80 Photos - May 8, 2012
Photo: Warriors are not what you think of as warriors. The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another life. The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who cannot provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity. —Sitting BullPhoto: …everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence. —Christal QuintasketPhoto: The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who was born a free man should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. —Joseph (1830 - 1904), Nez Percé chiefPhoto: Children were encouraged to develop strict discipline and a high regard for sharing. When a girl picked her first berries and dug her first roots, they were given away to an elder so she would share her future success. When a child carried water for the home, an elder would give compliments, pretending to taste meat in water carried by a boy or berries in that of a girl. The child was encouraged not to be lazy and to grow straight like a sapling. —Mourning Dove (1888 - 1936), SalishPhoto: No tribe has the right to sell, even to each other, much less to strangers... Sell a country! Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth? Didn't the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children? The way, the only way to stop this evil is for the red man to unite in claiming a common and equal right in the land, as it was first, and should be now, for it was never divided. We gave them forest-clad mountains and valleys full of game, and in return what did they give our warriors and our women? Rum, trinkets, and a grave. —Tecumseh (March 1768 - October 5, 1813), Shawnee LeaderPhoto: If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them, you will not know them, and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears one destroys.” —Geswanouth Slahoot (Chief Dan George), Tsleil-Waututh ChiefPhoto: 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. —Eagle Chief (late 19th century), PawneePhoto: I am a red man. If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. He put in your heart certain wishes and plans, in my heart he put other and different desires. Each man is good in his sight. It is not necessary for Eagles to be Crows. We are poor, but we are free. No white man controls our footsteps. If we must die, we die defending our rights. —Sitting Bull (c. 1831 - 1890), Hunkpapa SiouxPhoto: In Iroquois society, leaders are encouraged to remember seven generations in the past and consider seven generations in the future when making decisions that affect the people. —Wilma Pearl Mankiller (Nov 18, 1945 - Apr 6, 2010), Cherokee LeaderPhoto: This we know; the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. —Chief Seattle (c. 1780 - Jun 7, 1866), Duwamish ChiefPhoto: 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 (Dec 1863 - Aug 1950), Oglala SiouxPhoto: The Earth was created by the assistance of the sun, and it should be left as it was. The country was made without lines of demarcation, and it’s no man’s businessto divide it... The earth and my self are of one mind. The measure of land & the measure of our bodies are the same... If I thought you were sent by the creator, I might be induced to think you had a right to dispose of me. Do not misunderstand me, but understandme fully with reference to my affection to the land. I never said the land was mine to do with as I chose. The one who has a right to dispose of it is the one who has created it. I claim a right to live on my land, and accord you the privilege to live on yours. —Joseph (1830 - 1904), Nez Percé ChiefPhoto: For shame! For shame! You dare to cry out Liberty, when you hold us in places against our will, driving us from place to place as if we were beasts. —Sarah Winnemucca (ca. 1844 – October 17, 1891), Paiute Writer & Activist #WomenWednesdayPhoto: Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind. Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of such terrible danger? Know that you yourself are essential to this World. —Chief Arvol Looking Horse (1954), Lakota, Dakota, & Nakota NationPhoto: Being Indian is an attitude, a state of mind, a way of being in harmony with all things and all beings. It is allowing the heart to be the distributor of energy on this planet; to allow feelings and sensitivities to determine where energy goes; bringing aliveness up from the Earth and from the Sky, putting it in and giving it out from the heart. —Brooke Medicine Eagle, CrowPhoto: If today I had a young mind to direct, to start on the journey of life, and I was faced with the duty of choosing between the natural way of my forefathers and that of the... present way of civilization, I would, for its welfare, unhesitatingly set that child's feet in the path of my forefathers. I would raise him to be an Indian! —Tom Brown, Jr. (Jan 29, 1950), The TrackerPhoto: If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian he can live in peace. There need be no trouble. Treat all men