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 Native American Wisdom

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lightsun
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PostSubject: Native American Wisdom   Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:00 pm

Native. American Wisdom. Ed. Kent. Nerburn, PH.D., and Louise Mengelkoch, M.A. (1991). I think
the native peoples have much to offer, as they are connected to the real world, mother nature.
This book is divided into 13 chapters.
Chapter i: The Ways of the Land
I was born in Nature's wide domain! The trees were all that sheltered my infant limbs, the blue
heaven's all that covered me. I am one of Nature's children. I have always admired her. She
shall be my glory : her features, her robes, and the wreath about her brow, the seasons, her
stately oaks, and the evergreen-her hair, ringlets over the earth-all contribute to my enduring
love of her.
And whenever I see her, emotions of pleasure roll in my breast, and swell and burst like
waves on the shores of the ocean , in prayer and praise to Him who has placed me in her hand.
It is though great to be born in places, surrounded with wealth-but to born in Nature's wide
domain is greater still!
I would much more glory in this birthplace, with the broad canopy of heaven above me, and
the giant arms of the forest trees for my shelter, than to be born in palaces of marble,
studded with pillars of gold! Nature will be Nature still, while palaces shall decay and fall in
ruins.
Yes, Niagara will be Niagara a thousand years hence! The rainbow, a wreath over her brow,
shall continue as long as the sun, and the flowering of the river-while the work of art,
however carefully protected ad preserved, shall fade and crumble into dust!
George Copway (Kahgegagahbowh) Ojibwe
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PostSubject: The Ways of the land   Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:11 pm

THE WAYS OF THE LAND:
What is a man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone , men would die
from great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens
to man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children
of the earth.
Chief Seattle
Suqwamish and Duwamish
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PostSubject: THE WAYS OF THE LAND   Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:23 pm

THE WAYS OF THE LAND:
I love that land of winding waters more than all the rest of the world. A man who would not love
his father's grave is worse than a wild animal.
Chief Joseph
Nez Perce
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PostSubject: The Ways of the Land   Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:38 am

THE WAYS OF TH E LAND:
The character of the Indian's emotion left little room in his heart for antagonism toward his fellow
creatures....For the Lakota (one of the three branches of the Sioux nation), mountains, lakes,
rivers, springs, valleys, and woods were all finished beauty. Winds, rain, snow, sunshine, day,
night, and change of seasons were endlessly fascinating. Birds, insects, and animals filled the
world with knowledge that defied the comprehension of man.
The Lakota was a true naturalist-a lover of Nature. He loved the earth and all things of the
earth, and the attachment grew with age. 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.
It was good for the skin to touch the earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins
and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth.
Their tipis were built upon the earth and their alters were made of earth. The birds that flew
in the air came to rest upon the earth, and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived
and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing, and healing.
This is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from
it's 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
Teton Sioux
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PostSubject: The Ways of the land   Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:42 am

THE WAYS OF THE LAND
You ask me to plow the ground. Shall I take a knife and tear my mother's bosom? Then when
I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest.
You ask me to dig for stones! Shall I dig under her skin for her bones? Then when I die I cannot
enter her body to be born again.
You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it, and be rich like white men, but how dare I
cut my mother's hair?
I want my people to stay with me here. All the dead men will come to life again. Their spirits
will come to their bodies again. We must wait here in the homes of our fathers and be ready to
meet them in the bosom of our mother.
Wovoka
Paiute
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PostSubject: The Ways of the Land   Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:54 am

THE WAYS OF THE LAND
Great Spirit-I want no blood upon my land to stain the grass. I want it all clear and pure, and I wish
it so, that all who go through among my people may find it peaceful when they come, and leave
peacefully when they go.
Ten Bears
Yamparika Comanche
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PostSubject: The Ways of the Land   Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:01 am

THE WAYS OF THE LAND
I love the land and the buffalo and I will not part with it..
I want the children raised as I was ...I don't want to settle. I love to roam over the
prairies. There I feel free and happy, but when we settle down we grow pale and die.
Satanta
Kiowa Chief
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PostSubject: The Ways of Words & Silence   Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:48 pm

