Native American Quotes

native american indian quotes
Sitting Bull - Lakota Sioux (1831 – 1890)
 Holy man and tribal chief

Each man is good in the sight of the Great Spirit. It is not necessary for eagles to be crows. Now we are poor but we are free. No white man controls our footsteps. If we must die, we die defending our rights.  Sitting Bull - Lakota Sioux

They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away from her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse. Sitting Bull - Lakota Sioux

The earth has received the embrace of the sun and we shall see the results of that love. Sitting Bull - Lakota Sioux

Quanah of the Comanche native indian tribe
The White Man goes into his church and talks about Jesus. The Indian goes into his tipi and talks with Jesus. Quanah of the Comanche about the Native American Church which he founded.

Realize that we as human beings have been put on this earth for only a short time and that we must use this time to gain wisdom, knowledge, respect and the understanding for all human beings since we are all relatives. Cree Proverb.

Chief White Eagle of the Pawnee
All things in the world are two. In our minds we are two, good and evil. With our eyes we see two things, things that are fair and things that are ugly.... We have the right hand that strikes and makes for evil, and we have the left hand full of kindness, near the heart. One foot may lead us to an evil way, the other foot may lead us to a good. So are all things two, all two.  Chief White Eagle of the Pawnee

"The land is sacred. These words are at the core of your being. The land is our mother, the rivers our blood. Take our land away and we die. That is, the Indian in us dies. "
Mary Brave Bird a Brulé Lakota

native american indian quotes
The first peace, which is the most important,
is that which comes within the souls of people
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 the Great Spirit,
and that this center is really everywhere,
it is within each of us. 
Black Elk - Oglala Sioux 

The song and the drumming were like this:
Behold, a sacred voice is calling you;
All over the sky a sacred voice is calling.  Black Elk from Black Elk Speaks

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 nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours... Black Elk

I hope the Great Heavenly Father, who will look down upon us, will give all the tribes his blessing, that we may go forth in peace, and live in peace all our days, and that He will look down upon our children and finally lift us far above this earth. Red Cloud

native american indian quotes
Luther Standing Bear (1868–1939)
We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and the winding streams with tangled growth, as 'wild'.
Only to the white man was nature a 'wilderness' and only to him was the land 'infested' with 'wild' animals and 'savage' people. To us it was tame.
Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with blessings of the Great Mystery.
Luther Standing Bear - Oglala band of Sioux

The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers, he belongs just as the buffalo belonged...  Luther Standing Bear

native american indian quotes
Any good thing you say to me shall not be forgotten. I shall carry it as near to my heart as my children, and it shall be as often on my tongue as the name of the Great Spirit.  Chief Ten Bears of the Comanche (1792–1873)

quotes of native american indian Chief joseph
Chief Joseph (1840–1904)

Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view and demand that they respect yours. 

"I clasped my father's hand and promised to do as he asked. A man who would not defend his father's grave is worse than a wild beast."

I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more. I will tell you in my way how the Indian sees things. The white man has more words to tell you how they look to him, but is does not require many words to seek the truth.

 quote of Sarah Winnemucca  a Paiute

'The traditions of our people are handed down from father to son. The Chief is considered to be the most learned, and the leader of the tribe. The Doctor, however, is thought to have more inspiration. He is supposed to be in communion with spirits... He cures the sick by the laying of hands, and prayers and incantations and heavenly songs. He infuses new life into the patient, and performs most wonderful feats of skill in his practice.... He clothes himself in the skins of young innocent animals, such as the fawn, and decorated himself with the plumage of harmless birds, such as the dove and hummingbird ... Sarah Winnemucca  a Paiute  (1844–1891)

"The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother. She nourishes us.....That which we put into the ground she returns to us." Bedage

"We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can't speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees."  Qwatsinas  - Chief Edward Moody, Nuxalk Nation

native american indian quotes
Photograph by Frank A. Rinehart, 1898

"I was warmed by the sun, rocked by the winds and sheltered by the trees as other Indian babes. I can go everywhere with a good feeling. " Geronimo

"I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures."
Geronimo - Chiricahua Apache leader.

native american indian quotes
Iroquois basket seller
oil painting by Cornelius Krieghoff, 1860

"We thank the Moon and the stars, who give us their light when the Sun retires....
We thank the Great Spirit, incarnation of all kindness, who directs all things
 for the good of its children."
Iroquois prayer

native american indian quotes
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle (1780 - 1866)

"Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors, the dream of our old men, given them by the great Spirit, and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people." 1887

