Native Village

WORDS FROM THE CIRCLE


"Outside control has never worked. The tribal movement has a lot of complexity to it. But it's one of the most important social economic movements in post-World War II America, and they have the right to have that story told."
Charles Wilkinson

"The federal government has continually reneged on its trust and moral obligations to meet the educational, healthcare and housing needs of Indians and these needs far outweigh the imperceptible contribution that the proposed [2006 budget] cuts will make to reducing the deficit."
Senator John McCain, R-AZ.

"The American Indian has only one country to defend, and when you're picked on, the American Indian never turns his back.”
Ernest Childers, Creek, WWII Medal of Honor Winner

**"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


**“I believe the future is going to be an exercise of observing history more carefully and critically, of revising and of questioning.”
— Ángel Aníbal López

"We are the natural nurturers of the Earth Mother. The Earth Mother needs our help, she needs our prayers. We need to educate the women of the world that prayer works."
Agnes Baker-Pilgrim, Takelma

**“I have my community. Not to say that it is a developed community, but it is true that we all live like the five fingers in a hand, which know how to join with each other.”
Panchito Ramírez

“I like peace, not violence. The people see that, and perhaps that is why they respect me. . . . If we are human beings, then we have to help each other . . . if we celebrate the spirits, same with the saints or with the Mother Earth, with the Father Sun, who is also sacred.”
Panchito Ramírez

"Dear Sir, It is with a feeling of sorrow that I write you telling of the death of your daughter, Lizzie. She was sick but a short time and we did not think her so near her end. Last Wednesday I was called away to Minneapolis and I was very much surprised upon my return Saturday evening to find she was dead, as they had given us no information except she might live for a number of months. Those that were with her say she did not suffer, but passed away as one asleep. I am very sorry that you could not have seen your daughter alive, for she had grown quite a little and improved very much since you let her come here with me. If we had known she was going to live but so short a time, we would have made a great effort to have gotten you here before she died. " Superintendent of Flandreau Indian School to the father of a student who died of tuberculosis in a government boarding school in 1907
http://www.counterpunch.org/child04062005.html

''We want to preserve the beauty we walk in for the seventh generation, for the unborn to be able to walk in beauty and have clean air and good water." Agnes Baker-Pilgrim, Takelma

** “The sunbeam, the road of light, says, ‘Go, do something. Raise and do your work. Do all the things that you must do.’ ”
Sam Benally, Navajo

“Take care of your mind. Watch your words, they are really powerful. Same with your bodies. Take care of yourself. You are very powerful.”
Sam Benally, Navajo

**“Don’t go back. You have to go forward."
Sam Benally, Navajo

**“Sit on Mother Earth, like a child in a mother’s lap. We are made from her, Mother Earth. No matter what tribe or nation, we are from the earth and we will be coming part of her again.”
Sam Benally, Navajo

**“It’s important to not just be involved in your culture and what goes on in your world. It’s good to see other cultures and what you’re not used to."
Shawna Gutierrez, 15

“It’s important to experience other cultures and learn what they do.”
Stephanie Nagl, 15

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves  me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country.    As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed." 
President Abraham Lincoln, 1865

**"We are INDIGENOUS to this land. We didn't come from China, Mongolia, Ireland or Greece.  We traveled around yes, and met other cultures and peoples, but get this:  we are indigenous "native to these lands." Although it's hard for Eurocentric Americans or Europeans to accept this, our cultures and languages are home grown. The Catholic missionaries and [those] who came over from Spain to steal and plunder couldn't--and--wouldn't believe that indigenous peoples could create a "civilization" more advanced that that in Europe at the time, so they began the process of looking to Europe for the source of inspiration for Indigenous culture here on Turtle Island."
Tom Dostou, Makwa, Midewin Society

" It’s time for us to reach out to everyone, even those who might seem to be ‘different,’”
Dan Terrio, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans

**"Regardless of where we fit in, we need to be proud of our people."
Harry James. Sr. Navajo

"The American Indian has only one country to defend, and when you're picked on, the American Indian never turns his back.”
Ernest Childers, Creek, WWII Medal of Honor Winner

"Whoever designed [NCLB] wasn't thinking anything about the history of Indian education. We feel an effective education is one that's defined primarily by the goals of the community. But [education in the US] is still a strongly assimilative system ... and in my opinion, No Child Left Behind is just another one of those roadblocks."
Denis Viri, Arizona State University's Center for Indian Education.

