"The law is that all life is equal in the Great Creation, and we, the Human Beings, are charged with the responsibility, each in our generation, to work for the continuation of life."

Great Native Leaders

Native American leaders have played a significant role in the history of the United States, in particular its expansion across the North American continent. While their lands were snatched up piecemeal by land-thirsty settlers, miners, and others, these brave leaders listed below, and many others, worked in battle and in peace to protect their land and their people. When elementary and high school students are taught American history, it usually begins with Christopher Columbus and the Nina, Pinta,and Santa Maria discovering the New World. Never mind that the Americas already were inhabited by highly advanced civilizations. With the arrival of Columbus, official history begins. It should come as no surprise that great Native American leaders are for the most part ignored in history classes rooted in the old Columbus myths. In fact, it is debatable that he was even the first European to arrive in the Americas. But that is a different story. The few Native American exceptions to make the history books were the "friends of the whites"--Pochahontas, Squanto, etc--or "vicious savages"--Pontiac, Crazy Horse. Our Mother Earth is being polluted at an alarming rate, and our elders say that she is dying. The way the weather is around the world ... a cleansing is needed. In this way, the indigenous communities can become the natural guides to restoring balance and harmony in the world. Our grandfathers taught us to have an integrated vision. The important thing is to look for balance. We should take care of what does not belong to us, for the future, because it is only ours temporarily. The Great Spirit created us with two ears and one mouth. The Great Spirit did this with purpose. It is for us to remember to listen carefully to not only what another says but to what she does not say. The Great Chiefs were mighty men who faced impossible problems.

"Mother Earth places the energy of the Creator in us and helps us stay connected to the Creator.There are sacred sites every 100 miles around mother earth. Many are disrespected - such as Devils Tower with the climbers and Bear Butte. Others have concrete and huge skyscrapers built over them and we cannot hear. So we are not receiving this energy. Then we have polluted the earth where we grow our food. Food's purpose is to nourish our bodies as well as our spirits with Creator's energy. We are eating food without spirit. We are drinking water without spirit. We are consuming hatred. We don't even pray over our food. We just eat it like it is ours. That's greedy. It is a gift. These men acted on behalf of what they believe. They believe the US is greedy and they want to stop it. They are consumed with the disease of the mind. We all are to some extent. Learn to listen. Learn to be still on Mother Earth. Get priorities in balance. He also said to make ties and pray every day for the people of this world. All people." Arvol Looking Horse

Indigenous Peoples' Literature Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature

Compiled by: Glenn Welker

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