WORDS FROM THE CIRCLE

NATIVE AMERICAN QUOTES


"You have the ability to go to college and we need you to do this because you are our next leaders."
Lisa Bickert, Ponca

“In the absence of the Sacred, nothing is Sacred.  Everything is for sale.” -
Oren Lyons

“One does not sell the land people walk on."
Crazy Horse, Sept.  23, 1875

**“The White man knows how to make everything, but he does not know how to distribute it.” -
Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa Lakota, 1885

**"We must relearn how to cry.  A strong man cries; it is the weak man who holds back his tears."
Archie Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA

"The human spirit is not dead.  It lives on in secret.  It has come to believe that compassion in which all ethics take root, can only attain breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind." --
Albert Schweitzer, physician/Nobel Laureate.

**"We noticed that sometimes in life we get comfortable with our routines, and we forget about prayer and respect.  But for us, we noticed certain things weren't going right in our lives; we went back to prayers, and things have been taken care of for us.  I would like to encourage all of the young people to learn about the teachings in your families, and to do them according to how you were taught." 
Tom Wadsworth, Shoshone-Bannock

**"We're not going anywhere.  We are never going to give up our sovereignty.  We will always advance and ...  we will always rise above any conflict."
Adam Beach

**"I want to become a lawyer and open up a firm on the Reservation, so my people won't have to go all the way to the city (for legal help)."
Jefferson Joe Jr, Navajo

"In our culture, we have stories, we have songs.  It's the little things that count.  We're so connected with nature, harmony and peace, so culture has had such a big impact on me."
Jasmine Jishie, Navajo

**"Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." --
Albert Einstein, physicist.

“Our holocaust is still going on.  It’s never talked about."
Sam English, Chippewa

“Our history is not in the history books, because they don’t want to know what happened to us.  We didn’t get free, the Indians are still incarcerated on the reservation.”
Sam English, Chippewa

**“Every society needs sacred places.  A society that cannot remember its past, and honor it, is in peril of losing its soul.” Vine Deloria, Jr.

"The ability of tribes to provide for the general welfare of their citizens is truly critical to the self-determination of tribal government.  This is especially important given one out of every four Native people in the U.S. live in poverty.
" Senator Daniel Akaka, Hawaii



**"[Leonard Peltier is] the Nelson Mandela of the Native American movement, We have millions of people from around the world that are looking at the United States as a beacon of human rights, and we've held this one, aging Native American, who even the government says, 'We have no idea what Mr.  Peltier's involvement was.' And it's a shame on our national honor."
Peter Coyote, actor and activist.

"Democracy was well-practiced in the Americas before Europeans even knew what democracy was.  For instance, the United States government in 1988, I believe it was, passed a resolution recognizing the fact that their Bill of Rights and the Constitution was copied in large part from the indigenous peoples of the Americas -- the practices they had -- particularly the Iroquois. The Iroquois had what's called the great law of the people that spelled out how the people ruled.  It's quite a document, but thankfully, it spelled out the democratic principals that a nation should operate under giving the power to the people."
Dr. Daniel Paul, Mi'kmaq Nation

“I’m always absolutely amazed by the elegance and the specificity of the canon of management practices that tribal practitioners used to manage their cultural plant resources.  They’re so specific to the life cycles of the plants and life cycles of the organisms that interact with those plants.”
Arielle Halpern, UC/Berkeley

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
”  Mahatma Gandhi

"You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round...
The Sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars.
The wind, in its greatest power, whirls.  Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were.
The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves."
- Black Elk Oglala, Sioux Holy Man

"If I didn't have...obstacles in my way I wouldn't be who I am today, to be able to run against all the (negativity), run against the odds of us aboriginal people, because we have lot of odds stacked against us." Northstar Stonechild-Peequaqua, 17

"We create that bad among ourselves.  We create it; then we try to call it devil, Satan, or evil.  But man creates it.  There is no devil.  Man creates the devil."
Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

“We have a prayer that describes a warrior as someone who goes the distance spiritually for his people.  Nowadays, that ideal has been reduced to simply fighting and violence.  In teaching kids to be modern warriors, we have to convey the term’s full, traditional meaning.”
Alvin Rafelito, Ramah Navajo

**"The Old Ones say the Native American women will lead the healing among the tribes.  Inside them are the powers of love and strength given by the Moon and the Earth. When everyone else gives up, it is the women who sings the songs of strength.  She is the backbone of the people.  So, to our women we say, sing your songs of strength; pray for your special powers; keep our people strong; be respectful, gentle, and modest."
Village Wise Man, Lakota

**"It is a great shock at the age of five or six to find that in a world of Gary Coopers you are the Indian." J
ames Baldwin

"Being Indian is not blood as much as it is culture."
Tony Hillerman
 

Words from the Circle p. 30Words from the Circle p. 32
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