WORDS FROM THE CIRCLE
**"Hear me people: We now have to deal with another race--- small and feeble when our fathers first met them, but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possessions is a disease with them. These people have made many rules which the rich may break but the poor may not. They take their tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule." Chief Sitting Bull
" A woman may not seem traditional to some, but in the traditional Lakota teachings I grew up with, you are required to do what you can with what you have. That's been my whole life." Cecelia Fire Thunder, Tribal Chairman, Oglala Sioux
"I remember people saying that I wasn't — quote, unquote — chief material. If we elect a woman," Ms. Mankiller remembered one man saying, "we'll be the laughing stock of all tribes." Wilma Mankiller, former Tribal Chairman of the Cherokee People.
"What I know is that once you see other women [as tribal leaders], you have different dreams for yourself and that perpetuates more women leaders." Susan M. Masten, Yurok Tribal Chairman.
"We've become less traditional, and I'm part of that, and that is a tough thing for me to say. I'm a modern leader in a modern government, and that is good and bad. How does somebody like myself ensure that my leadership works to protect the traditions that are so sacred to us — and that may not have included a woman in this role?" Rebecca Miles, Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee
**"[Your] ancestors watched the heavens. They collected data. And they made predictions. And that's science!" Rosalyn Pertzborn, UW/Madison
"We must continue throughout our lives to do what we conceive to be good. If we have corn and meat, and know of a family that has none, we divide with them. If we have more blankets than are sufficient, and others have not enough, we must give to them that want." Black Hawk, Sauk (1767-1838)
**"In college, don't give up. It's going to be really hard being away from home, and it might be kind of a culture shock. But it's really worth it in the end." Otakuye Conroy, Oglala Sioux
"I am here to let you know what our family went through. To this day we still go through the struggle. We, President (Joe) Shirley and myself, do not want you or your family to go through the same thing. Please don't drink and drive." Vikki Shirley, First Lady of the Navajo Nation, who lost her daughter to a drunken driver.
"...work to make a living for yourself and your children. Take care of yourselves and your bodies. Think positive, nizhonigo natsinkees." Vikki Shirley, First Lady of the Navajo Nation
**"The Canada-U.S. border is not the creation of the First Peoples of this land. Historically, our people moved freely throughout our territory and across what is now the border. We recognize that border security is a key concern for all North Americans, and [we must] address those concerns while ensuring that the rights of First Nations on both sides of the border are respected and protected." Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine
"I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more." Chief Joseph, NEZ PERCE
"We are as sick as our secrets. Our ego takes over control of our lives and when that happens our minds get very sick. Then we hurt people and our minds will always justify our actions. Our minds will give us rationalization and excuses that we are justified in doing what we are doing." Audrey Shenandoah, ONONDAGA
**"My Creator, Let me live today with an open heart. Let me realize to be vulnerable is a strength, not a weakness. Let me realize the power of an open heart. Let me be available to truth. If I get into trouble, let me hear the whisper of your guidance. Let me make heart decisions and let my head catch up to that decision." Audrey Shenandoah, ONONDAGA
**"With one mind we address our acknowledgment, respect, and gratefulness to all the sacred Cycle of Life. We, as humans, must remember to be humble and acknowledge the gifts we use so freely in our daily lives." Audrey Shenandoah, ONONDAGA
Words from the Circle p. 15 Words from the Circle p. 17
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