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Aliens? or the "Ant People" who cared for the Hopi? Native Americans believe there is "duality" -- good and bad -- in everything, and that would have to include aliens. The Hopi and Pueblo say the "Ant People" fed and cared for their people while they were living underground,

between the 3rd and 4th (our) world, before they reemerged into the "upper world" at Sipapu, which is in the American Southwest.

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Sacred Instructions

by the Spiritual Elder William Commanda and Frank Decontie

To Take Care of Mother Earth and the other 3 colors of Man. To Respect this Mother Earth and Creation. To Honour All life, and to support that Honour. To be grateful from the heart for All life. It is through life that there is Survival. Thank the Creator at All times for All life. To Love and express that love. To be Humble. Humility is the gift of wisdom and understanding. Kindness. To be Kind with one-self and with others. Sharing. The Sharing of feelings and personal concerns and commitments. Honesty. To be Honest with one-self and with others. To be Responsible for those Sacred Instructions and to administrate those Instructions to other Nations.


Black Elk: Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux, 1863-1950

"Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking."

Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.

And I say the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy...

But anywhere is the center of the world.

A long time ago my father told me what his father had told him, that there was once a Lakota holy man, called Drinks Water, who dreamed what was to be... He dreamed that the four-leggeds were going back to the Earth, and that a strange race would weave a web all around the Lakotas. He said,You shall live in square gray houses, in a barren land... Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking. (1932)


Quotes from Chief Sitting Bull:

I know Great Spirit is looking down upon me from above, and will hear what I say...

He put in your heart certain wishes and plans; in my heart, he put other different desires.

Each man is good in the sight of the Great Spirit.

Now that we are poor, we are free. No white man controls our footsteps. If we must die, we die defending our rights.

What white man can say I never stole his land or a penny of his money? Yet they say that I am a thief.

If a man loses anything and goes back and looks carefully for it, he will find it.

I was very sorry when I found out that your intentions were good and not what I supposed they were.

If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man, he would have made me so in the first place.

You think I am a fool, but you are a greater fool than I am.

When I was a boy, the Sioux owned the world. The sun rose and set on their land; they sent ten thousand men to battle. Where are the warriors today? Who slew them? Where are our lands? Who owns them?

I want to tell you that if the Great Spirit had chosen anyone to be the chief of this country, it is myself.

God made me an Indian.

Is it wrong for me to love my own? Is it wicked for me because my skin is red? Because I am Sioux? Because I was born where my father lived? Because I would die for my people and my country?

What white woman, however lonely, was ever captive or insulted by me? Yet they say I am a bad Indian.

What white man has ever seen me drunk? Who has ever come to me hungry and left me unfed? Who has seen me beat my wives or abuse my children? What law have I broken?

The earth has received the embrace of the sun and we shall see the results of that love.


Wolf I am, Everything

in darkness Will be good

In light because Maheo

Wherever I search Protects us

Wherever I run Ea ea ea ho.

- Song of a Cheyenne scout..

"Amaguk is like Nunamiut. He doesn't hunt when the weather is bad.

He likes to play. He works hard to get food for his family.

His hair starts to get white when her gets old."

Of Wolves and Men

The Native Americans call animals the children of the earth. The wolf they call big mouth, Legend says the wolf sent spirit messages to the world beyond.

Author unknown

The White Man must treat the beasts of this land as his brother.What is man withoutthe beasts? if all thebeasts were gone, manwould die from a great loneliness of spirit. Forwhatever happens tothe beasts, also happensto the man.

Chief Seattle of the Puget Sound Suwamish Tribe (1855)

We yield to our neighbors,even our animal neighborsthe same right as ourselves, to Inhabit this land.

Found at the "Native American Resistance" page.


Tecumseh of the Shawnees - Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican, the Pokanoket, and many other once powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice and the oppression of the White Man, as snow before a summer sun. Will we let ourselves be destroyed in our turn without a struggle, give up our homes, our country bequeathed to us by the Great Spirit, the graves of our dead and everything that is dear and sacred to us? I know you will cry with me, "Never! Never!"

