“It’s time Indians tell the world what we know… about nature and about God. So I’m going to tell you what I know and who I am. You guys better listen. You have a lot to learn.
— Mathew King, LAKOTA
A long time ago the Creator came to Turtle Island and said to the Red People – “You will be the keepers of the Mother Earth. Among you I will give the wisdom about nature, about the interconnectedness of all things, about balance and about living in harmony. You Red People will see the secrets of nature. You will live in hardship and the blessing of this is you will stay close to the Creator. The day will come when you will need to share the secrets with the other people of the earth because they will stray from their spiritual ways. The time to start sharing is today.”
“May there be peace when we meet.”
— Audrey Shenandoah, ONONDAGA
The Elders tell us the greatest gift we can seek is peace of mind; to walk in balance, to respect all things. For us to do this, we must have peace within ourselves and peace within ourselves cannot come unless we are walking the path the Creator would have us walk. Sometimes the tests on this path are difficult, but we know that each test makes us stronger.
“Telling about our lives is important for those who come after as, for those who will see our experience as part of their own historical struggle.”
— Linda Hogan, CHICKASAW
How important it is for us to support one another? How important it is for us to know our culture and to share our experiences with one another? How powerful it is to be authentic? How important it is to hold no secrets? I am as sick as my secrets.
“It does not require many words to speak the truth.”
— Chief Joseph, NEZ PERCE
The truth shall set you free. This is the truth. When we speak the Truth, we do not need to be defensive. Truth needs no defense. When we speak the Truth, we do not need to attack because Truth cannot be attacked. It is so easy to want to manipulate or to be deceitful or dishonest. My head tells me I can get away with doing these things, after all everybody does it.
“Strange is our situation here upon Earth,
Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why,
Yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose,
From the standpoint of daily life, however,
There is one thing we do know:
That we are here for the sake of each other,
Above all, for those upon whose smile and well-being
Our own happiness depends.
And also for the countless unknown souls
With whose fate we are connected
By a bond of sympathy.”
– Albert Einstein