alike. Give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers. The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. —Joseph (1830 - 1904), Nez Percé chiefPhoto: 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 (Dec 1868 - Feb 20, 1939), Oglala LakotaPhoto: I was no chief and never had been, but because I had been more deeply wronged than others, this honor was conferred upon me, and I resolved to prove worthy of the trust. —Geronimo (Jun 16, 1829 - Feb 17, 1909), Apache LeaderPhoto: Is it wrong for me to love my own? Is it wicked for me because my skin is red? Because I am Sioux? Because I was born where my father lived? Because I would die for my people and my country? —Sitting Bull (c. 1831 - 1890), Hunkpapa SiouxPhoto: Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss. —Black Elk (Dec 1863 - Aug 1950), Oglala SiouxPhoto: Great Spirit, grant that I may not criticize my neighbor until I have walked a mile in his moccasins. —Native American Plains Proverb [Young Plains Indian by James Bama]Photo: When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. —Native American Cherokee Proverb
[Offering to the Great Spirit, by Chris Johns]Photo: It is observed that in any great endeavor, it is not enough for a person to depend solely on himself. —Native American Lakota Proverb [Lakota Chief, by Z. S. Liang]Photo: A woman’s highest calling is to lead a man to his soul, so as to unite him with the source; her lowest calling is to seduce, separating man from his soul and leave him aimlessly wandering. A man’s highest calling is to protect woman, so she is free to walk the earth unharmed. Man’s lowest calling is to ambush and force his way into the life of a woman. —Native American Cherokee ProverbPhoto: Peace and happiness are available in every moment. Peace is every step. We shall walk hand in hand. There are no political solutions to spiritual problems. Remember: If the Creator put it there, it is in the right place. The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears. —An Indian Chief, 1876 [Photo by B Zorrino]Photo: I will follow the white man's trail. I will make him my friend, but I will not bend my back to his burdens. I will be cunning as a coyote. I will ask him to help me understand his ways, then I will prepare the way for my children, and their children. The Great Spirit has shown me - a day will come when they will outrun the white man in his own shoes. —Many Horses, Teton LakotaPhoto: So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home. —Tecumseh (March 1768 - October 5, 1813), Shawnee LeaderPhoto: Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money. —Native American Cree ProverbPhoto: Let us not forget that, after all, science has not explained everything. We have still to face the ultimate miracle—the origin and principle of life! Here is the supreme mystery that is the essence of worship, without which there can be no religion, and in the presence of this mystery our attitude cannot be very unlike that of the natural philosopher, who beholds with awe the Divine in all creation. —Ohiyesa (Feb 19, 1858 - Jan 8, 1939), Santee SiouxPhoto: Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks and the birds and animals that shared, alike with us, the storms and blessings of the earth. We learn to do what only the student of nature ever learns, and that is to feel beauty. We never rail at the storms, the furious winds, the biting frosts and snows. To do so intensifies human futility, so whatever comes we should adjust ourselves by more effort and energy if necessary, but without complaint. Bright days and dark days are both expressions of the Great Mystery, and the Indian reveled in being close the the Great Holiness. —Chief Luther Standing Bear (Dec 1868 - Feb 20, 1939), Oglala SiouxPhoto: The Great Spirit does right. He knows what is best for his children. We are satisfied. Brother, we do not wish to destroy your religion, or to take it from you. We only want to enjoy our own. —Sagoyewatha (Red Jacket) (c, 1750 - Jan 20, 1830), Seneca ChiefPhoto: All birds, even those of the same species are not alike, and it is the same with animals as with human beings. The reason Wakantanka does not make two birds, or two animals, or humans exactly alike is because each is placed here by Wakantanka to be an independent individuality and to rely on its self. —Shooter, Teton SiouxPhoto: We want to maintain ourselves as we are so we can contribute our differences, our particular understanding, to both the national community and the global society. —LaDonna Harris (1931), ComanchePhoto: Learn to associate with the White man, learn his ways, get an education. With an education you are his equal; without it, you are his victim. —Aleek-chea-ahoosh (Plenty Coups) (1848 - 1932), Crow ChiefPhoto: We stand together for the good of our people. To stand up for yourself, you must use your own two feet. —Laughing Water, Chiricahua ApachePhoto: Thoughts are like arrows: once released, they strike their mark. Guard them well or one day you may be your own victim. —Navajo ProverbPhoto: I have been to the end