Manuelito of the Navahos - When our father heard that the Americans were coming across the Great River westward…We heard of guns and powder and lead - first flintlocks, then percussion caps, and now repeating rifles. We first saw the Americans at Cottonwood Wash. We had wars with the Mexicans and the Pueblos. We captured mules from the Mexicans, and had many mules. The Americans came to trade with us. When the Americans first came we had a big dance, and they danced with our women. We also traded.

Wamditanka (Big Eagle) of the Santee Sioux - The whites were always trying to make the Indians give up their life and live like the white men - go to farming, work hard and do as they did - and the Indians did not know how to do that, and did not want to anyway….If the Indians had tried to make the whites live like them, the whites would have resisted, and it was the same with many Indians.

Sinte-Galeshka (Spotted Tail) of the Brule Sioux - This war did not spring up here in our land; this war was brought upon us by the children of the Great Father who came to take our land from us without price, and who, in our land, do a great many evil things. The Great Father and his children are to blame for this trouble….It has been our wish to live here in our country peacefully, and do such things as may be for the welfare and good of our people, but the Great Father has filled it with soldiers who think only of our death. Some of our people who have gone from here in order that they should have a change, and others who have gone north to hunt, have been attacked by soldiers from this direction, and when they have gone north have been attacked by soldiers from the other side, and now when they are willing to come back the soldiers stand between them in order to keep them from coming home. It seems to me that there is a better way than this, When people come to trouble, it is better for both parties to come together without arms and talk it over and find some peaceable way to settle it.

Tonkahaska (Tall Bull) to General Winfield Scott Hancock - We never did the white man any harm; we don't intend to…We are willing to be friends with the white man….The buffalo are diminishing fast. The antelope, that were plenty a few years ago, they are now thin. When they shall all die, we shall be hungry; we shall want something to eat, and we will be compelled to come into the fort. Your young men must not fire at us; whenever they see us they fire, and we fire on them.

Woquini (Roman Nose) to General Winfield Scott Hancock - Are not women and children more timid than men? The Cheyenne warriors are not afraid, but have you never heard of Sand Creek? Your soldiers look just like the soldiers that butchered women and children there.

Motavato (Black Kettle) to the Indians at Medicine Creek Lodge - We were once friends with the whites, but you nudged us out of the way by your intrigues, and now when we are in council, you keep nudging (to fight) each other. Why don't you talk and go straight, and let all be well?

Motavato (Black Kettle) of the Southern Cheyennes - Although wrongs have been done to me, I live in hopes. I have not got two hearts….Now we are together again to make peace. My shame is as big as the earth, although I will do what my friends have advised me to do. I once thought that I was the only man that persevered to be the friend of the white man, but since they have come and cleaned out our lodges, horses and everything else, it is hard for me to believe the white men any more.

Donehogawa (Ely Parker), the first Indian Commissiorer of Indian Affairs - Although this country was once wholly inhabited by Indians, the tribes, and many of them once powerful, who occupied the countries now constituting the states east of the Mississippi, have, one by one, been exterminated in their abortive attempts to stem the westward march of civilization….If any tribe remonstrated against the violation of their natural and treaty rights, members of the tribe were inhumanly shot down and treated as mere dogs….It is resumed that humanity dictated the original policy of the removal and concentration of the Indians in the West to save them from threatened extinction. But today, by reason of the immense augmentation of the American population, and the extension of their settlements throughout the entire West, covering both slopes of the Rocky Mountains, the Indian races are more seriously threatened with a speedy extermination than ever before in the history of the country.

Cochise of the Chiricahua Apaches - When I was young I walked all over this country, east and west, and saw no other people than the Apaches. After many summers I had walked again and found that another race of people had come to take it. How is it? Why is it that the Apaches wait to die - that they carry their lives on their fingernails? They roam over the hills and plains and want the heavens to fall on them. The Apaches were once a great nation; they are now but few, and because of this they ant to die and so carry their lives on their fingernails.

Delshay of the Tonto Apaches - I don't want to run over the mountains anymore; I want to make a big treaty….I will keep my words until the stones melt….God made the white man and God made the Apache, and the Apache has just as much right to the country as the white man. I want to make a treaty that will last, so that both can travel over the country and have no trouble.

