Words To Live By

  The Ten Commandments 
Remain close to the Great Spirit
Show great respect for your fellow beings
Give assistance and kindness wherever needed
Be truthful and honest at all times
Do what you know to be right
Look after the well being of mind and body
Treat the earth and all that dwell thereon with respect
Take full responsibility for your action
Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good
Work together for the benefit of all mankind

What Is Life?

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter
It is the little shadow which runs across the
and loses itself in the sunset.

Crowfoot, Blackfoot, 1890 (on his deathbed)


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

To be a Medicine person....

To be a Medicine person, you have to experience everything,
live life to the fullest.  If you don't experience the human side of
everything, how can you help teach or heal?  To be a good
Medicine person, you've got to be humble.
You've got to be lower than a worm and higher than an eagle.

Archie Fire Lame Deer, Lakota Medicine Man

If you talk to 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
Leader, Wise Man, and Actor
From the book My Heart Soars

The old Lakota was wise.
He knew that a manís heart away from nature becomes hard.

Standing Bear, Oglala

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)

Respect means listening until everyone has been heard
and understood, only then is there a possibility of "Balance and Harmony"
the goal of Indian Spirituality.

Dave Chief, Grandfather of Red Dog

In the beginning of all things, wisdom and knowledge were with the animals,
for Tirawa, the One Above, did not speak directly to man. He sent certain
animals to tell men that he showed himself through the beast, and that from
them, and from the stars and the sun and moon should man learn.. all things
tell of Tirawa.  All things in the world are two. In our mind we are two  -
good and evil.   With our eyes we see two things  -  things that are fair and
things that are ugly...  We have the right hand that strikes and makes for evil,
and the left hand full of kindness, near the heart.  One foot may lead us to an
evil way, the other foot may lead us to a good.   So are all things two, all two.

Eagle Chief (Letakots-Lesa) Pawnee


Where no one intrudes, many can live in harmony.

Chief Dan George

We live, we die, and like the grass and trees, renew ourselves from
the soft clods of the grave.  Stones crumble and decay, faiths grow old
and they are forgotten but new beliefs are born.  The faith of the villages is
dust now...  but it will grow again....  like the trees.  May serenity circle on
silent wings and catch the whisper of the winds.

Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce
In-mut-too-yah-lat-lat" (Thunder coming up over the land from the water)

Out of the Indian approach to life there comes a great freedom - an intense
and absorbing love for nature; a 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

There is a road in the hearts of all of us, hidden and seldom traveled, which
leads to an unknown, secret place.  The old people came literally to love the soil,
and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to
a mothering power.  Their teepees were built upon the earth and their alters
were made of earth.  The soul was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing.
That is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up
and away from its life giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is
to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly.  He can see more clearly
into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him.

Chief Luther Standing Bear





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© Elan Michaels

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