Man’s law changes with his understanding of man. Only the laws of the spirit remain always the same.
– Crow proverb
These were the words given to my great-grandfather by the Master of Life: ‘At some time there shall come among you a stranger, speaking a language you do not understand. He will try to buy the land from you, but do not sell it; keep it for an inheritance to your children.’
When the prairie is on fire you see animals surrounded by the fire; you see them run and try to hide themselves so that they will not burn. That is the way we are here.
You are right.
– Najinyanupi (Surrounded)
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
Children were encouraged to develop strict discipline and a high regard for sharing. When a girl picked her first berries and dug her first roots, they were given away to an elder so she would share her future success. When a child carried water for the home, an elder would give compliments, pretending to taste meat in water carried by a boy or berries in that of a girl. The child was encouraged not to be lazy and to grow straight like a sapling.
– Mourning Dove (Christine Quintasket)
Hold on to what is good, even if it is a handful of dirt.
Hold on to what you believe, even if it is a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do, even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life, even if it is easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand, even if I have gone away from you.
– Pueblo Blessing
A grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, ‘I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, violent one, the other wolf is the loving compassionate one.’ The grandson asked him, ‘Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?’ The grandfather answered, ‘The one I feed.’
– An old Cherokee story
So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.