Eskiminzin of the Aravaipa Apaches - If it had not been for the massacre, there would have been a great many more people here now; but after the massacre, who could have stood it? When I made peace with Lieutenant Whitman my heart was very big and happy. The people of Tucson and San Xavier must be crazy. They acted as though they had neither heads nor hearts….they must have a thirst for our blood….These Tucson people write for the papers and tell their own story. The Apaches have no one to tell their story.

Kintpuash (Captain Jack) of the Modocs - I am but one man. I am the voice of my people. Whatever their hearts are, that I talk. I want no more war. I want to be a man. You deny me the right of a white man. My skin is red; my heart is a white man's heart; but I am a Modoc. I am not afraid to die. I will not fall on the rocks. When I die, my enemies will be under me. Your soldiers began (fighting) me when I was asleep on Lost River. They drove us on these rocks like a wounded deer. I have always told the white man heretofore to come and settle in my country; that it was his country and Captain Jack's country. That they could come and live there with me and that I was not mad with them. I never received anything from anybody, only what I bought and paid for myself. I have always lived like a white man, and wanted to live so. I have always tried to live peaceably and never asked any man for anything. I have always lived on what I could kill and shoot with my gun, and catch in my trap.

Satanta, Chief of the Kiowacs - I have heard that you intend to settle us on a reservation near the mountains. I don't want to settle. I love to roam over the praries. There I feel free and happy, but when we settle down we grow pale and die. I have laid aside my lance, bow and shield, and yet I feel safe in your presence. I have told you the truth. I have hid no little lies about me, but I don't know how it is with the commissioners. Are they as clear as I am? A long time ago this land belinged 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; I feel sorry….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 eat and not starve.

Treaty of 1868 - No white person or persons shall be permitted to settle upon or occupy any potion of the territory, or without the consent of the Indians to pass through the same.

Tashunka Witko (Crazy Horse) - One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.

Baptiste Good - The white man is in the Black Hills like maggots, and I want you to get them out 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.

Mato Noupa (Two Bears) - The Great Father's young men are going to carry gold away from the hills. I expect they will fill a number of houses with it. In consideration for this, I want my people to be provided for as long as they live.

Shunka Witko (Fool Dog) - The Great Father told the commissioners that all the Indians had rights to the Black Hills, and that whatever conclusion the Indians themselves would come to would be respected….I am an Indian and am looked on by the whites as a foolish man; but it must be because I follow the advice of the white man

Shunkaha Napin (Wolf Necklace) - I never want to leave this country; all my relatives are lying here in the ground. And when I fall to pieces I am going to fall to pieces here.

Kangi Witka (Crow Feather) - My friends, for many years we have been in this country; we never go to the Great Father's country and bother him about anything. It is his people who come to our country and bother us, do many bad things and teach our people to be bad….Before you people ever crossed the ocean to come to this country, and from that time to this, you have never proposed to buy a country that was equal to this in riches. My friends, this country that you have come to is the best country that we have….this country is mine, and I was raised in it; my forefathers lived and died in it; and I wish to remain in it.

Heinmot Tootyalaket (Chief Joseph) of the Nez Perces - The earth was created by the assistance of the sun, and it should be left as it was….The country was made without lines of demarcation, and it was no man's business to divide it….I see the whites all over the country gaining wealth, and see their desire to give us land which are worthless….The earth and myself are of one mind. The measure of the land and the measure of our bodies are the same. Say to us if you can say it that you were sent by the Creative Power to talk to us. Perhaps you think the Creator sent you here to dispose of us as you see fit. If I thought you were sent by the Creator, I might be induced to think you had a right to dispose of me. Do not misunderstand me, but understand me fully with reference to my affection for the land. I never said the land was mine to do with as I choose. The one who has the right to dispose of it is the one who has created it. I claim a right to live on my land, and accord you the privilege to live on yours.

Ohcumgache (Little Wolf) of the Northern Cheyennes - We have been south and suffered a great deal down there. Many have died of diseases which we have no name for. Our hearts looked and longed for this country where we were born. There are only a few of us left, and we only wanted a little ground, where we could live. We left our lodges standing, and ran away into the night. The troops followed us. I rode out and told the troops that we did not want to fight; we only wanted to go north, and if they left us alone we would kill no one. The only reply we got was a volley. After that we had to fight our way, but we killed none that did not fire at us first. My brother, Dull Knife, took one half of the band and surrendered near Fort Robinson….They gave up their guns, and the whites killed them all.

