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Native American Wisdom

Lakota, Oglala Sioux, Minquass Wisdom


The Great Spirit is not perfect: it has a good side and a bad side. Sometimes the bad side gives us more knowledge than the good side.
- Lakota (Sioux)

With all things and in all things, we are relatives.
- Lakota (Sioux)

Civilization has been thrust upon me...and it has not added one whit to my love for truth, honesty, and generosity...
- Chief Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Lakota (Sioux)

We should be as water, which is lower than all things yet stronger even than the rocks.
- Oglala Lakota (Sioux)

Guard your tongue in youth, and in age you may mature a thought that will be of service to your people.
- Lakota (Sioux)

Everything the Power does, it does in a circle.
- Oglala Lakota (Sioux)

See how the boy is with his sister and you can know how the man will be with your daughter.
- Lakota (Sioux)

If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. It is not necessary for eagles to be crows.
- Sitting Bull, Teton Lakota (Sioux)

The ones that matter most are the children. They are the true human beings.
- Lakota (Sioux)

Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library...
- Chief Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Lakota (Sioux)

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, Lakota (Sioux)

I have attended dinners among white people. Their ways are not our ways. We eat in silence, quietly smoke a pipe and depart. Thus is our host honored. This is not the way of the white man. After his food has been eaten, one is expected to say foolish things. Then the host feels honored.
- Four Guns, Oglala Lakota (Sioux)

Praise, flattery, exaggerated manners, and fine high-sounding words were no part of the Lakota politeness. Excessive manners were put down as insincere, and the constant talker was considered rude and thoughtless. Conversation was never begun at once, or in a hurried manner. No one was quick with a question, no matter how important, and no one was pressed for an answer. A pause giving time for thought was the truly courteous way of beginning and conducting a conversation.
- Chief Luther Standing Bear, Teton Lakota (Sioux)

The true Indian sets no price upon either his property of his labor. His generosity is limited only by his strength and ability. He regards it as an honor to be selected for a difficult or dangerous service, and would think it shameful to ask for any reward, saying rather: "Let the person I serve express thanks according to his own bringing up and his sense of honor."
- Charles Alexander Eastman, Santee Lakota (Sioux)

A child believes that only the action of someone who is unfriendly can cause pain.
- Santee Lakota (Sioux)

Do not speak of evil for it creates curiosity in the hearts of the young.
- Lakota (Sioux)

Many have fallen with the bottle in their hand.
- Lakota

We are all poor because we are all honest.
- Red Dog, Oglala Lakota (Sioux)
Today is a good day to fight - today is a good day to die. -- Crazy Horse, Oglala Sioux

Black Hills is my land and I love it - and whoever interferes will hear this gun. -- Little Big Man, Oglala Sioux

We did not ask you white men to come here.  We do not want your civilization - we would live as our fathers did and their fathers before them. --  Crazy Horse, Oglala Sioux

MINQUASS Tribal Quotes

If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself.

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