American Indian Quotes

Quotes tagged as "american-indian" Showing 1-26 of 26
Charles Alexander Eastman
“The true Indian sets no price upon either his property or his labor. His generosity is limited only by his strength and ability. He regards it as an honor to be selected for difficult or dangerous service and would think it shameful to ask for any reward, saying rather: "Let the person I serve express his thanks according to his own bringing up and his sense of honor. Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new sweet earth, and the Great Silence alone!. What is Silence? It is the Great Mystery! The Holy Silence is His voice!”
Charles Alexander (Ohiyesa) Eastman, The Soul of the Indian

“Elder's Meditation of the Day - February 18
"laughter is a necessity in life that does not cost much, and the Old Ones say that one of the greatest healing powers in our life is the ability to laugh."
--Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA
Laughter is a good stress eliminator. Laughter causes healing powers to be distributed through our bodies. Laughter helps heal relationships that are having problems. Laughter can change other people. Laughter can heal the sick. Laughter is spiritual. One of the greatest gifts among Indian people has been our ability to laugh. Humor is natural to Indian people. Sometimes the only thing left to do is laugh.

Great Spirit, allow me to laugh when times get tough.”
Larry P. Aitken, Two Cultures Meet: Pathways For American Indians To Medicine

John Fire Lame Deer
“Listen to the air. You can hear it, feel it, smell it, taste it. Woniya wakan—the holy air—which renews all by its breath. Woniya, woniya wakan—spirit, life, breath, renewal—it means all that. Woniya—we sit together, don’t touch,
but something is there; we feel it between us, as a presence. A good way to start thinking about nature, talk about it. Rather talk to it, talk to the rivers, to the lakes, to the winds as to our relatives.”
John (Fire) Lame Deer, Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions

Kent Nerburn
“Our old people noticed this from the beginning. They said that the white man lived in a world of cages, and that if we didn't look out, they would make us live in cages too.
So we started noticing. Everything looked like cages. Your clothes fit like cages. Your houses looked like cages. You put your fences around your yards so they looked like cages. Everything was a cage. You turned the land into cages. Little squares.
Then after you had all these cages you made a government to protect these cages. And that government was all cages. All laws about what you couldn't do. The only freedom you had was inside your own cage. Then you wondered why you weren't happy and didn't feel free. You made all the cages, the you wondered why you didn't feel free.”
Kent Nerburn, Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder

“I will willingly abandon this miserable body to hunger and suffering, provided that my soul may have its ordinary nourishment.”
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

Chief Seattle
“The white man will never be alone. Let him be just, and deal kindly with my people. For the dead are not powerless.”
Chief Seattle, The Chief Seattle's Speech

Charles Alexander Eastman
“To the untutored sage, the concentration of population was the prolific mother of all evils, moral no less than physical. He argued that food is good, while surfeit kills; that love is good, but lust destroys; and not less dreaded than the pestilence following upon crowded and unsanitary dwellings was the loss of spiritual power inseparable from too close contact with one's fellow-men.”
Charles Alexander (Ohiyesa) Eastman, The Soul of the Indian

Helen Hunt Jackson
“We have flattered ourselves by inventing proverbs of comparison in matter of blindness,--"blind as a bat," for instance. It would be safe to say that there cannot be found in the animal kingdom a bat, or any other creature, so blind in its own range of circumstance and connection, as the greater majority of human beings are in the bosoms of their families. Tempers strain and recover, hearts break and heal, strength falters, fails, and comes near to giving way altogether, every day, without being noted by the closest lookers-on.”
Helen Hunt Jackson, Ramona

Helen Hunt Jackson
“Next time!" In what calendar are kept the records of those next times which never come?”
Helen Hunt Jackson, Ramona

Sherman Alexie
“Last night I missed two free throws which would have won the game against the best team in the state. The farm town high school I play for is nicknamed the "Indians," and I'm probably the only actual Indian ever to play for a team with such a mascot.

This morning I pick up the sports page and read the headline: INDIANS LOSE AGAIN.

Go ahead and tell me none of this is supposed to hurt me very much.”
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

Buddy Hannah
“Before you judge a person you have to walk in their moccasins and live in their lodge for a month.”
Buddy Hannah

Helen Hunt Jackson
“Gazing around, looking up at the lofty pinnacles above, which seemed to pierce the sky, looking down upon the world,--it seemed the whole world, so limitless it stretched away at her feet,--feeling that infinite unspeakable sense of nearness to Heaven, remoteness from earth which comes only on mountain heights, she drew in a long breath of delight, and cried: "At last! at last, Alessandro! Here we are safe! This is freedom! This is joy!”
Helen Hunt Jackson, Ramona

Israel Morrow
“Native peoples do not look for salvation from worlds beyond. They need no alternate reality, because the mortal world and the spirit world are the same. This Earth is heaven, hell and purgatory; but most importantly, it is home. The greatest of spiritual mysteries may be revealed just beyond the front door, in the life of a community.”
Israel Morrow, Gods of the Flesh: A Skeptic's Journey Through Sex, Politics and Religion

Kenneth C. Davis
“The following twenty years would be the nadir of American Indian history, as the total Indian population between 1890 and 1910 fell to fewer than 250,000. (It was not until 1917 that Indian births exceeded deaths for the first time in fifty years.)”
Kenneth C. Davis, Don't Know Much about History: Everything You Need to Know about American History But Never Learned

