Native Village

WORDS FROM THE CIRCLE

 

"When we lose languages we're losing knowledge.  We're losing not just a set of words or a grammar — and of course that's very important to linguists — but, more broadly, we're losing whole philosophical systems, oral-literature systems, ceremonial systems, and social systems along with the language." Leanne Hinton, Berkeley**

**"A vision without execution is nothing but a hallucination." Kim Krokodilo, Elk Valley Rancheria

**"Every society needs educated people, but the primary responsibility of educated people is to bring wisdom back into the community and make it available to others so that the lives they are leading make sense." 
Vine Deloria, Jr.

**"We are only limited by our imagination." 
Andrew Dayish, 14

"When you lose a language and a language goes extinct,  it's like dropping a bomb on the Louvre."  Michael Krauss

**"Because woman lives so close to our first mother, the Earth, she emanates the strength and harmonious nature of all things."
--Larry P. Aitken, Chippewa

''You will never get the culture unless you get the language.  And it will never really be carried on unless the language is carried on.  It will just be like a shell of what once was.'' "
LanceTwitchell, Tlingit  

  "A lot of tribal communities see [education] it as a means to an end by gaining the tools of the dominant culture in order to circumvent the dominant culture," and they are "using it as a means to empower themselves and essentially to fight on equal grounds without being too complicated to deal with the larger world on equal ground."  Samuel Cook, University of Virginia

"[Native Americans] are the most underrepresented group in higher education in [Virginia].  They were kept out of Virginian public schools until the 1960s because they were not regarded as 'white' and they were not regarded as 'Indian' because of the eugenic policies mandated by the 1924 Racial Integrity Act that essentially stated there are no Indians in Virginia." 
Samuel Cook, University of Virginia


**"Every society needs educated people, but the primary responsibility of educated people is to bring wisdom back into the community and make it available to others so that the lives they are leading make sense." 
Vine Deloria, Jr.


"You can't just sit down and talk about the truth. It doesn't work that way. You have to live it and be part of it and you might get to know it." 
Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE

**"There are bad and foolish people in every race. You have to judge them one by one and then you have to give them a second chance." 
Imogene Bowen, Upper Skagit Tribe

"I'm not saying we don't want to give our kids a modern education, and we don't want to go back in time and live in wigwams.  We want to move forward, but we need to embrace our culture and history and still move forward." 
Jasen Benwah Mi'kmaq

"In the United States, English is a foreign language." 
Historical truth

"Race and language makes no difference; the barriers are gone when persons can come together on high spiritual levels."  
Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE

**"It is important to know your past in order to go forward.” 
Barbara Cadiente- Nelson

"It's time the Indians tell the world  what we know...about nature and about God.  So I'm going to tell you what I know and who I am.  You guys better listen. You got a lot to learn." -
Mathew King

**“Words are the most powerful shaping tool.  Writing, speech, language don’t just communicate fact, they create fact.” 
David Treuer

"It becomes sacred when you start communicating [in the Zuni language] I think there's something that happens when it moves from the mind to the head to the heart."
Curtis Cook

"We need this language in our ceremonies. We've had elders say without this language we don't have a culture - we'll just be like everybody else, but just with different-colored skin."
Eugene Ridgely, Jr.

''We have to have a sustained national sovereignty effort. We must rekindle the [National Congress of American Indians'] effort to reaffirm sovereignty.'' 
Tex Hall, former NCAI president 

''Ever since Indian self-determination and the Reagan administration, states' rights have taken priority. Now, with the Bush administration, there is more power going to the states.  In the future, we may find ourselves in more courts.'' Melanie Benjamin, 
Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

''To purchase land only from tribal members doesn't expand sovereignty.  We have to come to grasp with it and accommodate growth on the reservations." 
Ken Davis, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

"We are not as isolated and uneducated as we once were. We have lawyers; we have political rights and a special political status. No longer do we allow encroachment within our own boundaries.'' 
Ken Davis,  Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa

**''The treaties are the recognition of tribal rights, not gifts.''
Ron His Horse is Thunder, Standing Rock Sioux

''Without the language you can't know 100 percent of the culture - in the language is the culture. Every sovereignty is recognized by its language, government, membership and established boundaries.  Who ceases to have any one of these will find termination.'' 
Ron His Horse is Thunder, Standing Rock Sioux

"There is an internal attack - Indian against Indian. If we don't protect sovereignty, we will see termination.'' 
Ron His Horse is Thunder,  Standing Rock Sioux

''I'm half Native American, and I'm half white.  I need both parts to be whole.'' 
Chryss James

**"My children, you have forgotten the customs and traditions of your forefathers.... You have bought guns, knives, kettles, and blankets from the white man until you can no longer do without them;  and what is worse you have drunk the poison firewater,   which turns you into fools.  Fling all these things away;  live as your forefathers did before you."  -
Pontiac, Odowa
 

**"The white man says, there is freedom and justice for all. We have had 'freedom and justice', and that is why we have been almost exterminated. We shall not forget this."
Tecumseh--Shawnee

**"In school, I learned that my people were savages. But now I see I come from people who were beautiful and intelligent. I see the sacredness of being Indian."
Carol Welsh, Sisseton-Wahpeton

 

Words from the Circle p. 16 Words from the Circle p. 18

 

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