Lakota & Plains Indians

 

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I Seek Strength

 

I seek strength,

not to be greater than my brother,

but to fight my greatest enemy

- myself."

 Make me always ready

to come to you

with clean hands

and straight eyes.

So when life fades,

as the fading sunset,

my Spirit

may come to you

without shame.

 

- Chief Yellow Lark

of the Lakota

 

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Grown men can learn from very little children

for the hearts of the little children are pure.

Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them

many things which older people miss.

 

 - Black Elk, Oglala Lakota Sioux (1863-1950)

 

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The True Peace

 

The first peace, which is the most important,

is that which comes within the souls of people

when they realize their relationship,

their Oneness, with the universe and all its powers,

and when they realize that at the center

of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (the Great Spirit),

and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.

This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.

 

The second peace is that which is made between two individuals,

and the third is that which is made between two nations.

 

But above all you should understand that there can never

be peace between nations until there is known that true peace,

which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.

 

 Black Elk, Oglala Sioux & Spiritual Leader (1863 - 1950)

 

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Give me knowledge, so I may have kindness for all.

 

 – A Plains Indian saying

 

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Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a Supreme Power, and principles of truth, honesty, generosity, equity, and brotherhood as a guide to mundane relations.

 

 - Black Elk, Oglala Lakota Sioux (1863-1950)

 

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Lakota Prayer

 

Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery,

teach me how to trust

my heart,

my mind,

my intuition,

my inner knowing,

the senses of my body,

the blessings of my spirit.

Teach me to trust these things

so that I may enter my Sacred Space

and love beyond my fear,

and thus Walk in Balance

with the passing of each glorious Sun.

 

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"The Indian loved to worship.

From birth to death,

He revered his surroundings.

He considered himself born

in the luxurious lap of Mother Earth,

and no place was to him humble.

There was nothing between him and

the Big Holy (Wakan Tanka or Great Spirit).

The contact was immediate and personal,

and the blessings of Wakan Tanka

flowed over the Indian like rain

showered from the sky . . .

There was but one ruling power,

and that was Good."

 

     -Chief Luther Standing Bear -

     Teton Sioux, Born 1868

 

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Love of the Land

 

"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 altars 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 soul 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 its 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, Born 1868

 

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"The Circle has healing power.

In the Circle, we are all equal.

When in the Circle, no one is in front of you.

No one is behind you.

No one is above you.

No one is below you.

The Sacred Circle is designed to create unity.

The Hoop of Life is also a circle.

On this hoop there is a place for every species,

every race, every tree and every plant.

It is this completeness of Life that must be respected

in order to bring about health on this planet."

 

     – Dave Chief, Oglala Lakota

 

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All plants are our brothers and sisters.

They talk to us and if we listen,

we can hear them.

 

- Arapaho

 

 

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Before eating, always take time to thank the food. - Arapaho

 

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When we show our respect for other living things,

they respond with respect for us.

 

- Arapaho

 

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Do not judge your neighbor

until you walk two moons in his moccasins.

 

- Cheyenne

 

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{{{Sunlight}}}

 

Go Forward With Courage

 

 When you are in doubt, be still, and wait;

when doubt no longer exists for you,

then go forward with courage.

So long as mists envelop you, be still;

 be still until the sunlight pours through

and dispels the mists

– as it surely will.

Then act with courage.

 

Ponca Chief White Eagle (1800's to 1914)

 

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What is Life?

 

What is Life?

It is the flash of a firefly in the night.

It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time.

It is the little shadow

which runs across the grass

and loses itself in the Sunset.

 

 - Crowfoot, - Blackfoot Indian

 

 

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