WORDS FROM THE CIRCLE
**“The blood has run long enough. We have to care about the little people. It is
not adults that own this world — it is the children.”
Agnes Baker Pilgrim, Takelma/Siletz
“We're not going to fix the world — we're not fixer-uppers. Each one of you must fix yourselves.” Rita Pitka Blumenstein,Yup'ik
“It is our job to honor and protect our babies. Both our physical children, and all of nature that is around us.” Floredemayo, Mayan
“Our elders used to teach us that we don’t fight amongst ourselves.” George Tiger, Regent, Haskell Indian Nations University.
“Look at all of you guys talking English, and you know your own language. It’s like the white man has conquered us,’ ” Helen Cedar Tree, 96 Northern Arapaho.
“Albert Einstein ... speculated once that if bees disappeared off the surface of the earth, then humans would have only four years of life left.” Todd Warner, KBIC Natural Resource Director.
**"Native Americans and their ancestors have played a vital role in the formation of our nation. They have fought with valor and died in every American war dating back to the Revolutionary War,." Congressman Joe Baca, California
“It is extremely important to keep our language alive, to assert our identity. It's an essential aspect of who we are.” Faye Ridesatthedoor, Goshute
** "We are not a religious people, we are a spiritual people." Issac Welch, Eastern Cherokee
**"Come forward and join hands with us in this great work for the Creator." Traditional Circle of Elders, NORTHERN CHEYENNE
**"Peace... comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the Universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us." Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa) OGLALA SIOUX
** "When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself." (Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief)
[Some non-Indians} "they think they can get this in a weekend, that doing a sweat will make you a shaman. It's not something you can buy or become. Having a dreamcatcher doesn't make you an Indian.You're either born an Indian or you're not." Marijo Moore, Eastern Cherokee
"The hardest thing for Native Americans is unlearn Judeo-Christian English concepts and concrete terms." Isaac Welch, Eastern Cherokee
"... you have to stick to your people, you have to stick to your traditions, and that's the only way." Miranda Langlais, Kalinago
"This was the first group I knew I was accepted in. This is where I learned that the warrior is himself a spiritual person." Deane Killion, Eastern Cherokee, Yellow Star Society
"[The traditions] have to be passed down by word of mouth to keep them alive." Shim Welch, 14, Eastern Cherokee
"Everything on Earth is a mirror image of something in the sky," Raven Hail
"Souls dance in a circle, waiting to be born again on Earth" Cherokee belief
"Cherokee Spirituality is not just for the Cherokee, but for all the children of Mother Earth. The mountains have not been asleep, but the people have been deaf, dumb and blind. There is a reawakening of Cherokee spirituality." Raven Hail, Eastern Cherokee
"Survival depended on the land -- you had to respect it. But I think that's true of everybody's ancestors, whether Indian or Celtic. We are all interconnected." Marijo Moore, Eastern Cherokee
"Eskimos] give to people who don’t have anything. No matter what, if someone needs food we’ll help feed them." Hubert Kokuluk, Inupiat Eskimo . When you get used to Native Eskimo food you’ve got to have it. Like my sister, no matter what she’s got to have seal oil." Hubert Kokuluk, Inupiat Eskimo
"Touch not the poisonous firewater that makes wise men turn to fools and robs the spirit of its vision." Tecumseh, SHAWNEE
"Our kids are smart. Our kids have dreams. " Darryl Hillaire, Lummi
“You don’t have your language, your customs, your culture, you don’t have your tribe.” Neda Wesley, Warm Springs Indian Reservation
"My biggest fear for any Indian people is one day the federal government is going to say, you don’t have your language, your customs, your culture, you don’t have your tribe anymore. You’re just American citizens and that’s it.” Brigette Whipple, Warm Springs Indian Reservation
**"[Eskimos] give to people who don’t have anything. No matter what, if someone needs food we’ll help feed them." Hubert Kokuluk, Inupiat Eskimo
"The circle eliminates the feeling of instructional coercion and enables people who have been injured to heal themselves and also places the offender in a position where, to keep any sense of personal integrity, he or she has to live up to community standards. Everyone learns from the experience."
-Vine Deloria, Jr., Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado
“Most of our ceremonies from way back, I don't know how far back, were given to our women. Over the years, especially the last 200 years when we faced some real challenges, whether it's starvation or the killing off of the buffalo -- and especially today -- it's our Blackfeet women who step up and rise to the occasion of doing what needs to be done." Narcisse Blood, Blackfoot Project advisor
"If you don't have a strong cultural identity, it becomes very hard to assimilate yourself into today's educational system. If I live in a native culture and go to school eight hours a day, 180 days a year and there's never a mention of my culture, of my lifestyle, then it's going to kind of send a message to me that my culture isn't important." Steven Trubow
"All living things are going to be affected by global warming, I don’t see it getting any better in our lifetime. We’ve got to stop this fossil fuel burning frenzy, instead of going to war for it." Sylvester Ayek, Inupiut Eskimo
"We need more parental supervision. We need more guidance. We need more activities out there that will keep kids involved." Whitney SunRhodes, 16.
**"My folks went through a lot of pain and suffering just to get the right to vote so I don't take it lightly. I encourage the people in my tribe to do the same." Stephen Adkins, Chickahominy
**''The indigenous people have so much to share with this planet. We are an important part of this earth. We have been the guardians, and it is an important role with which we must continue. ... We cannot let this responsibility fall into other hands. We must not let the corporations take these resources because this is the legacy for all people, not just a few.''Jesus Leon Santos, Mixteca
"When you carry the medicine, sometimes you have to carry it a long way.'' Buffy Sainte-Marie, Cree
**"When you get older and you are ready, your ancestors will show up to guide you." Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE
**A lot of folks don't realize that Indians still exist in their ancestral homelands east of the Mississippi. That's really the product of an educational system that essentially taught a version of history that excluded who we are. There was a method to that madness -- it didn't happen accidentally. It happened because those folks who approved textbooks and the curriculum of the schools told it their way. The fact that people in [Virginia] didn't realize we existed wasn't happenstance. It was all part of a systematic process to disallow American Indians' existence." Stephen Adkins, Chickahominy
Words from the Circle p. 19Words from the Circle p. 21
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