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Quotes About Native American Wisdom

Quotes tagged as "native-american-wisdom" (showing 1-18 of 18)
Vine Deloria Jr.
“Religion is for people who're afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for those who've already been there.”
Vine Deloria Jr.

Patricia Briggs
“His grandfather had often told him that he tried too hard to move trees when a wiser man would walk around them.”
Patricia Briggs, Hunting Ground

Chief Joseph
“I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more.”
Chief Joseph

Charles Alexander Eastman
“It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. . . . Children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving. . . . The Indians in their simplicity literally give away all that they have—to relatives, to guests of other tribes or clans, but above all to the poor and the aged, from whom they can hope for no return.”
Charles Alexander Eastman

Barbara Kingsolver
“So you make this deal with the gods. You do these dances and they'll send rain and good crops and the whole works? And nothing bad will ever happen. Right.' Prayer had always struck me as more or less a glorified attempt at a business transaction. A rain dance even more so.
I thought I might finally have offended Loyd past the point of no return, like stealing the lobster from frozen foods that time, to get myself fired. But Loyd was just thinking. After a minute he said, 'No, it's not like that. It's not making a deal, bad things can still happen, but you want to try not to cause them to happen. It has to do with keeping things in balance.'
In balance.'
Really, it's like the spirits have made a deal with us.'
And what is the deal?' I asked.
We're on our own. The spirits have been good enough to let us live here and use the utilities, and we're saying: We know how nice you're being. We appreciate the rain, we appreciate the sun, we appreciate the deer we took. Sorry if we messed up anything. You've gone to a lot of trouble, and we'll try to be good guests.'
Like a note you'd send somebody after you stayed in their house?'
Exactly like that. 'Thanks for letting me sleep on your couch. I took some beer out of the refrigerator, and I broke a coffee cup. Sorry, I hope it wasn't your favorite one.”
Barbara Kingsolver

“Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men,we didn't have any kind of prison. Because of this, we had no delinquents. We had no locks nor keys and therefore among us there were no thieves. When someone was so poor that he couldn't afford a horse, a tent or a blanket, he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift. We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property. We didn't know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being was not determined by his wealth. We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another. We were really in bad shape before the white men arrived and I don't know how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society.”
Lame Deer

Kathleen O'Neal Gear
“Life moved, as inconstant and fickle as Wind Baby, frolicking, sleeping, weeping, but never truly still. Never solid or finished. Always like water flowing from one place to the next. Seed and fruit. Rain and drought, everything traveled in a gigantic circle, an eternal process of becoming something new. But we rarely saw it. Humans tended to see only frozen moments, not the flow of things.”
Kathleen O'Neal Gear, Bone Walker

N. Scott Momaday
“To encounter the sacred is to be alive at the deepest center of human existence. Sacred places are the truest definitions of the earth; they stand for the earth immediately and forever; they are its flags and shields. If you would know the earth for what it really is, learn it through its sacred places. At Devil’s Tower or Canyon de Chelly or the Cahokia Mounds, you touch the pulse of the living planet; you feel its breath upon you. You become one with a spirit that pervades geologic time and space.”
N. Scott Momaday

“If we wonder often, the gift of knowledge will come. If we never wonder, knowledge will never find us.”
Grandfather

Dee Brown
“Treat all men alike.... give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who is born a free man should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. We only ask an even chance to live as other men live. We ask to be recognized as men. Let me be a free man...free to travel... free to stop...free to work...free to choose my own teachers...free to follow the religion of my Fathers...free to think and talk and act for myself.”
Dee Brown, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West

“Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a Supreme Power, and principles of truth, honesty, generosity, equity and brotherhood as a guide to mundane relations.”
Luther Standing Bear

“Once, when a government agent arrived at her home with a ream of paper that documented the case against her, she asked if that law was more powerful than natural law. He told her that, yes, it was a powerful law, the law of the federal government. Then, she said, it should be more powerful that this, and she threw it into her woodstove.”
Alan S. Kesselheim, Let Them Paddle: Coming of Age on the Water

Larry McMurtry
“The thing that Buffalo Hump was most grateful for, as he rode into the emptiness, was the knowledge that in the years of his youth and manhood he had drawn the lifeblood of so many enemies. He had been a great killer; it was his way and the way of his people; no one in his tribe had killed so often and so well. The killings were good to remember, as he rode his old horse deeper into the llano, away from all the places where people came.”
Larry McMurtry, Comanche Moon

“In my opinion, it was chiefly owing to their deep contemplation in their silent retreats in the days of youth that the old Indian orators acquired the habit of carefully arranging their thoughts.

They listened to the warbling of birds and noted the grandeur and the beauties of the forest. The majestic clouds—which appear like mountains of granite floating in the air—the golden tints of a summer evening sky, and the changes of nature, possessed a mysterious significance.

All of this combined to furnish ample matter for reflection to the contemplating youth.”
Francis Assikinack

KoKo Nervelli
“We need to cherish Father Sky and honor Mother Earth.Every THING has a purpose. Every ONE has worth. (Short story entitled THE PUZZLE, found in a book, Foxleaf Anthology, collection of works from authors in the Upper Cumberland, TN)”
KoKo Nervelli

Pamela Clare
“Before the war, a white man named Jonathan Edwards came to Stockbridge to teach my people about sin, but I doubt very much he could see sin in this. You defended yourself against a man who would otherwise have killed you and your friends. Perhaps you feel no regret because your spirit knows you did what was right.”
Pamela Clare, Defiant

Pam Torres
“From the tiniest grain of sand to the large sun in the sky. All are here to teach us.—Uncle Will”
Pam Torres, It's NOT Just A Dog!

J.J. Brown
“So much for land ownership, Henry thinks; it's a modern myth. You can buy and sell rights to use the land; you can't actually own it. He tries to remember who said, the land doesn't belong to you, you belong to the land; the author was certainly Native American, but he can't pin down the source.”
J.J. Brown, Brindle 24

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