15+ Native American Quotes and Sayings On Wisdom, Love, And Respect

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Native American Quotes and Sayings

Native Americans have always had a rich culture, which is apparent in their teachings, wisdom, and quotes, which are inspiring even in the 21st century.

Prior to the arrival of Europeans in America, there were estimated to be 1.2 to 12 million Native Americans living in the Americas. That population quickly dwindled to 250,000 via disease, suicide, genocide, slavery, and mass murder. This was an incredibly great tragedy and maybe one of the most terrible things to ever happen to any group of people in the history of our planet. However, almost 0 attention is given to this tragedy. One has to ask, why?

In this tragedy, not only lives were lost, but almost all Native American traditions, spirituality, and customs were killed along with the people. Could this have been a reason for the genocide?

They were in tune with Mother Nature and are often called the Keepers of the Earth. They wanted to “walk lightly upon the Earth and live in balance and harmony.” Perhaps if more Native Americans were alive today, our planet wouldn’t be facing so much turmoil.

Everyone can benefit from adopting so many of the ancient spiritual teachings of the Native American elders.

Here Are The Best Native American Quotes and Sayings On Wisdom, Love, And Respect

1. “When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us.” – Arapaho

2. “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.” – Big Thunder (Bedagi) Wabanaki Algonquin

3. “The first piece, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the Universe and all its powers and when they realize that at the center of the Universe dwells the Great Spirit and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.” – Black Elk – Oglala Sioux

Related: Native American Animal Symbols Of The Zodiac

4. “Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.” – Cree Indian Proverb

5. Go Forward With Courage

When you are in doubt, be still, and wait;
When doubt no longer exists for you then go forward with courage.
So long as mists envelop you, be still;
Be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists
As it surely will.
Then act with courage. – Ponca Chief White Eagle

6. “You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.” – Navajo

7. 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. – Ancient Indian Proverb

8. “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” –Chief Seattle

9. “When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” – Cherokee

10. May the stars carry your sadness away,
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
May hope forever wipe away your tears.
And above all, may silence make you strong. – Chief Dan George

11. “Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men, we didn’t have any kind of prison. Because of this, we had no delinquents. Without a prison, there can be no delinquents. We had no locks nor keys and therefore, among us there were no thieves. When someone was so poor that he couldn’t afford a horse, a tent, or a blanket, he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift. We were too uncivilized to give great importance to civilized property. We didn’t know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being was not determined by his wealth. We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another. We were really in bad shape before the white men arrived and I don’t know how to explain how we were able to manage these fundamental things that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society.” – John (Fire) Lame Deer Sioux Lakota

12. “Don’t be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts.” – Hopi

13. “Oh Great Spirit, help me always to speak the truth quietly, to listen with an open mind when others speak, and to remember the peace that may be found in silence.” – Cherokee Prayer

14. “Peace and happiness are available at every moment. Peace is every step. We shall walk hand in hand. There are no political solutions to spiritual problems. Remember: if the Creator put it there, it is in the right place. The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears. Tell your people that, since we were promised we should never be moved, we have been moved five times.” – An Indian Chief 

Related: Native American Code of 20 Rules For Mankind To Live By

15. “Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.” – Tribe Unknown

16. “Those who have one foot in the canoe, and one foot in the boat, are going to fall into the river.” – Tuscarora

17. “Those that lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.” – Blackfoot

Aren’t these Native American quotes inspiring? Let us know in the comments down below which on is your favorite!


10 Pieces Of Wisdom & Quotes From Native American Elders
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  1. Grace Avatar
    Grace

    “Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.”

    – Tribe Unknown

    Should be the motto of all teachers!

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