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We Need to Live by Their Wisdom

I invite you to read and reflect on these insightful words of Native American leaders and elders who lived true to their sacred beliefs. Their wise thoughts remain salient today.

““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, Duwamish

“I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, but rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man.” – Sun Bear, Chippewa

“Friend do it this way-that is, whatever you do in life, do the very best you can with both your heart and mind. And if you do it that way, the Power of the Universe will come to your assistance, if your heart and mind are in Unity. When one sits in the Hoop Of The People, one must be responsible because All of Creation is related. And the Hurt of one is the hurt of all. And the honor of one is the honor of all. And whatever we do affects everything in the universe. If you do it that way-that is, if you truly join your heart and mind as One-whatever you ask for, that is the Way it’s Going to be.” – Lakota Instructions for Living passed down from White Buffalo Calf Woman

“Hold on to what is good, Even if it’s a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe, Even if it’s a tree that stands by itself. Hold on to what you must do, Even if it’s a long way from here. Hold on to your life, Even if it’s easier to let go. Hold on to my hand, Even if someday I’ll be gone away from you.” – Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator 1830 – 1890

“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.” – Chief Dan George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation

Treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. Ancient Indian Proverb

“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” Attributed to Whitre Elk

If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian, he can live in peace… 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….Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to think and talk and act for myself, and I will obey every law, or submit to the penalty. -Heinmot Tooyalaket ( Chief Joseph), Nez Perce Leader

May the warm winds of heaven blow softly upon your house. May the Great Spirit bless all who enter there. May your moccasins make happy tracks in many snows, And may the rainbow always touch your shoulder. Cherokee Prayer Blessing

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