Native Village

WORDS FROM THE CIRCLE




“The biggest issue for native people across the board is the fact that most Americans know very little about native people. Without any historical knowledge -- or cultural context -- it's impossible to understand our issues.”
Wilma Mankiller, Cherokee

***"Every law in this country was created without the consent of Native peoples and is applied unequally at our expense."
Leonard Peltier.

*** "I don't know how you can understand American history and American culture if you don't understand Native American history and culture. I think this is important stuff." 
Suzanne Gordon, University of Maryland.

***"When I hear the drummers, the singers and that singing, that reminds me of our elders and of our way of saying thanks to the Almighty. That drum is our thanks for everything."
Felix Aripa, Coeur d'Alene

**"These lands are the lands our ancestors prepared for us to live on because they knew that things in the future might not be the way they used to be ...  the land is the most important thing that [Native Hawaiians] have. Everything that we are stems from the land."
Frank Damas

***"To heal will require real effort, and a change of heart, from all of us. To heal means that we will begin to look upon one another with respect and tolerance instead of prejudice, distrust and hatred. We will have to teach our children-as well as ourselves-to love the diversity of humanity....We can do it. Yes, you and I and all of us together. Now is the time. Now is the only possible time. Let the Great Healing begin."
Leonard Peltier

**"Grandparents teach about the experience of life and share their mistakes in story while allowing the youth to decide their own path. Things they told me when I was young made no sense until I had 50 years to measure with my own life."
Scott Frazier, Santee/Crow

* "All of us begin to rethink what is good about ourselves - put the past where it belongs - and get on with the possibilities of the present!"  
Howard Rainer, TAOS PUEBLO-CREEK

* "We all form self-images and much of our behavior is pretty well determined by how we feel about ourselves."
-Eunice Baumann-Nelson, Ph.D. PENOBSCOT

*"Young people need to listen to older people, live long and tell a good story about today. It is our time to do great things for the people.”
Scott Frazier, Santee/Crow

*“Even though Indian country has come a huge distance, if we don’t continue to protect what is right for all of us and educate all who we can, no one else will.”  Michael Bucher, Cherokee

“We start out very small and keep growing and growing, and when beautiful things happen to you, that’s the pattern in the basket.”
Lucy Parker, basketmaker

“Plants are very important; each is special. Like people, some are crooked, some are straight.” 
Lucy Parker

"We must now stand up to armed oppression and colonization with our bodies and our minds. International law is on our side."
Leonard Peltier

" Only by organizing in our own communities and pressuring our supposed leaders can we bring about the changes that we all so desperately need."
Leonard Peltier

"We must listen to children to improve the future. We must know our communities’ needs, recognize our students’ strengths, and listen to their answers." 
Robert Cook (Oglala Lakota Tribe), NIEA president

"It's very freeing to find your language and see that you are actually from somewhere." 
L. Frank, Tongva and Ajachmen

**“We need to take our past and use it for our future. We must walk the walk and bring our children along with us.” 
Scott Frazier, Santee/Crow

**“My grandmother was the first real scientist I knew. She made bread by measuring the ingredients in her hand.” 
Scott Frazier, Santee/Crow

"Native American students [generally] learn better when there is something about their tribe or culture that is integrated into the curriculum. It is very important that Native American students get to know their language and their culture. That is the bottom line -- that all school districts that have a high population of Native American students do that."
Marty Conrad, Choctaw/Creek


**"When I graduate it is only the beginning. It is the start of something new."
Candace Begody, Navajo

**“Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your elders. Ask while they are still here, because when they are gone, that’s another piece of our oral history that disappears forever that you can’t get back. Ask now and retain that knowledge. Teach your children this knowledge. Pass it on. It’s our duty for the generations to come.”
Conrad Brown, Meskwaki

“All my relatives, remember – only the rocks stay on the earth forever.” 
White Antelope

Words from the Circle p. 21Words from the Circle p. 23

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