"Together we can end the Holocaust against the environment."
-
Haida Gwaiil Traditional Circle of Elders

''We need to enlighten people and tell the world leaders there has to be a better way. If we allow the animal kingdom to disappear, at the rapid rate it is disappearing, then we are killing ourselves faster than we think."
Agnes Baker-Pilgrim, Takelma

**"We can help to shape our future. Don't let the negativity influence you or take away the goodness that exists in each one of us."
Douglas Blue Feather

**"Generations have struggled to learn, despite efforts to eliminate our traditions and language. Having a strong sense of yourself and your community is a great foundation for learning."
Agnes Chavis, Lumbee

**"As a Native American youth you need to be successful in both worlds. That means you need to be successful in keeping our culture alive and you also need to be successful in the Western way of living. That means going to college and coming back to help."
Tasha Norton, Hupa, Yurok and Karuk

**"I want you to remember two things: keep learning and help others."
Karen Swisher, President, Haskell Indian Nations University

"Language is a living being. We (use it to) communicate with other nations, the coyote nation, the eagle and bear."
Albert White Hat, Rosebud Sioux

**"Education is the first step in how we overcome poverty."
Maynard Dupris, Cheyenne

** "How do you embrace an unknown future? By education. We can make a change in our little world."
Mike Jackson, Sr., Quechan

"Receiving your degree reflects a new beginning in your life – a life blessed with happiness, a strong intellect, self-discipline and many riches. I know about the unique challenges a Navajo college student must face when in school, such as homesickness, lack of money or strenuous academic competition. During your graduation ceremony, reflect back on the personal struggles you and your family have overcome to get to where you are today and the strength you are blessed with to overcome future endeavors. Remember your parents, relatives and friends who encouraged and supported you with their prayers. Remember and thank your role models and those who positively influenced your life. Listen and think about your elders' teachings that being blessed with richness is not based on your salary or how many vehicles you own."
Leonard Chee, Navajo

**"By supporting our youth, we planted the seeds of hope for future generations."
Patrick Murphy, Pechanga

''We want to preserve the beauty we walk in for the seventh generation, for the unborn to be able to walk in beauty and have clean air and good water."
Agnes Baker-Pilgrim, Takelma

"A lot of people think of us as bingo and casinos and smoke shops, but that's our income, not who we are as people."
Tina Osceola, Seminole

**''We all have sacred places within ourselves and wherever we might be.''
Mona Polacca, Hopi/Tewa/Havasupai

"Without the language and without the children learning it, it is going to evaporate. And if we don't have a setting where children can learn their language, they are eventually going to lose it."
Sonia Kinequon, Cree

"We start small like an acorn, with a limited education. Then we grow roots and our knowledge develops over time. As graduates, we are ready to spread our knowledge."
Elaina and Nisha Supahan,
Karuk

** "Every time we carry an eagle feather, that's sovereignty. Every time we pick berries, that's sovereignty. Every time we dig roots ... that's sovereignty."
Billy Frank, Jr.

**"...We can learn from each other, but researchers need to recognize they are students of our culture; we are the teachers, not the other way around, I think we need to speak for ourselves. Vine Deloria Jr. was the one who really made this point decades ago, and we still have a lot of work to do.''
Karenne Wood, Monacan

''Now the government wants our reservation land, our First Nations land, for garbage dumps. Years ago, smallpox blankets were given to my people to kill them off. Now they are sending garbage and toxic waste to be dumped on our reservations."
Agnes Baker-Pilgrim, Takelma

Words from the Circle p.13 Words from the Circle p.15

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