Native Village

WORDS FROM THE CIRCLE



**"With the arrival of the conquistadors began the extermination of 90 million natives of South America and destruction of all cultures on this side of the Atlantic. There is nothing to celebrate on [Columbus Day], unless you want to celebrate the death and cultural destruction of the conquest.” Marta Gordillo, Argentine

"We are, in many ways, a developing tribal nation. It is crucial to our ability to generate economic development that Hopi maintain an educated, skilled and healthy workforce. The young people today will be the tribal leaders of the future. They must be prepared to assume the mantle of responsibility. They must be able to run tribal enterprises. They must be able to run tribal governments One of these days a student graduate of First Mesa Elementary School may take my job."
Wayne Taylor, Jr., chairman of the Hopi Tribe

"It's a concern that we are losing touch with our past a bit, because our children don't realize just how much of our history is tied to cattle and ranching. All of us are proud to see them going on to college and doing well, but we do lose something."
Alan Huff, Seminole

"For a language to flourish it has to be used. That is the bottom line."
William Harjo Lone Fight

**"It is time to talk with our Brothers and Sisters of other nations, colors and beliefs. The ideas and philosophies of yesterday may be the key to the world family's future."
Edward Benton-Benai, Ojibwe

**"Grandfather says....you must not hurt anybody or do harm to anyone. You must not fight. Do right always. It will give you satisfaction in life." -
Wovoka, PAIUTE

"Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind, a watershed of thought, an ecosystem of spiritual possibilities."
Wade Davis, anthropologist

**"You cannot give away what you don't have. You need to give away what you have in order to keep it. Our Elders have lived their lives with a lot of trial and error. They have experienced how to do things good and they have experienced what didn't work for them as they grew old. They know things about living that we don't know. So, through the years the Elders have gained wisdom. They usually have a whole different point of view because of all their experiences. There are two ways to learn. Someone tells us what they did and we do the same thing or someone tells us what they did and we choose not to do it. Both of these paths will help us to live."
Shared by Usti Yona, Cherokee

"If we had retained the language like we should have, the family structure would still be strong, It lies within the language, within the culture."
Zona Moss, Arapaho

"We believe, we firmly do believe, that the language was a gift from our Creator. As such, it is sacred to us. Without it, we cannot exist in the manner the Creator intended for us." 
William C'Hair, Arapaho

"To me, the wisdom the Elders have to manifest is in teaching people how to live in harmony and balance with each other and the Earth."
Sun Bear, CHIPPEWA

**"We have to start securing our food-source areas. Right now, we look to the supermarkets for our water and our food, but in traditional times the ahupua'a was where everything was gathered, and right now our ahupua'a are being depleted and destroyed."
Mark Paikuli-Stride, Native Hawaiian

"We're so connected to the land and that's what kept our nations alive for thousands of year. Just in the past few hundred years we've lost it all, and now our people are all suffering and that's because all our land is taken away."
Lanakila Mangauil

**"The old people must start talking and the young people must start listening."
--Thomas Banyacya, HOPI

**"You are never too old to learn. At no time ever say, 'It's too late to learn,' not until the day you die."
Kimani Ng'ang'a. Swahili, 85-year old elementary student

**"I got my education from my culture. My teachers were my grandmothers, and I am really thankful for that."
Mary One Spot, Sarcee

**"What we have is because someone stood up before us.  What our Seventh Generation will have is a consequence of our actions today."
Winona LaDuke, Annishnabe

“What do we mean by ‘A Time for Truth’? Part of our truth is the disintegration of our moral fabric. We have a youth crisis with broken families, lack of tribal identity, abuse, racism, substance abuse, peer pressure and gangs.”
Robert DesJarlait

**“We can’t push things so fast; there’s no time to reflect. Our teaching is to stop, look and listen. Make sure you know who you are.”
Don Blackhawk, Ho-Chunk tribe

“Across all tribes, there is a belief that everything is a gift from the Creator. Our job is to find out what that gift is. Today, the elders are taking responsibility for what our youth are lacking — that’s the gift in [the Red Lake] tragedy.”
Barbara Bettelyoun

**“Our young people are pretty special people. Our blood flows through their bodies."
Carolyn Schommer, Upper Sioux


"We don't own the land; we belong to it. Father Sky is getting  mad at us. There are tornadoes and hurricanes, and it goes on and on." 
Joe Medicine Crow, Crow

“When you talk about the environment, it means people. Whatever tribes’ members are dying of, so are their neighbors."
Jim Sappier, Penobscot


**"I am going to venture that the man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures, and acknowledging unity with the universe of things, was infusing into his being the true essence of civilization."
Chief Luther Standing Bear - Lakota Sioux

** "To [Europeans] we were only human when it came to territory, land cessions and whose side you were on."
Susan Harjo, Cheyenne-Muscogee

**"We're proud of our culture and who we are. It is important to understand that your people didn't just fade out and not exist anymore. You get a little tired of hearing that you're extinct."
Quirina Luna-Costillas, Mustun

"Our environment has always been a priority in the minds of my people; therefore, I have established the philosophy that it is the youth of my generation who must take on this responsibility of ensuring the future."
Erika Chase, 17, Hoopa

"We have to be realistic about the history. [The Trail of Tears] was ethnic cleansing in America."
Brett Riggs

"As indigenous peoples we have the right to decide what happens in our territories and no development can happen without our prior informed consent."
Elder Irene Billy, Secwepemc Nation

“Canada is basically saying we a domesticated peoples. However, I argue that Canada actually is totally disrupting the national unity of indigenous peoples and the territorial integrity of our lands. Canada occupies our territory.”
Ska7cis Manuel, Secwepemc Nation

"It's the parents we need to talk with and to listen to. They know their kids better than any school ever will." 
Sidney Huntington, 91, Alaska Native

"The use of American Indian mascots as symbols in school and university athletic programs is particularly troubling. Schools and universities are places of learning. These mascots are teaching stereotypical, misleading and, too often, insulting images of American Indians. And these negative lessons are not just affecting American Indian students; they are sending the wrong message to all students.”
Ronald F. Levant, President, American Psychological Association

" Follow your dreams, believe in yourself and pursue a higher education."
Brooke Grant, 19, Hoopa

**"Learn what you can from your elders because they won’t always be around."
Mali:ya Juan, 18, Tohono O’odham

"Healthier youth for a healthier tomorrow. "
Candice Parker, 17, Comanche

"Enjoy life and become a positive leader for your community."
Reylynne Williams, 23, Akimel O’odham  (Pima)

"Be strong, be happy, and smile!"
Jolee Marie Isturis, 18, Tlingit and Haida

"Have as much faith in yourself as you do in your family and your people. "
Rebecca Payne, 22, Athabascan

**"Learn your language, traditions and bylaws so you can run your tribe someday."
Laila DeRouen, 22, Pomo

"Education, education, education! Alcohol and drug free is the way to be!"
Shaylene Marchand, 19. Confederated Tribes of Colville

**"A Sundance woman is like the morning star, filled with spiritual beauty, wisdom, and knowledge. Men and women are the most powerful of the polarities. We walk beside men as equal partners. It takes men and women who have respect and love for another to live within the embrace of Father Sky and Mother Earth/"
Dr. Henrietta Mann, SOUTHERN CHEYENNE

Words from the Circle p. 14 Words from the Circle p. 16

 

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