of the earth. I have been to the end of the waters. I have been to the end of the sky. I have been to the end of the mountains. I have found none that are not my friends. —Navajo ProverbPhoto: I am tired of talk that comes to nothing. It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises. There has been too much talking by men who had no right to talk. —Joseph (1830 - 1904), Nez Percé ChiefPhoto: Revenge by young men is considered gain, even at the cost of their own lives, but old men who stay at home in times of war, and mothers who have sons to lose, know better. —Chief Seattle (c. 1780 - 1866), Duwamish [Photo by Daniel Stainer]Photo: I cannot think that we are useless or God would not have created us. There is one God looking down on us all. We are all the children of one God. The sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we have to say. —Geronimo (1829 - 1909), Apache Leader [Artwork by Mariah Hourihan]Photo: As a little child, it was instilled into me to be silent and reticent. This was one of the most important traits to form in the character of the Indian. As a hunter and warrior, it was considered absolutely necessary to him, and was thought to lay the foundations of patience and self-control. —Ohiyesa (1858 - 1939), Santee SiouxPhoto: Love is something you and I must have. We must have it because our spirit feeds upon it. We must have it because without it, we become weak and faint. Without love, our self-esteem weakens. Without it, our courage fails. Without love, we can no longer look out confidently at the world. We turn inward and begin to feed upon our own personalities, and little by little we destroy ourselves. —Chief Dan George (1899 - 1981), Tsleil-Waututh ChiefPhoto: The path to glory is rough, and many gloomy hours obscure it. May the Great Spirit shed light on your path, so that you may never experience the humility that the power of the American government has reduced me to. This is the wish of a man who, in his native forests, was once as proud and bold as yourself. —Black Hawk (1767 – 1838), Sauk LeaderPhoto: The soldiers never explained to the government when an Indian was wronged, but reported the misdeeds of the Indians. We took an oath not to do any wrong to each other or to scheme against each other. —Geronimo (1829 - 1909), Apache LeaderPhoto: We are told that our lands are of no service to us, but still, if we hold our lands, there will always be a turkey, or a deer, or a fish in the streams for those young who will come after us. —Doublehead, Creek ChiefPhoto: 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 Chief [Artwork by Melissa Muir]Photo: Our land is everything to us... I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember that our grandfathers paid for it - with their lives. —John Wooden Legs, Cheyenne [Artwork by Mark Rohrig]Photo: Great Spirit - I want no blood upon my land to stain the grass. I want it clear and pure, and I wish it so, that all who go through among my people may find it peaceful when they come, and leave peacefully when they go. —Ten Bears (1790- 1872), Yamparika ComanchePhoto: No one was quick with a question, no matter how important, and no one was pressed for an answer. A pause giving time for thought was the truly courteous way of beginning and conducting a conversation. —Chief Luther Standing Bear, (1868 - 1939) Oglala Lakota [Artwork by Riel Benn]Photo: It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one's spiritual balance. —Charles Alexander Eastman (1858 - 1939), Santee Sioux [Artwork by William Ahrendt]Photo: No person among us desires any other reward for performing a brave and worth action, but the consciousness of having served his nation. —Joseph Brant (1743 – 1807), Mohawk [Artwork by Ezra Ames]Photo: Sell a country! Why not sell the air, the clouds, and the Great Sea, as well as the Earth? Did not the Great Good Spirit make them all for the use of his children? —Tecumseh (1768 - 1813), Shawnee LeaderPhoto: Do not grieve. Misfortunes will happen to the wisest and best of men. Death will come, always out of season. It is the command of the Great Spirit, and all nations and people must obey. What is past and what cannot be prevented should not be grieved for. —Big Elk (1770–1846/1853), Omaha ChiefPhoto: Every part of all this soil is sacred to my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in the days long vanished. The very dust you now stand on responds more willingly to their footsteps than to yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch. —Chief Seattle (1780 - 1866), Duwamish [Photo by Archangem]Photo: I know that robes, leggings, moccasins, bear claws, and so on are of little value to you, but we wish you have them and to preserve them in some conspicuous part of your lodge, so that when we are gone and the sod turned over our bones, if our children should visit this place, as we do now, they may see & recognize with pleasure the things of their fathers, and reflect on the times that are past. —Sharitarish, PawneePhoto: You have set the powers