The Ancestors Wisdom
Chief Seattle to President Pierce 1855
The Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. How can you buy or sell the sky. The warmth of the land. The idea is strange to us. Yet we do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water. How can you buy them from us. Every part of this earth is sacred to my people.
We know that white man does not understand our ways. One portion of the land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother but his enemy and when he has conquered it he moves on. He leaves his father's graves and his children's birthright as forgotten.
There is no quiet place in the white man's cities. No place to hear the leaves of spring or the rustle of insect wings. But perhaps because I am a savage and do not understand -- the clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lovely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frog around the pond at night.
The whites too shall pass -- Perhaps sooner than other tribes. Continue to contaminate your bed and you will one night suffocate in your own waste. When the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses all tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the cent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires.
Where is the eagle. Gone.
Where is the buffalo. Gone.
And what is it to say goodby to the swift and the hunt, the end of living and the beginning of survival.
"It was told that next time there is chaos and disparity, she would return again. She said she would return as a White Buffalo Calf. Some believe she already has."
Words of Chief Arvol Looking Horse,
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe of the Lakota Nation
*In 1994, a white buffalo calf was born on a farm in Wisconsin. . . the first white buffalo born in decades.
Some believe she was the fulfillment of the prophecy that the return of the White Buffalo Calf Woman will herald the advent of an age of peace and harmony.
* Obligations of the True Path Walkers *
--Ed McGaa, Eagle Man--
- To bring back the natural harmony that humans once enjoyed.
- To save the planet from present practices of destruction.
- To find and re-employ real truth.
- To promote true balance between both genders.
- To share and be less materialistic.
- To become rid of prejudice.
- To learn to be related.
- To be kind to animals and take no more than we need.
- To play with one's children and love each equally and fairly.
- To be brave and courageous, to take a stand and make a commitment.
- To understand what Generations Unborn really means.
- To accept the Great Mystery in order to end foolish argument over
"It was the wind that gave them life. It is the wind that comes out of our mouths now that gives us life. When this ceases to blow we die. In the skin at the tips of our fingers we see the trail of the wind, it shows us where the wind blew when our ancestors were created."--It Was The Wind, Navajo, 19th Century--
"The elders say, 'The longest road you're going to have to walk in life is from here to here. From the head to the heart.' But they also say you can't speak to the people as a leader unless you've made the return journey. From the heart back to the head."--Phil Lane, Jr., Yankton Sioux--
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. --Chief Seattle--
All men were made brothers. The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who was born free should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases.
I have carried a heavy load on my back ever since I was a boy. I realized then that we could not hold our own with the white men. We were like deer. They were like grizzly bears. We had small country. Their country was large. We were contented to let things remain as the Great Spirit Chief made them. They were not, and would change the rivers and mountains if they did not suit them.
Our fathers gave us many laws, which they had learned from their fathers. These laws were good. They told us to treat all people as they treated us; that we should never be the first to break a bargain; that is was a disgrace to tell a lie; that we should speak only the truth; that it was a shame for one man to take another his wife or his property without paying for it.--Chief Joseph--
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