WORDS FROM THE CIRCLE

NATIVE AMERICAN QUOTES


"With prayer and good intentions, we make our lives sacred and so come to balance."
Don Jose Matsua,  Huichol

"We begin by letting the Powers know that we are willing to be their servants to others."
Fools Crow, LAKOTA


**"There are blacks who are part Indian and there are Indians who are part black, and they’re not the same people." Ron Welburn, Lenape/Cherokee/African American

"You can have all the heart you want, but you have to have actual cash and resources.  All those things play a part in our being able to basically use our greatest asset, which is our people." 
Eileen Briggs, Tribal Ventures, Cheyenne River Sioux.

“The state of Montana needs to treat defendants more or less equally and not give old, rich guys breaks and with young, poor Indians, whack ’em.” 
District Judge Dusty Deschamps, Montana

"History is not necessarily a monument.  It is happening now."
Angela Andersen, producer

"...It took me a while to understand the 'one drop rule,' and that east coast Indians were not all removed as many people claimed ... It is considerably painful to have one’s grandparent tell you: 'We can’t be Indians any more. Just forget about it.'"
Ron Welburn, Lenape/Cherokee/African American 

"When you begin a great work you can't expect to finish it all at once." Teedyuscung, Delaware

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt.  People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance."  
Cicero, Roman, 55 BC

"When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free."
Charles Evans Hughes, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Opinion, June 17, 1925

**"I believe our country has a responsibility to keep the promises we have made to the First Americans. And we must start with the young people, many of whom are struggling to find opportunities to improve their lives."
  Senator Byron Dorgan, North Dakota

"By listening to the inner self and following one's instincts and intuitions, a person may be guided to safety."
Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA

"Sacred sites and areas are protection for all people - the four colors for man - and these sites are in all areas of the earth in the four directions."
Traditional Circle of Elders NORTHERN CHEYENNE

**"In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act" 
George Orwell

"Everything really is equal. The Creator doesn't look at me any better than He looks at the trees. We're all the same." 
Janice Sundown Hattet, SENECA

"Everyone makes his feast as he thinks best, to please the Great Spirit, who has the care of all created beings.  
BLACK HAWK SAUK

"We all come from the same root, but the leaves are all different."
John Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA

"Each person's prayers can help everyone."
Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

"Words hypnotize and deceive everyone at one time or another, but these hypnotic words cannot last long in the hearts of true warriors."
Barney Bush, SHAWNEE

“Family is sacred, sacred, and sacred.”
  Vernon Ray, Shawnee

**"Does this generation love justice enough to ask that it be shown to the red men? Have we not as a people fixed the brutal maxim in our language, 'the only good Indian is a dead Indian?' We laugh at the saying now as a good jest, but the cheeks of our descendants will redden with shame when they read the coarse brutality of our wit."
 Fletcher Johnson, United States.

"Education is your greatest weapon. With education you are the white man's equal, without education you are his victim and so shall remain all of your lives. Study, learn, help one another always. Remember there is only poverty and misery in idleness and dreams -- but in work there is self respect and independence."
Plenty Coup, Crow

"...the greatest strength is in gentleness.
"  Leon Shenandoah, ONONDAGA
 
"Always remember you are Indian - do things to make your people proud."
  Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE

**"My mouth just ran with it, not that it was easy but it felt so right when I started to read [Tunica].  It seemed it was a natural thing for me to do.  I took it as I was honoring my grandfather and great-grandfather and down the line when they were speaking this."
Kathleen Ubnoske on reviving the Tunica language.

"Praying is what has brought us old people through life.  We've all gone through hard times.  We've all done our share of bad things.  But through our prayers and faith in the Creator we get together again and we try hard to live right."
 Paula Weasel Head, BLOOD

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.”  Sitting Bull

"When you are in the woods, you cannot ever be lost. You are surrounded by friends and surrounded by God."  Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE

"That is not our way, to set yourself apart and talk about who you are and what you've done. You let your life speak for you. With the Mohawk people, wisdom is how you live and how you interpret what your mother and father, what your grandmothers and grandfathers have told you about this world - and then how you interpret that into the fact of living every day."
Tom Porter, Mohawk

**"Indians feel rooted to this "America" space that’s older than the idea of the United States and older than the name by many thousands of years. Our ancestors are part of the grass and trees."  Ron Welburn, Lenape/Cherokee/African American

Words from the Circle p. 27Words from the Circle p. 29
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