Native American Wisdom

ARAPAHO
Before eating, always take a little time to thank the food. Easy money breeds indolence.

CHEYENNE
An Indian, a partridge and a spruce tree cannot be tamed. Judge not by the eye but from the heart.

COMANCHE
I was born upon the 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, Yamparika Comanche

CREE
Never sit while your elders stand. The white man who is our agent is so stingy that he carries a linen rag in his pocket into which to blow his nose, for fear he might blow away something of value.
– Piapot, Cree Chief

CREEK
We are afraid if we part with any more of our lands the white people will not let us keep as much as will be sufficient to bury our dead.
– Doublehead, Creek Chief

CROW
Man’s law changes with his understanding of man. Only the laws of the spirit remain always the same. The only things that need the protection of men are the things of men, not the things of the spirit.

DAKOTA
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.

DELAWARE
Good and evil cannot dwell together in the same heart, so a good man ought not to go into evil company. When you begin a great work you can’t expect to finish it all at once; therefore do you and your brothers press on, and let nothing discourage you until you have entirely finished what you have begun.
– Teedyuscung

HOPI
A lazy man is apt to be envious. You are never justified in arguing. Truth does not happen, it just is. To gossip is like playing checkers with an evil spirit: you win occasionally but are more often trapped at your own game. One foe is too many and a hundred friends too few. Trouble follows sin as surely as fever follows chill.

HURON
Let your nature be known and proclaimed.

KIOWA
I love the land and the buffalo and will not part with it… I want the children raised as I was… 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.
– Satanta, Kiowa chief

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