Standing Bear of the Poncas - You have driven me from the East to this place, and I have been here two thousand years or more….My friends, if you took me away from this land it would be very hard for me. I wish to die in this land. I wish to be an old man here….I have not wished to give even a part of it to the Great Father. Though he would give me a million dollars or more I would not give to him this land….When people want to slaughter cattle they drive them along until they get them to a corral, and then they slaughter them. So it was with us….My children have been exterminated; my brother has been killed.

White Eagle of the Poncas - The Soldiers came to the borders of the village and forced us across the Niobrara to the other side, just as one would drive a herd of ponies; and the soldiers pushed us until we came to the Platte River. They drove us on in advance just as if we were a herd of ponies, and I said, "If I have to go, I'll go to that land. Let the soldiers go away, our women are afraid of them." And so I reached the Warm Land (Indian Territory). We found the land there was bad and we were dying one after another, and we said, "What man will take pity on us?" And our animals died. Oh, it was very hot. "This land is truly sickly, and we'll be apt to die here, and we hope the Great Father will take us back again." That is what we said. There were one hundred of us died there.

Ouray the Arrow, Chief of the Utes - The Army can destroy the Sioux. You can order them around. But we Utes have never disturbed you whites. So you must wait until we come to your way of doing things.

Nicaagat (Jack) of the White River Utes - I told the officer that this was a very bad business; that it was very bad for the commissioner to give such an order. I said it was very bad; that we ought not to fight, because we were brothers, and the officer said that didn't make any difference; that Americans would fight even though they were born of the same mother.

Tatanka Yotanka (Sitting Bull) - We want no white men here. The Black Hills belong to me. If the whites try to take them, I will fight.

Tatanka Yotanka (Sitting Bull) - We want no white men here. The Black Hills belong to me. If the whites try to take them, I will fight.

Tatanka Yotanka (Sitting Bull) - If a man loses anything and goes back and lokos carefully for it, he will find it, and that is what the Indians are doing now when they ask you to give them the things that were promised them in the past; and I do not consider that they should be treated like beasts, and that is the reason I have grown up with the feelings I have….I feel that my country has gotten a bad name, and I want it to have a good name; it used to have a good name; and I sit sometimes and wonder who it is that has given it a bad name.

Wovoka, the Paiute Messiah - All Indians must dance, everywhere, keep on dancing. Pretty soon in the next spring Great Spirit come. He bring back all game of every kind. The game will be thick everywhere. All dead Indians come back and live again. They all be strong just like young men, be young again. Old blind Indians see again and get young and have fine time. When Great Spirit comes this way, then all the Indians go to the mountains, high up away from the whites. Whites can’t hurt Indians then. Then while Indians way up high, big flood comes like water and all white people die, get drowned. After that, water go away and then nobody but Indians everywhere and game all kinds thick. Then medicine man tell Indians to send word to all Indians to keep up dancing and the good time will come. Indians who don't dance, who don't believe in the word, will grow little, just about a foot high, and stay that way. Some of them will be turned into wood and be burned in fire.

Mahpiua Luta (Red Cloud) of the Oglala Sioux - Whose voice was first sounded on this land? The voice of the red people who had but bows and arrows….What has been done in my country I do not want, did not ask for it; white people going through my country….When the white man comes to my country he leaves a trail of blood behind him….I have two mountains in that country - the Black Hills and the Big Horn Mountain. I want the Great Father to make no roads through them. I have told these things three times; now I have come here to tell them the fourth time.

Mahpiua Luta (Red Cloud) of the Oglala Sioux - There was no hope on earth, and God seemed to have forgotten us. Some said they saw the Son of God; others did not see him. If He had come, He would do some great things as He had done before. We doubted it because we had seen neither Him nor His works. The people did not know; they did not care. They snatched at the hope. They screamed like crazy men to Him for mercy. They caught at the promise they heard He had made. The white men were frightened and called for soldiers. We had begged for life, and the white men thought we wanted theirs. We heard that the soldiers were coming. We did not fear. We hoped that we could tell them our troubles and get help. A white man saifd the soldiers meant to kill us. We did not believe it, but some were frightened and ran away to the Badlands.

