the earth and our bodies were strong. Once we started each day with deep breaths and grateful thanks for all around us.
Once we used the medicines, prayers, and ceremonies that cured any sickness we had ... now it's different.
We climb an unknown mountain searching for fresh air.
We walk among an earth disrespected.
We look for plants to heal our weakened bodies, the plants are polluted and dying as we are.
We use what is left of our ceremonies to try to catch out breath. We are suffocated.
Our Creator breathed life into us ... he has a message: "For that which was taken from us will be returned sevenfold."
Our sacred breath - it's time to take it back."
…Nancy Rac, Jicarrila Apache



WE THE FIRST PEOPLE

I'm proud to belong to one of the original clans
Whose Ancestors occupied all of these lands
Before we were "found" by some wandering seaman
Who knew just where he was and we became "Indian"

Talk to me of our victories, and I will listen
Tell me about our history, a tear will glisten
Stories of how life use to be, bring a rueful smile
Drums and flutes will find me dreaming all the while

In order to "save" us, they killed us
Our peaceful cultures were "dangerous"
And they thought they could just ravage us
But by fighting back, we became "savages"

Call us lazy indeed - we're not driven by their greed
To gather "materials" about them
But my question is
How did we exist
For hundreds of centuries without them?

A PRAYER FOR GUIDANCE



Great Spirit of us all you have made my body strong,
Please fill me with your wisdom so I'll know right from wrong.
Let me see myself as others also see me,
So I'll know if my character agrees, with how you say it should be.
Let me be slow to anger yet so quickly to forgive,
Grant me patience oh Great Spirit so happier my life I can live.
Teach me fairness so honor I can bring to you,
So with fairness you will judge my life when my days are finally through.
When war must be waged give us the strength and courage of the bear,
The cunning and endurance of the Wolf we can push our enemies back to their lair.

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WE MUST LISTEN

When we were young we listened to the one who gave us birth,
Yet all through our life we must listen to Mother Earth.

For that is how we will learn the secret she is willing to share,
All the responsibility Mother Earth expects us to bear.

Let us look through all creatures' eyes to be able to see their daily needs,
To marvel at how Mother Earth all creatures each day she feeds.

Teach us to watch and learn the wonders that Nature has in store,
To realize the poisons of mankind, upon Mother Earth must cease to pour.

When we were young we listened to the one who gave us birth,
Yet all through our life we must listen to Mother Earth.

For that is how we will learn the secret she is willing to share,
All the responsibility Mother Earth expects us to bear.

Let us look through all creatures' eyes to be able to see their daily needs,
To marvel at how Mother Earth all creatures each day she feeds.

Teach us to watch and learn the wonders that Nature has in store,
To realize the poisons of mankind, upon Mother Earth must cease to pour.