WORDS FROM THE CIRCLE
"Many times as Indian people, we never think we can realize our dreams.
Every one of you is important to the Indian people."
Dave Anderson, Ojibwa
*"Don't ever make fun of each other. Don't ever put down another Indian person. In this world, we have enough people outside to put us down. We can change that, and the change will come with you young people that are here today." Dave Anderson, Ojibwa
"In about half of the competitive Senate races, Native Americans are going to be highly courted. I think that Republicans and Democrats alike believe this is going to be a major priority." David Magleby, Brigham Young University
*"Tribal libraries now serve as the educational hub of the reservations. They're just absolutely critical." Bonnie Biggs
"We dance for those that cannot dance. It's like a healing." Malcolm Murphy, 12
"Our misery began when the whites invaded our land... They invaded our lands and bought them. How can land be bought and sold? We don't understand this idea. Every inch of this land is sacred to the Ayoreo." Ayoreo Indians, Paraguay
'Please do not touch the forest, because it gives us life. Please stop the bulldozers." Ayoreo Indians, Paraguay
**"Standardized tests are great for standard kids. But our kids aren't standard kids. They don't live in standard American homes." Darryl Kipp
"We have to make knowledge important, make indigenous ideas and culture useful to society. We have to present it with integrity." Simon Ortiz
*"Man is the architect of his own destiny; I designed mine and I have lived it." Albina Cruces Vazquez, 101
"'Losing the language means losing the culture. We need to know who we are because it makes a difference in who our children are." Dottie LeBeau,
"The Inuit are facing the beginning of a possible end of a way of life that has allowed us to thrive for millennia because of climate changes caused by global warming. It is predicted that in some 50 years, polar bears, walrus and some species of seals will be pushed to extinction. What will be left of our culture if this comes to pass?" Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Inuit
"In Alaska, the beaches are slumping so much, people are having to move houses. In Tuktoyaktuk, the land is starting to go under water. The glaciers are melting and the permafrost is melting. There are new species of birds and fish and insects showing up. The Arctic is a barometer for the health of the world. If you want to know how healthy the world is, come to the Arctic and feel its pulse." Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Inuit
"I want to help my people however I can. I think that’s why I’m here today working for our elders. They’re the key to our culture surviving, and have taught me so much. It’s only right that I do what I can to better their lives." Jennifer Sutherland, Gros Ventre/Ojibway
"We love the Great Spirit--we acknowledge his supreme power--our peace, our health, and our happiness depend upon him." PETALESHARO PAWNEE
**"Each person's prayers can help everyone." Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
"One word could have a thousand meanings. It is coming directly from the heart. When you do it in your own language there is a feeling you are conveying that is much stronger than using the English language." Muriel Scott, Hopi
**"From this day forward I have made my choice. I will lead, not follow. I will create, not destroy. I will make a difference. I am a leader." Dave Anderson
**"We have to pick things that our people have left along the trail. Everything wasn't passed down. Too many of our people died too quick back then. They didn't have time to pass it all down. So we Indians today have to go back and find the things that got left along the trail. It's up to us to go back and pick them up. We have to educate ourselves to know who we are. That's what I mean when I say, 'Teach the children.' The Grandfathers and Grandmothers are in the children. If we educate them right, our children tomorrow will be wiser than we are today. They're the Grandfathers and Grandmothers of tomorrow." Eddie Benton-Banai, Ojibwe
"[Sovereignty is] the nearest and dearest, No. 1 issue in Indian Country. It's not something that was given to us. As tribes, we see sovereignty as something we've always had." Jacqueline Johnson, executive director, National Congress of American Indians
"Cultural competence is the ability to communicate, live, learn and work in cross-cultural situations. It’s important to have respect for differences, an eagerness to learn and a willingness to accept there are many ways of viewing the world." Terry Bergeson
"You have to learn discipline before you can become a leader." A.J. Felix,
"... I come from the knowledge that nothing is ever lost. It just goes into the belly of Earth Mother for a time." Ka`chi Lobo Golden, Acjachemen
"Computers, video cameras and recorders can't save languages; only people can do that. But technology can support revitalization efforts." Susan Penfield from the University of Arizona
"Indians living close to nature and nature's ruler are not living in darkness."
--Walking Buffalo, STONEY
"The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power...The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing..."