Black Elk - I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream….the nation's hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead.

"The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of the forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the land 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 belongs... ---Luther Standing Bear (1868?-1939) Oglala Sioux chief


I hope the Great Heavenly Father, who will look down upon us, will give all the tribes His blessing, that we may go forth in peace, and live in peace all our days, and that He will look down upon our children and finally lift us far above the earth; and that our Heavenly Father will look upon our children as His children, that all the tribes may be His children, and as we shake hands to-day upon this broad plain, we may forever live in peace. ---Red Cloud [Marpiya-Luta] (late 19th century) Oglala Sioux chief


...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. ---Mourning Dove [Christine Quintasket] (1888-1936) Salish


The life of an Indian is like the wings of the air. That is why you notice the hawk knows how to get his prey. The Indian is like that. The hawk swoops down on its prey; so does the Indian. In his lament he is like an animal. For instance, the coyote is sly; so is the Indian. The eagle is the same. That is why the Indian is always feathered up; he is a relative to the wings of the air. ---Black Elk (1863-1950) Oglala Sioux Holy Man


"I do not see a delegation for the Four Footed. I see no seat for the Eagles.
We forget and we consider ourselves superior.
But we are after all a mere part of Creation. And we must consider to understand where we are.
And we stand somewhere between the mountain and the Ant.
Somewhere and only there as part and parcel of the Creation."
---Chief Oren Lyons, Oneida
---From an address to the Non-Governmental Organizations of the United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 1977


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] (1888-1936) Salish

Conversation was never begun at once, nor in a hurried manner. No one was quick with a question, no matter how important, and no one was pressed for an answer. A pause giving time for thought was the truly courteous way of beginning and conducting a conversation. Silence was meaningful with the Lakota, and his granting a space of silence to the speech-maker and his own moment of silence before talking was done in the practice of true politeness and regard for the rule that, "thought comes before speech." ---Luther Standing Bear (1868?-1939) Oglala Sioux Chief


When a child my mother taught me the legends of our people; taught me of the sun and sky, the moon and stars, the clouds and storms. She also taught me to kneel and pray to Usen for strength, health, wisdom, and protection. We never prayed against any person, but if we had aught against any individual we ourselves took vengeance. We were taught that Usen does not care for the petty quarrels of men." ---Geronimo [Goyathlay] (1829-1909) Chiracahua Apache chief


For an important marriage the chief precided, aided by his wife. He passed a pipe around the room so each could share a smoke in common. In this way families were publicly united to banish any past or future disagreements and thus stood as "one united." The chief then gave the couple an oration of his advice, pointing out the good characteristics of each, and then offered his congratulations to them for a happy future.
---Mourning Dove [Christine Quintasket] (1888-1936) Salish


"We are going by you without fighting if you will let us, but we are going by you anyhow!"
---Chief Joseph's warning to the defenders of Fort Fizzle in Montana


Whenever the white man treats the Indian as they treat each other, then we will have no more wars. We shall all be alike--brothers of one father and one another, with one sky above us and one country around us, and one governmnet for all. ---Joseph (Himnaton Yalatkit) (1830-1904) Nez Perce chief


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 (late 19th century) Teton Sioux medicine man


"It's our stuff. We made it and we know best how to use it and care for it. And now we're going to get it back."
----John Pretty on Top, Crow


The old Indian teaching was that is is wrong to tear loose from its place on the earth anything that may be growing there. It may be cut off, but it should not be uprooted. The trees and the grass have spirits. Whatever one of such growth may be destroyed by some good Indian, his act is done in sadness and with a prayer for forgiveness because of his necessities... ---Wooden Leg (late 19th century) Cheyenne


"The Great Spirit is in all things. He is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother. She nourishes us.....That which we put into the ground she returns to us."