of the four quarters of the earth to cross each other. You have made me cross the good road and road of difficulties, and where they cross, the place is holy. Day in, day out, forevermore, you are the life of things. —Black Elk (1863 - 1950), Oglala Sioux [Artwork by Lynn Berryhill]Photo: We send our little Indian boys and girls to school, and when they come back talking English, they come back swearing. There is no swear word in the Indian languages, and I haven't yet learned to swear. —Gertrude S. Bonnin (Zitkala-Ša) (1876–1938), Yankton SiouxPhoto: The white people must think that paper has some mysterious power to help them in the world. The Indian needs no writings; words that are true sink deep into his heart, where they remain. He never forgets them. On the other hand, if the white man loses his papers, he is helpless. —Four Guns, Oglala Sioux [Artwork by Thubakabra]Photo: My reason teaches me that land cannot be sold. The Great Spirit gave it to his children to live upon and cultivate as far as necessary for their subsistence, and so long as they occupy and cultivate it they have the right to the soil, but if they voluntarily leave it then any other people have the right to settle on it. Nothing can be sold, except things that can be carried away. —Black Hawk (1767 - 1838), SaukPhoto: Can we talk of integration until there is integration of hearts and minds? Unless you have this, you only have a physical presence, and the walls between us are as high as the mountain range. —Chief Dan George (1899 - 1981), Tsleil-Waututh [Artwork by Neil Howell]Photo: The more I consider the condition of the white men, the more fixed becomes my opinion that, instead of gaining, they have lost much subjecting themselves to what they call the laws and regulations of civilized societies. —Tomochichi (1644 - 1739), Creek ChiefPhoto: I was born upon a prairie where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures and where everything drew a free breath. I want to die there, and not within walls. —Ten Bears (1790- 1872), Yamparika ComanchePhoto: Friendship is held to be the severest test of character. It is easy, we think, to be loyal to family and clan, whose blood is our own veins. Love between man and woman is founded on the mating instinct and is not free from desire and self-seeking. But to have a friend, and to be true under any and all trials, is the mark of a man! —Charles Alexander Eastman (1858 - 1939), Santee SiouxPhoto: 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 (c. 1831 - 1890), Hunkpapa Sioux [Photo by Mim Tasters]Photo: Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a person is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. —Black Elk (1863 - 1950), Oglala Sioux [Photo by Daisy Days]Photo: It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand. —Apache Proverb [Artwork by Miguel A.G. Romero]Photo: They are not dead who live in the hearts they leave behind. —Tuscarora Proverb [Artwork by John Phelps]Photo: Make my enemy brave and strong, so that if defeated, I will not be ashamed. —Plains Proverb [Unknown Artist]Photo: Help Save Lakota Sioux Sacred Land! Please help spread the words. More info http://bit.ly/Nq8hWgPhoto: If a man is as wise as a serpent, he can afford to be as harmless as a dove. —Cheyenne Proverb [Artwork by Howard Terpning]Photo: When a man moves away from nature, his heart becomes hard. —Lakota Proverb [Artwork by James Ayers]Photo: Their motto seems to be ‘Money, money, get money, get rich, and be a gentleman.’ With this sentiment, they fly about in every direction, like a swarm of bees, in search of treasure that lies so near to their hearts. —Kahkewaquonaby, Ojibwe [Artwork by Don Ningewance]Photo: Don't be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts. —Hopi Proverb [Artwork by Kirby Sattler]Photo: The Circle has healing power. In the Circle, we are all equal. No one is in front of you, no one is behind you, no one is above you, no one is below you. The Sacred Circle is designed to create unity. The Hoop of Life is also a circle.
On this hoop there is a place for every species, every race, every tree and every plant. It is this completeness of Life that must be respected in order to bring about health on this planet. —Dave Chief (1930 - 2005), Oglala Lakota [Artwork by Jody Bergsma]Photo: A man who would not love his father's grave is worse than a wild animal. —Chief Joseph (1830 - 1904), Nez Percé [Artwork by G.W. Roberts, Jr.]Photo: The fire of hope almost went out; we have to rekindle it. —Red Cloud (1822 – 1909), Oglala Lakota [Artwork by Lawrence Tripoli]Photo: The only thing necessary for tranquility in the world is that every child grows up happy. —Chief Dan George (1899 – 1981), Tsleil-WaututhPhoto: What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of the spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected. —Chief Seattle (1780 - 1866), Duwamish Chief [Photo Courtesy of Horses for the Spirit]Photo: Where no one intrudes, many can live in harmony. —Chief Dan George (1899 - 1981), Tsleil-Waututh