Daily Inspirational Words

We glory in our proud past

When the earth was our nurturing mother,
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,
We who have a consciousness of culture and peoplehood,
On the edge of each country's borders and
Marginal to each country's citizenship."



Ancient Sayings

"Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisened,
Only after the last fish has been caught
Only then will mankind find that money cannot be eaten.

The words of our grandmothers and grandfathers have taught us
Respect for the Web of Life and the interdependence of all things in the Universe.
The stories passed down through oral traditions remind us
that we are all connected."


"Mankind must be a steward of the Earth;
Caretakers for all that dwells upon it;
To be of one heart with all things.

Human beings must learn
to share the tears of every living thing,
To feel in his heart the pain of the wounded animal,
each crushed blade of grass;

Mother Earth is our flesh; the rocks, our bones;
The rivers are the blood of our veins.

We are all children of God.
Traditions are open to anyone who wants to learn."

Huichol Holy Man


"A man who walks in the shadows of others
will never see his own."

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

"ke malama e i ka ina,
na ka ina e malama ia e

When you take care of the land,
the land will nourish you."


"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, Wabanaki


"The old Indian teaching was:

It is wrong to tear loose from its place on the earth
Anything that may be growing there.

It may be cut off,
But it should not be uprooted.
The trees and the grass have spirits.

Whenever one of such growths may be destroyed,
His act is done in sadness.
With a prayer for forgiveness,
Because of his necessities.."

Wooden Leg, Cheyenne


I ask you to Bless the white man,
He needs your wisdom, your guidance.

He has tried for so long to destroy my people
And only feels comfortable when given power.

Bless them with wisdom.
Show them the peace we understand.

Teach them humility
For I feel they will destroy themselves and all our children
As they have done for so long with Mother Earth.

I plead, I cry.
After all
They are my brothers and sisters."

Sandy Kewenhaptewa, Hopi


"Each moment in life
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.

This is what holds together
the power of the legend,
a power that calls all things
into existence and
assures respect for life everywhere."

Indigenous Peoples' Literature Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature

Compiled by: Glenn Welker

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