Chapter 2 : THE WAYS OF WORDS AND SILENCE
The first American mingled with his pride a singular humility. Spiritual arrogance was foreign to
his nature and teaching. He never claimed that his power of articulate speech was proof of
superiority over "dumb creation ; on the other hand, speed to him is a perilous gift.
He believes profoundly in silence-the sign of a perfect equilibrium. Silence is the absolute
poise of balance, mind, and spirit.
The man who perseveres his selfhood. Ever calm and unshaven by the storms of existence-
not a leaf, as it were, astir on the tree, not a ripple upon the surface of the shining pool-his, in
the mind of the unlettered sage, is the ideal attitude and conduct of life....
Silence is the cornerstone of character.
Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa)
Santee Sioux
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PostSubject: The Ways of Words and Silence   Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:13 pm

THE WAYS OF WORDS AND SILENCE
Silence was meaningful with the Lakota, and his granting a space of silence before talking was
done in the practice of true politeness and regardful of the rule that "thought comes before speech."
And in the midst of sorrow, sickness, death, or misfortune of any kind, and in the presence of
the notable and great, silence was the mark of respect. More powerful than words was silence
with the Lakota.
His strict observance of this tenent of good behavior was the reason, no doubt, for his being
given the false characterization by the white man of being a stoic. He has been judged to be dumb,
stupid, indifferent, and unfeeling.
As a matter of truth, he was the most sympathetic of men, but his emotion of depth and sincerity
were tempered with control. Silence meat to be Lakota what it meant to Disraeli when he said,
"Silence is the moth of truth," for the silent man was ever to be trusted, while the man ever
ready with speech was never taken seriously.
Chief Luther Standing Bear
Teton Sioux
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PostSubject: The Ways of Words & Silence   Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:58 pm

THE WAYS OF WORD AND SILENCE
In my opinion, it was chiefly owing to their deep contemplation in their silent
retreats in the day of youth that the old Indian orators acquired the habit of
carefully arranging their thoughts.
They listened to the warbling of birds and noted the grandeur and the beauties of
the forest. The majestic clouds-which appear like mountains of granite floating in
the air-the golden tints of a summer evening sky, and all the changes of nature,
possessed a mysterious significance.
All this combined to furnish ample matter for reflection to the contemplating youth.
Francis Assikinack (Blackbird)
Ottawa
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PostSubject: The Ways of Words and Silence   Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:16 pm

THE WAYS OF WORDS AND SILENCE
Because we are old, it may be thought that the memory of things may be lost with us, who
have not, like you, the art of preserving it by committing all transactions to writing.
We nevertheless have methods of transmitting from father to son an account of all these this.
You will find the remembrance of them is faithfully preserved, and our succeeding generations
are made acquainted with what has passed, that it may not be forgot as long as the earth remains.
Kanickhungo
Treaty negotiations with Six Nations
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PostSubject: The Ways of Words and Silence   Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:24 pm

THE WAYS OF WORDS AND SILENCE
You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts.
Cochise ("Like Ironweed")
Chiricahua Chief
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PostSubject: The Ways of Words and Silence   Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:32 pm

THE WAYS OF WORDS AND SILENCE
A treaty, in the minds of our people, is an external word. Events often make it seem expedient
to depart from the pledged word, but we are conscious that the first departure creates a logic
for the second departure, until there is nothing left of the word.
Declaration of Indian Purpose (1961)
American Indian Chicago Conference
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PostSubject: The Ways of Words and Silence   Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:20 pm

THE WAYS OF WORDS AND SILENCE
I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more.
I will tell you in my way how the Indian sees things. The white man has more
words to tell you how they look to him, but it does not require many words to
speak the truth.
Chief Joseph
Nez Perce
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PostSubject: The Ways of Words & Silence   Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:02 pm

Good words do not last long unless they amount to something. Words do not pay for my dead
people. They do not pay for my country, now overrun by white men. They do not protect my
father's grave. They do not pay for all my horses and cattle.
Good words will not give me back my children. Good words will not make good the promise
of your War Chief. Good words will not give my people good health and stop them from dying.
Good words will not get my people a home where they can live in peace and take care of
themselves.
I am tired of talk that comes to nothing. It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good
words and all the broken promises. There has been too much talking by men who had no right to talk.
Chief Joseph
Nez Perce
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PostSubject: The Ways of Words and Silence   Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:07 pm

How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and
wrong like right.
Black Hawk
Sauk
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PostSubject: The Ways of Words & Silence   Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:17 pm

THE WAYS OF WORDS AND SILENCE
My father, you have made promises to me and to my children. If the promises
had been made by a person of no standing, I should not be surprised to see his
promises fail. But you, who are so great in riches and in power, I am astonished
that I do not see your promises fulfilled!
I would have been better pleased if you had never made such promises, than that
you should have made them and not performed them....
Shinguaconse ("Little Pine")
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PostSubject: Re: Native American Wisdom   Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:11 am

