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Qwatsinas [Hereditary Chief Edward Moody], Nuxalk Nation|
"We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can't speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees."
Chief Luther Standing Bear - Lakota Sioux:
"I am going to venture that the man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures, and acknowledging unity with the universe of things, was infusing into his being the true essence of civilization."
"The elders were wise. They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."
Ancient Indian Proverb
"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."
Even sticks and stones have a spiritual essence, a manifestation of the mysterious power that fills the Universe.
"One does not sell the land people walk on."
Luther Standing Bear Oglala Sioux, 1868-1937
"The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers, he belongs just as the buffalo belonged...."
Chief Joseph, Nez Perce
"All men were made brothers. The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who was born free should be content when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases."
Black Elk Oglala Sioux Holy Man, 1863-1950
"You have noticed that everything as Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round..... The Sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours....
Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves."
Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator
"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."
Mourning Dove Salish, 1888-1936
"...... everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence."
Lone Man (Isna-la-wica) Teton Sioux
"... I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself."
Resolution of the Fifth Annual Meetings of the Traditional Elders Circle, 1980
"There are many things to be shared with the Four Colors of humanity in our common destiny as one with our Mother the Earth. It is this sharing that must be considered with great care by the Elders and the medicine people who carry the Sacred Trusts, so that no harm may come to people through ignorance and misuse of these powerful forces."
Tom Brown, Jr., The Tracker
"We learned to be patient observers like the owl. We learned cleverness from the crow, and courage from the jay, who will attack an owl ten times its size to drive it off its territory. But above all of them ranked the chickadee because of its indomitable energy for life."
Wintu Woman, 19th Century
"When we Indians kill meat, we eat it all up. When we dig roots, we make little holes. When we build houses, we make little holes. When we burn grass for grasshoppers, we don't ruin things. We shake down acorns and pine nuts. We don't chop down the trees. We only use dead wood."