"Our dead never forget the beautiful world that gave them being. They still love its winding rivers, its great mountains and its sequestered vales, and they ever yearn in tenderest affection over the lonely hearted living and often return to visit and comfort them." 1887

native indian quote of Satanta -  Kiowa Chief

I love this land and the buffalo and will not part with it…I have heard you intend to settle us on a reservation near the mountains. I don't want to settle. I love to roam over the prairies. There I feel free and happy, but when we settle down we grow pale and die. A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers, but when I go up to the river I see camps of soldiers on its banks. These soldiers cut down my timber, they kill my buffalo and when I see that, my heart feels like bursting.  Satanta -  Kiowa Chief

White Elk ~ a chief of the Oto Nation
Photo by Edward S. Curtis

When you were born, you cried
and the world rejoiced.
Live your life
so that when you die,
the world cries and you rejoice.
White Elk

May the stars carry your sadness away
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty
May hope forever wipe away your tears
And, above all, may silence make you strong.

Chief Dan George (1899 – 1981) of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Canada.

What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across
the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior


This war did not spring up on our land, this war was brought upon us by the children of the Great Father who came to take our land without a price, and who, in our land, do a great many evil things... Spotted Tail


 Anishinabe sayings:
        What the people believe is true.

Apache sayings:
It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand.
More Apache quotes

 Arapaho sayings:
All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them.
When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us.
Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it.

Assiniboine sayings:
Most of us do not look as handsome to others as we do to ourselves. 

Cherokee sayings:
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
The weakness of the enemy makes our strength.
When the white man discovered this country Indians were running it. No taxes no debt, women did all the work. White man thought he could improve on a system like this.

Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.
A good soldier is a poor scout.

 Cheyenne sayings:
Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins.
Our first teacher is our own heart.
Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark.
If a man is as wise as a serpent, he can afford to be as harmless as a dove.
A danger foreseen is half avoided.

Comanche sayings:
All who have died are equal. 

Dakota sayings:
          We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.

 Duwamish sayings:
Day and night cannot dwell together.

Hopi sayings:
Don't be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts.

The rain falls on the just and the unjust.
Wisdom comes only when you stop looking for it and start living the life the Creator intended for you.

A brave man dies but once, a coward many times.  Iowa

In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.  - Iroquois

         Lakota sayings:

         Force, no matter how concealed, begets resistance.
When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard.
Everything the power does, it does in a circle.

A man or woman with many children has many homes.

Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, Wisdom is of the future. - Lumbee

Everyone who is successful must have dreamed of something. - Maricopa

If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself. - Minquass

A good chief gives, he does not take. - Mohawk

Navajo sayings: 
Coyote is always out there waiting, and Coyote is always hungry. 
A rocky vineyard does not need a prayer, but a pick ax
You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.  
There is nothing as eloquent as a rattlesnake’s tail.

Nez Perce

White men have too many chiefs.

Every animal knows more than you do.

To touch the earth is to have harmony with nature. - Oglala Sioux

Oklahoma sayings:
When a fox walks lame, the old rabbit jumps. 

A starving man will eat with the wolf.
The coward shoots with shut eyes.

Omaha sayings:

It is easy to be brave from a distance.

The bird who has eaten cannot fly with the bird that is hungry.

Ask questions from you heart and you will be answered from the heart.

A hungry stomach makes a short prayer. - Paiute 
Do not wrong or hate your neighbor for it is not he that you wrong but yourself. - Pima

Make my enemy brave and strong, so that if defeated, I will not be ashamed. - Plains

Cherish youth, but trust old age. - Pueblo

Sharing and giving are the ways of God. - Sauk

He who would do great things should not attempt them all alone. - Seneca

Shawnee sayings: 
We are all one child spinning through Mother Sky.

Each person is his own judge.

Shenandoah sayings:
We are made from Mother Earth and we go back to Mother Earth.
It is no longer good enough to cry peace, we must act peace, live peace and live in peace.

Sioux sayings:  

There are many good moccasin tracks along the trail of a straight arrow.

With all things and in all things, we are relatives.

The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.
A people without a history is like the wind over buffalo grass.

Tuscarora sayings:
Man has responsibility, not power.

Those who have one foot in the canoe, and one foot in the boat, are going to fall into the river.
 They are not dead who live in the hearts they leave behind.  

The way of the troublemaker is thorny. - Umpqua

God gives us each a song. - Ute

A man must make his own arrows. - Winnebago

When you die, you will be spoken of as those in the sky, like the stars. - Yurok


After dark all cats are leopards. - Zuni