Quotes by Grandmother Mona Polacca
at the nature, Look at the water, look at this air, look at this fire -- the
sun, even. Look at
"There was once a time as indigenous people when we didn't have any maps or road signs, yet we were able to make our way. We were able to journey. We had the sacred fire so that when there was a moment when we felt we lost our sense of direction, when we were lost and disoriented, not knowing which direction to go, we would sit down before this Grandpa Fire. In poor health physically, mentally, spiritually, we would sit down before Grandpa Fire and say our prayers. In that way we would be shown the direction we needed to go, the things we needed to do. We would be given the signs through Grandfather Fire. Our hearts would be filled with warmth love, and compassion. That's the way this Grandfather Fire is. Always respect it, always look to it, let it be there to help you."
"When I come back into my home, I receive the welcome of my grandmother looking at me. Though I've never met her, I have this connection with her."
"You know, there is something really special about this. Nonnatives so often build a huge bonfire, so big that everyone has to stand back. Natives build a small fire, so that everyone has to come close."
"The youth learn these ways are accessible, not meant to be just seen under glass in a museum where you can only stand and look. Their hands can hold the traditional ways. It's not just our history, but an essential part of our life today."
“My elders said, ‘Know where your water comes from. Know your fire. Know where you are going to find your food.’” Grandmother Mona Polacca, Hopi/Havasupai
"You are not here just for yourself," Grandmother Mona's mother taught her. "Wherever you go, you are a representative of our family ... our tribe, our people."
"Indigenous people have come through a time of great struggle, a time of darkness. The way I look at it is like the nature of a butterfly. In the cocoon, a place of darkness, the creature breaks down into a fluid and then a change, a transformation, takes place. When it is ready and in its own time, it begins to move and develop a form that stretches and breaks away from this cocoon and emerges into this world, into life, as a beautiful creature. We grandmothers, we have emerged from that darkness, see this beauty, see each other and reach out to the world with open arms, with love, hope, compassion, faith and charity."
"We're in a time of many alarming events and life crises that involve the basic elements of life: water, earth, sun, fire and earth--the foundations of life are our concern."
"Leadership is the highest
spiritual calling, and as leaders, the starting point begins with you - managing
your whole self - by utilizing the spirit that lies within your identity and the
strength of your culture."
Grandmother Mona PolaccaNative Village Home Page