--Luther Standing Bear, OGLALA SIOUX
“We want them to have the good life that we lived in the past. We’re trying to bring traditional Inuit knowledge to the youth for the main reason that we want them to know the difference between right and wrong. The youth today don’t seem to know that anymore.” Joanasie Arreak, Inuit
“[Elders] are being lost in the modern world. They are worried about the future of youth and where they’re going...” Joanasie Arreak, Inuit
"(American Indians) are victims of change. We must be architects of our destiny rather than victims of change." Dave Anderson, Choctaw, Chippewa
"Find something you love to do and be passionate about it." Dave Anderson, Choctaw, Chippewa
*"We need you as leaders, as sober people that are clear in mind, clear in spirit and in heart." Dave Anderson, Choctaw, Chippewa
“We don’t just want our kids to pass tests, we want them to become caring and responsible adults.” Dr. Aluli Meyer, Hawaiian Native.
**"Don't undermine yourself. And make sure your essence touches everybody." Leandra Bitsie
"Right now, we have to fight to maintain our traditions. The world won't be the same for our children and grandchildren, so we have to hold on to what we have as long as we can," Kuiussi, chief of the Suya Indians.
"One of the things the old people taught me about the spirits was to never have a doubt."
--Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA
+"People around the world have said this education is a difficult task. You have accomplished it, and you have made an achievement. Now, take this new knowledge and do good things for society." Dakota honor song
"Humility is probably the most difficult virtue to realize." --Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
"Love is something you and I must have. We must have it because our spirit feeds upon it. We must have it because without it we become weak and faint. Without love our self-esteem weakens. Without it our courage fails. Without love we can no longer look confidently at the world. We turn inward and begin to feed upon our own personalities, and little by little we destroy it ourselves. With it we are creative. With it we march tirelessly. With it and with it alone, we are able to sacrifice for others." - Chief Dan George
"Sovereignty isn't a privilege someone gives you. It's a responsibility you carry inside yourself. In order for my people to achieve sovereignty, each man and woman among us has to be sovereign. Sovereignty begins within yourself." Eddie Benton-Banai,Ojibway
"We have to pick things that our people have left along the trail. Everything wasn't passed down. Too many of our people died too quick back then. They didn't have time to pass it all down. So we Indians today have to go back and find the things that got left along the trail. It's up to us to go back and pick them up. We have to educate ourselves to know who we are. That's what I mean when I say, 'Teach the children.' The Grandfathers and Grandmothers are in the children. If we educate them right, our children tomorrow will be wiser than we are today. They're the Grandfathers and Grandmothers of tomorrow." Eddie Benton-Banai,Ojibway
** "Native Americans really need to be portrayed as they are and not as Hollywood thinks they should be." Jo Hawk-Sanders, Sioux
**"There are all sorts of possibilities out there if you are determined and willing to really work for them." Keith Bucktrot, Creek/Euchee
"Iraq is simply a replay of American foreign policy towards Indians of the 1780s forward. Invade them and when they resist label them terrorists - Indians used to be "hostiles." Vine Deloria, Standing Rock Sioux
"Listen, Respect, Participate and Be Safe." Angelo Baca
The difference between pride and humility is.....Pride is who is right. Humility is what is right."
"Not only were we the first people here, but we're still here. This is our land. It was our land before Columbus came and we defend it to defend our way of life." Vicky Whitewolf- Marsh
"We can make the journey between the heart and the mind closer by talking about how we feel." Arnold Thomas, Shoshone-Paiute
"You're going to be our future leaders. How you handle leadership is going to show people how you are as a person." Chance Rush, Hidatsa
**"We've been through Wounded Knee. We've been through the Little Bighorn. We're still standing. We're still standing." Chance Rush, Hidatsa
"You've got a purpose. You're alive for a reason. Don't give up."Arnold Thomas, Shoshone-Paiute +
“ It’s a crime that the government spends more money for health care for prisoners than it does for Native Americans. ” Gary Gordon
“No matter where you go you’re always going to have diversity. I want to improve it. No, I will improve it.” Ashley Lone Wolf, 18
''We're not close to the Creator any more with the land and the water where our food grows naturally. That's what scares me, because our children aren't taking to the salmon and roots and berries like they should. They eat McDonald's and Safeway and then the alcohol and drugs take over." Suzie Slockish, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
Words from the Circle p.11Words from the Circle p.13
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