When a man does a piece of work which is admired by all we say that it is wonderful; but when we see the changes of day and night, the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky, and the changing seasons upon the earch, with their ripening fruits, anyone must realize that it is the work of someone more powerful than man. ---Chased-by-Bears (1843-1915) Santee-Yanktonai Sioux


"Soon there will come from the rising sun a different kind of man from any have yet seen, who will bring with them a book and will teach you everything."
----Spokan Prophet


"We shall live again; we shall live again."
----Comache Ghost Dance Song


The Earth is the Mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. You might as well expect the river to run backward as that any man who was born a free man should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. ---Joseph [Hinmaton Yalatkit] (1830-1904) Nez Perce chief


Perhaps you think the Creator sent you     here to dispose of us as you see fit....
    If I thought you were sent by the Creator I might be induced to think you had a right to dispose of me.....
    Do not misunderstand me...
    But understand me fully with reference to my affection for the land....
    I never said the land was mine to do with as I choose...
    The one who has a right to dispose of it is the one who created it....
    I claim a right to live on my land....
  And accord you the priviledge to   return to yours......
    Brother we have listened to your talk   Coming from the great White Chief   at Washington and my people have   called me to reply to you....
    And in the winds which pass thru these aged pines. We hear the moanings of their departed ghosts. And if the voice of our people could have been heard, that act would never have been done. But alas though they stood around they could neither be seen nor heard. Their tears fell like drops of rain.
    I hear my voice in the depths of the forest, but no answering voice comes back to me, all is silent around me. My words must therefore be few... I can now say no more....."
----Chief Joseph


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 by Wakan Tanka," through some element--namely the element of human nature. ---Robert Higheagle (early 20th century) Teton Sioux


I was born upon the prairie, where the wind blew free, and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures, and where everything drew a free breath...I know every stream and every wood between the Rio Grande and the Arkansas. I have hunted over that country. I lived like my fathers before me, and like them, I lived happily. ---Ten Bears [Parra-wa-samem] (late 19th century) Yamparethka Comanche chief


The idea of full dress for preparation for a battle comes not from a belief that it will add to the fighting ability. The preparation is for death, in case that should be the result of conflict. Every Indian wants to look his best when he goes to meet the great Spirit, so the dressing up is done whether in imminent danger is an oncoming battle or a sickness or injury at times of peace. ---Wooden Leg (late 19th century) Cheyenne


It was supposed that lost spirits were roving about everywhere in the invisible air, waiting for children to find them if they searched long and patiently enough...[The spirit] sang its spiritual song for the child to memorize and use when calling upon the spirit guardian as an adult. ---Mourning Dove [Christine Quintasket] (1888-1936) Salish


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.
----Aseenewub, Red Lake Ojibwa


"My son, you are now flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone. By the ceremony performed this day, every drop of white blood was washed from your veins; you were taken into the Shawnee Nation...
----Balck Fish, Shawnee, recalling 1778 adoption of Daniel Boone into the tribe


A warrior who had more than he needed would make a feast. He went around and invited the old and needy....The man who would thank the food--some worthy old medicine man or warrior--said: "...look to the old, they are worthy of old age; they have seen their days and proven themselves. With the help of the Great Spirit, they have attained a ripe old age. At this age the old can predict or give knowledge or wisdom, whatever it is; it is so. At the end is a cane. You and your family shall get to where the cane is."
---Black Elk (1863-1950) Oglala Sioux Holy Man


When I am too old and feeble to follow my sheep or cultivate my corn, I plan to sit in the house, carve Katicina dolls, and tell my nephews and nieces the story of my life...  Then I want to be buried in the Hopi way. Perhaps my boy will dress me in the costume of a Special Officer, place a few beads around my neck, put a paho and some sacred corn meal in my hand, and fasten inlaid turquoise to my ears. If he wishes to put me in a coffin, he may do even that, but he must leave the lid unlocked, place food near by, and set up a grave ladder so that I can climb out. I shall hasten to my dear ones, but I will return with good rains and dance as a Katcina in the plaza with my ancestors...
---Don Talayesva (late 19th century) Hopi Sun Clan chief


There is no death. Only a change of worlds.
---Seattle [Seatlh] (1786-1866) Suquamish chief


Great Spirit, Great Spirit, my Grandfather, all over the earth the faces of living things are all alike...Look upon these faces of children without number and with children in their arms, that they may face the winds and walk the good road to the day of the quiet.
---Black Elk (1863-1950) Oglala Sioux holy man.


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