Helen Hunt Jackson
“There had been no crises of incident, or marked movements of experience such as in Felipe's imaginations of love were essential to the fulness of its growth. This is a common mistake on the part of those who have never felt love's true bonds. Once in those chains, one perceives that they are not of the sort full forged in a day. They are made as the great iron cables are made, on which bridges are swung across the widest water-channels,--not of single huge rods, or bars, which would be stronger, perhaps, to look at; but myriads of the finest wires, each one by itself so fine, so frail, it would barely hold a child's kite in the wind: by hundreds, hundreds of thousands of such, twisted, re-twisted together, are made the mighty cables, which do not any more swerve from their place in the air, under the weight and jar of the ceaseless traffic and tread of two cities, than the solid earth swerves under the same ceaseless weight and jar. Such cables do not break.”
Helen Hunt Jackson, Ramona

Helen Hunt Jackson
“But undying memories stood like sentinels in her breast. When the notes of doves, calling to each other, fell on her ear, her eyes sought the sky, and she heard a voice saying, "Majella!”
Helen Hunt Jackson, Ramona

Mary Crow Dog
“I guess you hate the people most who make justifiable demands. Because they go to the heart of our psyche. We know they are right, and therefore, we have to destroy them if we can. I think a lot of people are really afraid of justifiable Indian claims to land and resources. They're most afraid of the fact that the claims are morally right, because when you are confronted with a moral imperative against an immoral imperative on your part, you've got to hate the people who assert that moral imperative...We hate them because their claims are totally justified--and we know it.”
Mary Crow Dog

David Treuer
“To understand American Indians is to understand America. This is the story of the paradoxically least and most American place in the twenty-first century. Welcome to the Rez.”
David Treuer, Rez Life: An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life

Brad C Jensen / B.C. Jensen
“Fall into the cavern of my mind, and together there, we will dine.”
Brad Jensen

“Fall into the cavern of my mind, and together there, we will dine.”
Brad Jensen

Sherman Alexie
“I'm not an Indian warrior chief. I'm not some demure little Indian woman healer talking spider this, spider that, am I? I'm not babbling about the four directions. Or the two-legged, four-legged, and winged. I'm talking like a twentieth-century Indian woman. Hell, a twenty-first century Indian, and you can't handle it, you wimp.”
Sherman Alexie, Indian Killer

“The feeling came upon him one night as he lay asleep under his new Rabbit blanket with his two daughters and their mother that his Power had gone to another place; even the strength running deep in his bones fled.”
Thomas Sanchez, Rabbit Boss

Zane Grey
“This beast that puffed smoke and spat fire and shrieked like a devil of an alien tribe; that split the silence as hideously as the long track split the once smooth plain; that was made of iron and wood; this thing of the white man’s, coming from out of the distance where the Great Spirit lifted the dawn, meant the end of the hunting-grounds and the doom of the Indian. Blood had flowed; many warriors lay in their last sleep under the trees; but the iron monster that belched fire had gone only to return again. Those white men were many as the needles of the pines. They fought and died, but always others came.

The chief was old and wise, taught by sage and star and mountain and wind and the loneliness of the prairie-land. He recognized a superior race, but not a nobler one. White men would glut the treasures of water and earth. The Indian had been born to hunt his meat, to repel his red foes, to watch the clouds and serve his gods. But these white men would come like a great flight of grasshoppers to cover the length and breadth of the prairie-land. The buffalo would roll away, like a dust-cloud, in the distance, and never return. No meat for the Indian — no grass for his mustang — no place for his home. The Sioux must fight till he died or be driven back into waste places where grief and hardship would end him.

Red and dusky, the sun was setting beyond the desert. The old chief swept aloft his arm, and then in his acceptance of the inevitable bitterness he stood in magnificent austerity, somber as death, seeing in this railroad train creeping, fading into the ruddy sunset, a symbol of the destiny of the Indian — vanishing — vanishing — vanishing —”
Zane Grey, The U. P. Trail

Zane Grey
“For the rest the old trapper was glad to see the last of habitations, and of men, and of the railroad. Slingerland hated that great, shining steel band of progress connecting East and West. Every ringing sledge-hammer blow had sung out the death-knell of the trapper’s calling. This railroad spelled the end of the wilderness. What one group of greedy men had accomplished others would imitate; and the grass of the plains would be burned, the forests blackened, the fountains dried up in the valleys, and the wild creatures of the mountains driven and hunted and exterminated. The end of the buffalo had come — the end of the Indian was in sight — and that of the fur-bearing animal and his hunter must follow soon with the hurrying years.

Slingerland hated the railroad, and he could not see as Neale did, or any of the engineers or builders. This old trapper had the vision of the Indian — that far-seeing eye cleared by distance and silence, and the force of the great, lonely hills. Progress was great, but nature undespoiled was greater. If a race could not breed all stronger men, through its great movements, it might better not breed any, for the bad over-multiplied the good, and so their needs magnified into greed. Slingerland saw many shining bands of steel across the plains and mountains, many stations and hamlets and cities, a growing and marvelous prosperity from timber, mines, farms, and in the distant end — a gutted West.”
Zane Grey, The U. P. Trail

Abhijit Naskar
“Unless you are an American Indian, you are a descendant of an immigrant yourself.”
Abhijit Naskar, Heart Force One: Need No Gun to Defend Society