While not all Native American philosophy has been written down and recorded, the fragments we do have show a profound connection to life and the nature of the world around us.

Here are some of the best Native American quotes:

Native American Quotes:

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….

– Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux Chief

Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.

– Cherokee

It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand.

– Apache.

Tell me and I  forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I will understand. – Tribe Unknown.

“If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys.”

– Chief Dan George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, British Columbia, Canada

It is less of a problem to be poor than to be dishonest.

– Anishinabe

Before eating, always take time to thank the food.

– Arapaho.

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.

– Duwamish

If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself.

– Minquass

When you know who you are when your mission is clear, and you burn with the inner fire of unbreakable will; no cold can touch your heart; no deluge can dampen your purpose. You know that you are alive.

– Chief Seattle

The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.

– Sioux

Hold on to what is good, Even if it’s a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe, Even if it’s a tree that stands by itself. And, hold on to what you must do, Even if it’s a long way from here. Hold on to your life, Even if it’s easier to let go. Hold on to my hand, Even if someday I’ll be gone away from you.

– Crowfoot, Blackfoot

If we wonder often, the gift of knowledge will come.

– Arapaho

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.

– Blackfoot

Each person is his own judge.

– Shawnee

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. And we do not want riches. We want peace and love.

– Red Cloud, Oglala Lakota

Man’s law changes with his understanding of man. Only the laws of the spirit remain always the same.

– Crow

Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.

– Tribe Unknown

 You have to look deeper, way below the anger, the hurt, the hate, the jealousy, the self-pity, way down deeper where the dreams lie, son. Find your dream. It’s the pursuit of the dream that heals you.

– Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota

When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us.

– Arapaho

There is no death. Only a change of worlds.

– Chief Seattle, Suquamish Chief

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.

– Chief White Eagle, Ponca

“The land is sacred. These words are at the core of your being. The land is our mother, the rivers our blood. Take our land away and we die. That is, the Indian in us dies.”

– Mary Brave Bird, Lakota

It is easy to be brave from a distance.

– Omaha

I have seen that in any great undertaking, it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself.

– Lone Man, Teton Sioux

It is no longer good enough to cry peace, we must act peace, live peace and live in peace.

– Shenandoah

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.

– Tribe Unknown

When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard.

– Lakota

The idea of a 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 the conflict. Every Indian wants to look his best when he goes to meet the Great Spirit, so the dressing up is done whether an imminent danger is an oncoming battle or a sickness or injury at times of peace.

-Wooden Leg Cheyenne

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.

– Qwatsinas

Being Indian is an attitude, a state of mind, a way of being in harmony with all things and all beings. It is allowing the heart to be the distributor of energy on this planet; to allow feelings and sensitivities to determine where energy goes; bringing aliveness up from the Earth and from the Sky, putting it in and giving it out from the heart.

– Brooke Medicine Eagle

The moon is not shamed by the barking of dogs.

– Southwest

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