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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. Santanta Kiowa Chief

When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies within yourself. Tecumseh Shawnee

I hope the Great Heavenly Father, who will look down upon us, will give all the tribes His blessing, that we may go forth in peace, and live in peace all our days, and that He will look down upon our children and finally lift us far above the earth; and that our Heavenly Father will look upon our children as His children, that all the tribes may be His children, and as we shake hands to-day upon this broad plain, we may forever live in peace. Red Cloud [Marpiya-Luta] (late 19th century) Oglala Sioux chief

"Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom... an intense and absorbing love for nature; a respect for life; enriching faith in a Supreme Power; and principles of truth, honesty, generosity, equality and brotherhood as a guide to mundane relations". Chief Luther Standing Bear.....Sioux

When a child my mother taught me the legends of our people; taught me of the sun and sky, the moon and stars, the clouds and storms. She also taught me to kneel and pray to Usen for strength, health, wisdom, and protection. We never prayed against any person, but if we had aught against any individual we ourselves took vengeance. We were taught that Usen does not care for the petty quarrels of men. Geronimo Chircahua Apache Chief

The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. You might as well expect the river 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 Nez Perce Chief

"If you live on this land, and you have ancestors sleeping in this land, I believe that makes you a native to this land. It has nothing to do with the color of your skin. I was not raised to look at people racially. What I was taught is that we're flowers in the Great Spirit's garden. We share a common root, and the root is Mother Earth." Oh Shinnah

When a man does a piece of work which is admired by all we say that it is wonderful; but when we see the changes of day and night, the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky, and the changing seasons upon the earth, with their ripening fruits, anyone must realize that it is the work of someone more powerful than man. Chased-By-Bears Santee-Yanktonai Sioux

Of all the animals the horse is the best friend of the Indian, for without it he could not go on long journeys. A horse is the Indian's most valuable piece of property. If an Indian wishes to gain something, he promises that if the horse will help him he will paint it with native dye, that all may see that help has come to him through the aid of his horse. Brave Buffalo (late 19th century) Teton Sioux Medicine Man

Why should you take by force from us that which you can obtain by love? Why should you destroy us who have provided you with food? What can you get by war? It is better to eat good meat, be well, and sleep quietly with my women and children; to laugh and be merry with the English, and be their friend; to have copper hatches and whatever else I want. King Wahunsonacook Powhatan

Strong liquor was first sold to us by the Dutch, and they were blind, they had no eyes, they could not see how much it hurt us, The next people who came were the Swedes, who continued to sell us strong liquor, we love it. so we cannot refuse it, It makes us wild; we do not know what we are doing, We abuse one another; we throw one another into the fire... Through drinking, seven score of our people have been killed. The cask must be sealed, it mist be made fast; it must not leak by day or night, in the light or in the day. Okanion Delaware

Do you know or can you believe that sometimes the idea obtrudes...whether it has been well that I have sought civilization with its bothersome concomitants and whether it would not be better even now...to return to the darkness and most sacred wilds (if any such can be found) of our country and there to vegetate and expire silently, happily and forgotten as do the birds of the air and the beasts of the field. The thought is a happy one but perhaps impracticable. ElyS Parker (1828-1895) Seneca Iroquois Sachem Brigadier General U.S. Army