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Native American Quotations, Sayings, and Thoughts


Sunflower by elan and Pat


O'siyo Oginalii



Hello Friends





Wakan Tankan Nici Un

(May the Great Spirit walk with you)



Yigaquu osaniyu adanvto adadoligi nigohilvi nasquv utloyasdi nihi

May the Great Spirit's Blessings Always Be With You


(Cherokee) Afrika

Ho! Mitakuye Oyasin

"We Are All Related"



Ea Nigada Qusdi Idadadvhn

"All My Relations In Creation"



Trouble no one about their religion;

respect others in their view and demand that they respect yours.

~Chief Tecumseh~



"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 ~



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~



"Lose your temper and you lose a friend; lie and you lose yourself."

~Hopi ~



"We who are clay blended by the Master Potter, come from the kiln of Creation in many hues. How can people say one skin is colored, when each has its own coloration? What should it matter that one bowl is dark and the other pale, if each is of good design and serves its purpose well."

~Polingaysi Qoyawayma, Hopi ~




"There is no such thing as 'part-Cherokee.' Either you're Cherokee or you're not.

It isn't the quantity of Cherokee blood in your veins that is important, but the quality of

it . . . your pride in it. I have seen full-bloods who have virtually no idea of the great

legacy entrusted to their care. Yet, I have seen people with as little as 1/500th blood

quantum who inspire the spirits of their ancestors because they make being Cherokee a

proud part of a their everyday life."

 ~Jim Pell: Principal Chief of the North Alabama Cherokee Tribe ~





This quote is taken off the Memorial Wall dedicated to the Women and Men who lost their lives to the Salem Witch hunt mania of the 17th century.

 I know it is not a Native American oriented quote, but in the air of potential "witch hunts" going on today, spurred on by some christian fundamentalists trying to ban non-christian worshipping on military bases and elsewhere, I thought it was appropriate. If they get their way, not only will Pagans and Wiccans suffer, but Native Americans following their own paths, and Muslims, and Jews, etc., until no one is left...



My Face


My face is a mask I order to say nothing

About the fragile feelings hiding in my soul.


-Glenn Lazore (Mohawk)

Words of Wisdom



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



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)


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



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.


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



...... 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


"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."






... 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)




"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)



"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



"The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. It is the blood of our ancestors."



Chief Plenty Coups (Crow)



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



-Black Hawk (Sauk)



"There are many things to be shared with the Four Colors of humanity in our common destiny as one with our Mother the Earth. It is this sharing that must be considered with great care by the Elders and the medicine people who carry the Sacred Trusts, so that no harm may come to people through ignorance and misuse of these powerful forces."



-Resolution of the Fifth Annual Meetings of the Traditional Elders Circle, 1980




"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!


"I would have been better pleased if you had never made such promises than that you should have made them and not performed them. . ."



-Shinguaconse ("Little Pine")




"When we Indians kill meat, we eat it all up. When we dig roots, we make little holes. When we build houses, we make little holes. When we burn grass for grasshoppers, we don't ruin things. We shake down acorns and pine nuts. We don't chop down the trees. We only use dead wood. But the white people plow up the ground, pull down the trees, kill everything. ... the White people pay no attention. ...How can the spirit of the earth like the White man? ... everywhere the White man has touched it, it is sore."



-Wintu Woman, 19th Century



"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

The Sacred Tree





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 1818-1863)



The promise Creator gives us

Comes with every new day,

The gift of breath, the gift of life,

Opportunities in a vast array.

How do we count our blessings,

Through the choices life can bring?

Is it through joyful lessons?

Or the fears to which we cling?

Are we learning to show gratitude,

For the victories over human pain?

By honoring the feeling choices,

We grasp the will we've regained.

Can we change our focus,

With no need to defend?

Acknowledging joy and sorrow,

Without judging foe or friend?

Tomorrow promises the fullness

Of every human way to know:

How we master each challenge

Determines our balance -

reflecting how we grow.


The Promise of Tomorrow

Jamie Sams

"Earth Medicine"



Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. 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 all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.


And I say the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy...


But anywhere is the center of the world.


Black Elk

Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux




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)1844-1891


"If today I had a young mind to direct, to start on the journey of life, and I was faced with the duty of choosing between the natural way of my forefathers and that of the... present way of civilization, I would, for its welfare, unhesitatingly set that child's feet in the path of my forefathers. I would raise him to be an Indian!"


"We learned to be patient observers like the owl. We learned cleverness from the crow, and courage from the jay, who will attack an owl ten times its size to drive it off its territory. But above all of them ranked the chickadee because of its indomitable spirit."



-Tom Brown, Jr., The Tracker



It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting in your heart's longing.


It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.


It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.


I want to know if you can sit in pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.


I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own,if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tip of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.


It doesn't interest me if the story you're telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.


I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.


I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day, and if you can source your life from God's presence.


I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"


It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.


I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.


It doesn't interest me who you are, how you came to be here.


I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.


It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.


I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.


I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.


The Invitation

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

(A Native American Elder)


Stone People medicine:


Carnelian- is a translucent to clear waxy form of quartz, it is flesh colored, or red, orange, or reddish-brown. It is the stone of integrity & a symbol of the strength & beauty of the earth. Carnelian is attributed with the ability to stimulate & to stir into action. It softens anger & disperses strife. It promotes contentment, thus it is a good stone to wear. Carnelian helps a person to develop self-control. It is a stone of blood ties & family unity since it's primary attribute is to strengthen. Ancient people accredited carnelian with currative powers & it was used in general healing.

Resource: Earth Medicine by Kenneth Meadows



The Stone People (Rocks) are the Eldest living beings on Mother Earth, therefore are deserving of the utmost respect. I have been taught that they serve the role of record-keepers. It was also explained to me that Great Mystery breathed it's breath into each & every stone thus granting them all unique & valuable gifts & lessons to bestow upon earth's other creatures.




When you were born you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life

in such a manner that when you die, the world cried and you rejoice.

MPEG files of élan's music are now available at Music Freedom

full-length CD versions - check them out!

Wind Walker, Seer, Through Eagle Eyes, Mystic Waters, Through the Healing Door, Distant Realms, Journey of the Ancients, and Afrika CDs are now available at




  Windwalker-My Native America

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