Walk lightly in the spring; Mother Earth is pregnant.
– Kiowa proverb
We are overwhelmed! Our hearts are sickened, our utterance is paralyzed, when we reflect on the condition in which we are placed, by the audacious practices of unprincipled men.
– John Ross
Look behind you. See your sons and your daughters. They are your future. Look farther and see your sons’ and your daughters’ children and their children’s children even unto the Seventh Generation. That’s the way we were taught. Think about it: you yourself are a Seventh Generation.
– Leon Shenandoah
We have sat and watched them pass here to get gold out and have said nothing…My friends, when I went to Washington I went into your money-house and I had some young men with me, but none of them took any money out of that house while I was with them. At the same time, when your Great Father’s people come into my country, they go into my money-house [the Black Hills] and take money out.
– Long Mandan
I love this land and the buffalo and will not part with it. I want you to understand well what I say. Write it on paper…I hear a great deal of good talk from the gentlemen the Great Father sends us, but they never do what they say. I don’t want any of the medicine lodges [schools and churches] within the country. I want the children raised as I was.
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 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
From Wakan Tanka, the Great Mystery, comes all power. It is from Wakan Tanka that the holy man has wisdom and the power to heal and make holy charms. Man knows that all healing plants are given by Wakan Tanka, therefore they are holy. So too is the buffalo holy, because it is the gift of Wakan Tanka.
– Flat Iron
The traditions of our people are handed down from father to son. The Chief is considered to be the most learned, and the leader of the tribe. The Doctor, however, is thought to have more inspiration. He is supposed to be in communion with spirits…He cures the sick by the laying hands, and prayers and incantations and heavenly songs. He infuses new life into the patient, and performs most wonderful feats of skill in his practice…He clothes himself in the skins of young innocent animals, such as the fawn, and decorated himself with the plumage of harmless birds, such as the dove and hummingbird.
– Sarah Winnemucca
Those Indians who go over to the white man can be nothing but beggars, for he respects only riches, and how can an Indian be a rich man? He cannot without ceasing to be an Indian. As for me, I have listened patiently to the promises of the Great Father, but his memory is short. I am now done with him. This is all I have to say.
– Red Cloud
You have driven away our game and our means of livelihood out of the country, until now we have nothing left that is valuable except the hills that you ask us to give up…The earth is full of minerals of all kinds, and on the earth the ground is covered with forests of heavy pine, and when we give these up to the Great Father we know that we give up the last thing that is valuable either to us or the white people.
– White Ghost
From my boyhood I have observed leaves, trees, and grass, and I have never found two alike. They may have a general likeness, but on examination I have found that they differ slightly. It is the same with animals…it is the same with human beings, there is some place which is best adapted to each.
It is strictly believed and understood by the Sioux that a child is the greatest gift from Wakan Tanka, in response to many devout prayers, sacrifices, and promises. Therefore the child is considered ‘sent from Wakan Tanka’ through some element, namely the element of human nature.
– Robert Higheagle