Sky our Grandfather
Moon our Grandmother
Earth our Mother
I am thankful
We love each other
We are grateful
– Cherokee prayer
When your people came to our land, it was not with open arms, but with Bibles and guns and disease. You took our land. You killed us with your guns and disease, then had the arrogance to call us godless savages. If there is a Heaven and it is filled with Christians, than Hell is the place for me.
– Unknown Native American
We would rather die here on our land than be forced to go. Kill us all here on our land now, so that in the future when men will ask, ‘Why have these died?’ it shall be answered, ‘They died rather than be forced to leave their land. They died to maintain their rights. And perhaps there will be found some who will pity us and say, ‘They only did what was right.’
– White Eagle
Has the white man become a child that he should recklessly kill and not eat? When the red men slay game, they do so that they may live and not starve.
You must begin anew and put away the wisdom of your fathers. You must lay up food and forget the hungry. When your house is built, your storeroom filled, then look around for a neighbor whom you can take advantage of and seize all he has.
– Red Cloud
All birds, even those of the same species, are not alike, and it is the same with animals and with human beings. The reason Wakan Tanka does not make two birds, or animals or human beings exactly alike is because each is placed here by Wakan Tanka to be an individual and to rely upon itself.
A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers, but when I go up to the river I see camps of soldiers on its banks. These soldiers cut down my timber, they kill my buffalo and when I see that, my heart feels like bursting.
We know our lands have now become more valuable. The white people think we do not know their value; but we know that the land is everlasting, and the few goods we receive for it are soon worn out and gone.
Let me be a free man – free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade I choose, free to 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.
– Chief Joseph
The white man is in the Black Hills just like maggots, and I want you to get them out just as quick as you can. The chief of all thieves [General Custer] made a road into the Black Hills last summer, and I want the Great Father to pay the damages for what Custer has done.
– Baptiste Good