I dont feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them [Native Americans]. Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.
- This quote may come as a surprise. It was made by John Wayne in a 1971 Playboy magazine interview. He was criticized for his comments at the time by Native American leaders. See also page 296 of the book "Searching for John Ford: A Life" by Joseph MacBride, pub 2001

Those who preserve their integrity remain unshaken by the storms of daily life. They do not stir like leaves on a tree or follow the herd where it runs. In their minds remains the ideal attitude and conduct of living. This is not something given to them by others. It is their roots ... it is a strength that exists deep within them.
- Anonymous Native American

Wars are fought to see who owns the land, but in the end it possesses man. Who dares say he owns it is he not buried beneath it?
- Cochise, Chiricahua Apache

Only the rocks live forever.
- James Michener, "Centennial"


Once upon a time the colors of the world started to quarrel; all claimed that they were the best, the most important, the most useful, the favorite.
GREEN said, "Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for grass, trees, leaves... without me, all animals would die. Look over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority."
BLUE interrupted. "You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea. It is the water that is the basis of life and drawn up by the clouds from the deep sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace, you would all be nothing."
YELLOW chuckled, "You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety, and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, the stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower, the whole world starts to smile. Without me there would be no fun."
ORANGE started next to blow her trumpet. "I am the color of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am precious... for I serve the needs of human life. I carry the most important vitamins. Think of carrots, pumpkins, oranges, mangoes, and pawpaws. I don't hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you!"
RED could stand it no longer. He shouted out, "I am the ruler of all of you - I am blood - life's blood! I am the color of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight for a cause. I bring fire into the blood. Without me, the earth would be as empty as the moon. I am the color of passion and of love, the red rose, the poinsettia and the poppy."
PURPLE rose up to his full height. He was very tall and spoke with great pomp. "I am the color of royalty and power. Kings, chiefs, and bishops have always chosen me for I am the sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me - they listen and obey."
Finally, INDIGO spoke, much more quietly than all the others, but with just as much determination: "Think of me. I am the color of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep water. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace."
And so the colors went on boasting, each convinced of his or her own superiority. Their quarreling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of bright lightening - thunder rolled and boomed. Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colors crouched down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort.
In the midst of the clamor, rain began to speak: "You foolish colors, fighting amongst yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Don't you know that you were each made for a special purpose, unique and different? Join hands with one another and come to me."
Doing as they were told, the colors united and joined hands.
The rain continued: "From now on, when it rains, each of you will stretch across the sky in a great bow of color as a reminder that you can all live in peace. The rainbow is a sign of hope for tomorrow."
And so, whenever a good rain washes the world, and a rainbow appears in the sky, let us remember to appreciate one another.
- based on a Native American legend

A young Indian brave was filled with internal conflict. He went to the chief of the village and told him that he felt as though he had two wolves inside of him all the time. One of the wolves was brave and strong. He was filled with goodness and light for everyone and everything around him. But the other wolf was hostile, angry, and intolerant. It was always seeking to hurt everyone and everything around it. The young brave explained that some days one wolf was stronger, and other days the other wolf seemed to be winning. "Can you tell me which one of these two wolves will eventually win out and gain control?" he asked the chief. "Its quite simple," replied the wise old man. "The one that gains control and wins will always be whichever one you feed."

Another version:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment,
inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:
"Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Tell me I will forget.
Show me I will remember.
Involve me I will understand.
- Native American saying

If I'm playing the music of yesterday, how can I play the music of today?
- Michael Graham Allen, aka Coyote Oldman, Native American flute maker and player

When I was about six years old, my father said, Do not sleep after sunrise; wake as soon as daylight appears. Run toward the dawn. You should do this everyday. Run out as far as you can.
- Sinyella, Supai Indian circa 1900

Walk with the pain of the world.
- Native American saying

End of Quotes on "Native American"


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