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Last edited by lavender orchid on Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: the ways of learning   Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:22 pm

THE WAYS OF LEARNING
Look at me--i am poor and naked, but I am the chief of the nation. We. Do not want riches, but we do want to
train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do
not want riches. We want peace and love.
Red Cloud
Sioux
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PostSubject: the ways of learning   Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:38 am

THE WAYS OF LEARNING
You who are so wise must know that different nations have different conceptions of things. You
will not therefore it amiss if our ideas of the white man's education happens not to be the same
as yous. We have had some experience of it.
Several of our young people were brought up in your colleges. They were instructed in all your
sciences ; but, when they came back to us, they were bad runners, ignorant of every means of
living in the woods, unable to bear either cold or hunger. They didn't know how to build a cabin,
take a deer, or kill an enemy. They spoke our language imperfectly.
They were therefore unfit to be hunters, warriors, or counselors ; they were good for nothing.
We are, however, not the less obliged for your kind offer, though we decline accepting it. To show
our gratefulness, if the gentlemen of Virginia shall send us a dozen of their sons, we will take
great care with their education, instruct them in all we know, and make men of them.
Canassategeo
Treaty of Lancaster
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PostSubject: Re: Native American Wisdom   Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:32 am

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PostSubject: the ways of learning   Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:21 pm

THE WAYS OF LEARNING
It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. Its appeal is to the
material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one's spiritual balance. Therefore,
children must learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that
they may taste the happiness of giving.
If a child is inclined to be grasping, or to cling to an of his or her little possessions, legends are
related about the contempt and disgrace falling upon the ungenerous and mean person....
The Indians in their simplicity literally give away all that they have--to relatives, to guests of
other tribes or clans, but above all to the poor and the aged, from whom they can hope for no return.
Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa)
Santee Sioux
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PostSubject: the ways of learning   Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:58 pm

THE WAYS OF LEARNING
The Indians were religious from the first moments of life. From the moment of the mother's
recognition that she had conceived to the end of the child's second year of life, which was the
ordinary duration of lactation, it was supposed by us that the mother's spiritual influence was
supremely important.
Her attitude and secret meditations must be such as to instill into the receptive soul of the
unborn child the love of the Great Mystery and a sense of connectedness with all creation.
Silence and isolation are the rule of life for the expectant mother.
She wanders prayerful in the stillness of great woods, or on the bossom of the untrodden prairie,
and to her poetic mind the imminent birth of her child prefigures the advent of a hero--a
thought conceived in the virgin beast of primeval nature, and dreamed out in a hush that is
broken only by the sighing of the pine tree or the thrilling orchestra of a distant waterfall.
And when the day of days in her life dawns--the day in which there is to be a new life, the miracle
of whose making has been entrusted to her--she seeks no human aid. She has been trained and
prepared in body and mind for this, her holiest duty, ever since she can remember.
Childbirth is best met alone, where no curious embarrass her, where all nature says to her spirit :
"It's love! It's love! The fulfilling of life!" When a sacred voice comes to her out of the silence, and
a pair of eyes open upon her in the wilderness, she knows what joy that she has bourne well her
part in the great song of creation! (continued....)
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PostSubject: the ways of learning   Sun Sep 06, 2009 11:38 pm

Presently she returns to the camp, carrying the mysterious, the holy, the dearest bundle! She
feels the endearing warmth of it and hears its soft breathing. It is still a part of herself, since both
are nourished by the same mouthful, and no look of a lover could be sweeter than its deep,
trusting gaze.
She continues her spiritual teaching, at first silently--a mere pointing of the index finger to nature--
then in whispered songs, bird-like, at morning and evening. To her and to the child the birds are
real people, who live very close to the Great Mystery ; the murmuring trees breathe its presence ;
the falling waters chant its praise.
If the child should chance to be fretful, the mother raises her hand. "Hush! Hush!" sto he cautions it
tenderly, "The spirits may be disturbed!" she bids it be still and listen--listen to the silver voice
of the aspen, or the clashing cymbals of the birch ; and at night she points to the heavenly blazed
trail through nature's galaxy of splendor to nature's God. Silence, love, reverence--this is the
trinity of first lessons, and to these she later adds generosity, courage, and chastity.
Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa)
Santee Sioux
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PostSubject: Re: Native American Wisdom   Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:14 am

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