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 Sioux quotes and words of wisdom.

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Sioux quotes and words of wisdom

"If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. He put in your heart certain wishes and plans, and in my heart he put other and different desires. It is not necessary for eagles to be crows."
  ~Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa Sioux

"One does not sell the land people walk on."
  ~Crazy Horse, Sept. 23, 1875

"Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a Supreme Power, and principles of truth, honesty, generosity, equity, and brotherhood as a guide to mundane relations."
  ~Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux, 1868-1937

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....
  ~Black Elk, Oglala Sioux Holy Man, 1863-1950

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 (Maza Blaska), Oglala Sioux Chief

I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself.
  ~Lone Man (Isna-la-wica), Teton Sioux

All birds, even those of the same species, are not alike, and it is the same with animals and with human beings. The reason WakanTanka does not make two birds, or animals, or human beings exactly alike is because each is placed here by WakanTanka to be an independent individuality and to rely upon itself.
  ~Shooter, Teton Sioux

"A wee child toddling in a wonder world, I prefer to their dogma my excursions into the natural gardens where the voice of the Great Spirit is heard in the twittering of birds, the rippling of mighty waters, and the sweet breathing of flowers. If this is Paganism, then at present, at least, I am a Pagan."
  ~Zitkala Sa

"I was hostile to the white man...We preferred hunting to a life of idleness on our reservations. At times we did not get enough to eat and we were not allowed to hunt. All we wanted was peace and to be let alone. Soldiers the winter..and destroyed our villages. Then Long Hair (Custer) came...They said we massacred him, but he would have done the same to us. Our first impulse was to escape...but we were so hemmed in we had to fight. After that I lived in peace, but the government would not let me alone. I was not allowed to remain quiet. I was tired of fighting...They tried to confine me..and a soldier ran his bayonet into me. I have spoken.
  ~Crazy Horse

"I am a red man. If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. He put in your heart certain wishes and plans, in my heart he put other and different desires. Each man is good in his sight. It is not necessary for Eagles to be Crows. We are poor..but we are free. No white man controls our footsteps. If we must die...we die defending our rights."
  ~Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa Sioux

"In 1868, men came out and brought papers. We could not read them and they did not tell us truly what was in them. We thought the treaty was to remove the forts and for us to cease from fighting. But they wanted to send us traders on the Missouri, but we wanted traders where we were. When I reached Washington, the Great Father explained to me that the interpreters had deceived me. All I want is right and just."
  ~Red Cloud (Makhpiya-luta) , April, 1870

....I am poor and naked, but I am the chief of the nation. We do not want riches but we do want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love.
  ~Red Cloud (Makhpiya-luta)

The twentieth century has produced a world of conflicting visions, intense emotions, and unpredictable events, and the opportunities for grasping the substance of life have faded as the pace of activity has increased.
  ~Vine Deloria, Jr. in the introduction to Neihardt's "Black Elk Speaks."

The massive amount of useless knowledge produced by anthropologists attempting to capture real Indians in a network of theories has contributed substantially to the invisibility of Indian people today."
  ~Vine Deloria, Jr. - paragraph 22 of chapter 4, titled "Anthropologists and Other Friends" from "Custer Died for Your Sins."

Scientists, and I use the word as loosely as possible, are committed to the view that Indians migrated to this country over an imaginary Bering Straits bridge, which comes and goes at the convenience of the scholar requiring it to complete his or her theory. Initially, at least, Indians are homogenous. But there are also eight major language families within the Western Hemisphere, indicating to some scholars that if Indians followed the trend that can be identified in other continents, then the migration went from east to west; so tourists along the Bering straits were going TO Asia, not migrating FROM it.
  ~Vine Deloria, Jr.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that we shall not have the benefits of this world for much longer. The imminent and expected destruction of the life cycle of world ecology can only be prevented by a radical shift in outlook from our present naive conception of this world as a testing ground to a more mature view of the universe as a comprehensive matrix of life forms. Making this shift in viewpoint is essentially religious, not economic or political.
  ~Vine Deloria, Jr.

And I told them not to dig for uranium, for if they did, the children would die. They didn't listen, they didn't listen, they didn't listen to me. And I told them if the children die, there would be no keepers of the land. They didn't listen. And I told them if they destroy the sky, machines would come and soon destroy the land. They didn't listen... And I told them if they destroy the land, man would have to move into the sea. They didn't listen... And I told them if they destroy the sea -- they didn't listen...
  ~Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman - from his song "They Didn't Listen." Westerman recited the lyric concluding his testimony in 1992 at the World Uranium Hearings in Salzburg, Austria.

There is an ancient Indian saying that something lives only as long as the last person who remembers it. My people have come to trust memory over history. Memory, like fire, is radiant and immutable while history serves only those who seek to control it, those who douse the flame of memory in order to put out the dangerous fire of truth. Beware these men for they are dangerous themselves and unwise. Their false history is written in the blood of those who might remember and of those who seek the truth.
  ~Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman

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