We glory in our proud past
When the night sky formed our common roof,
When the Sun and Moon were our parents,
When all were brothers and sisters,
When our civilizations grew under the sun,
When our chiefs and elders were great leaders,
When justice ruled the Law and its execution.
We are the Indigenous Peoples,
after the last tree has been cut down,
of our grandmothers and grandfathers have taught us
must be a steward of the Earth;
Earth is our flesh; the rocks, our bones;
all children of God.
man who walks in the shadows of others
Leon Shenandoah, Onondaga
"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, Salish
e i ka ina,
Great Spirit is in all things;
Big Thunder, Wabanaki
"The old Indian teaching was:
is wrong to tear loose from its place on the earth
may be cut off,
one of such growths may be destroyed,
Wooden Leg, Cheyenne
ask you to Bless the white man,
has tried for so long to destroy my people
them with wisdom.
plead, I cry.
is complete unto itself,
distinct from any other.
The energy felt among
indigenous peoples crackles,
like the energy needed
to shift continental plates
or that which propels
a child into the new world,
to start all over again.
is what holds together
Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature
Compiled by: Glenn Welker
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