American Indian Quotes

120 American Indian Quotes

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Brother! You have got our country, but are not satisfied. You want to force your religion upon us.
Red Jacket

Brother! We understand that your religion is written in a book. If it was intended for us as well as for you, why has not the Great Spirit given it to us?
Red Jacket

I am an aged tree, and can stand no longer. My leaves are fallen, my branches are withered, and I am shaken by every breeze. Soon my aged trunk will fall.
Red Jacket

During its darkest hours, these neighbors whom we are now urged to attack responded generously to our needs. They doctored our sick, they clothed our suffering, they fed our hungry.

How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right.
Black Hawk

An Indian who is as bad as the white men could not live in our nation; he would be put to death and eat up by the wolves.
Black Hawk

I am one of the native sons of these wild woods. I have hunted the deer and turkey here, more than fifty years. I have fought your battles, have defended your truth and honesty, and fair trading.
Major Ridge

Death will come, always out of season. It is the command of the Great Spirit, and all nations and people must obey.
Big Elk

The armies of the whites are without number, like the sands of the sea, and ruin will follow all tribes that go to war with them.

The white men became numerous as the trees of the forest, and the red men became like the buffalo.
William McIntosh

We took the white man by the hand, and held fast to it. We became neighbors, and the children of the white man grew up, and the children of the red man grew up in the same country, and we were brothers.
William McIntosh

Friends and Brothers: You are like the mighty storm, we are like the tender and bending tree; we must bow before you, you have torn us up by the roots, but still you are our brothers and friends. You have promised to replant us in a better soil, and to watch over us and nurse us.
William McIntosh

I have not surrendered myself thoughtlessly. Whilst there were chances of success, I never left my post, nor supplicated peace. But my people are gone, and now I ask it for my nation, and for myself.
William Weatherford

I cannot give my consent to any such organization….It would be a palpable violation of my position as a neutral….It will place in our midst organized companies not authorized by our laws who would soon become efficient instruments in stirring up domestic strife and creating internal difficulties among the Cherokee people.
John Ross

When a white man kills an Indian in a fair fight it is called honourable, but when an Indian kills a white man in a fair fight it is called murder.

When a white army battles Indians and wins it is called a great victory, but if they lose it is called a massacre and bigger armies are raised.

Do not ask us to give up the buffalo for the sheep.
Ten Bears

If, among the whites, a man purchased a piece of land, another came upon it, you would drive him off. Let the Sioux keep from our lands, and there will be peace.

We have plenty of buffalo, beaver, deer and other wild animals. We have also an abundance of horses. We have everything we want. We have plenty of land, if you will keep your people off of it.

We Indians are like an island in the middle of the river. The white man comes upon us as a flood. We crumble and fall.

Listen well to what I have to say, as it will be the last time you will hear me. Think of your wives, children, brothers, sister, with their faces all rotten, caused by those dogs the whites. Think of all that my friends, and rise all together and not leave one of them alive.
The Four Bears

Brothers! Will not our great father come here also?
Speckled snake

Now, as a friend of my people, I cannot say peace, peace, when there is no peace. I cannot ease their minds with any expectation of a calm, when the vessel is already tossed to and fro, and threatened to be shattered to pieces by an approaching tempest.
Elias Boudinot

I do not propose to fight, notwithstanding the building of this road which will destroy many of our root grounds and drive off our game…We will be much injured by the passage of the new road by emigrants.

Then many of the white men often abused the Indians and treated them unkindly….Many of the whites always seemed to say by their manner when they saw an Indian, “I am much better than you,” and the Indians did not like this.
Big Eagle

Dakotas, must we starve like buffaloes in the snow? Shall we let our blood freeze like the little stream? Or shall we make the snow red with the blood of the white braves?
Lion Bear

I was in hopes I should be killed in battle, but a bullet never reached me.
Wild Cat

Our petitions to the Great Father were unheeded. We thought it better to die fighting to regain our old homes than to perish of sickness.
Dull Knife

I love everybody now that I have grey hair.

God made us not as you; we were born like the animals, in the dry grass, not on beds like you. This is why we do as the animals, go about of a night and rob and steal. If I had such things as you have, I would not do as I do, for then I would not need to do so.

My young men shall never work. Men who work cannot dream, and wisdom comes in dreams.

You ask me to plow the ground. Shall I take a knife and tear my mother’s breast? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest.

You ask me to dig for stone! Shall I dig under her skin for her bones? Then when I die I cannot enter her body to be born again.

What is life? It is the flashes 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.

When people want to slaughter cattle they drive them along until they get them to a corral, and then they slaughter them. So it was with us.
Standing Bear

All my warriors were brave and knew no fear. The soldiers who were killed were brave men, too, but they had no chance to fight or un away…We did not go out of our own country to kill them. They came to kill us and got killed themselves.
Sitting Bull

Let us (Indians) put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.
Sitting Bull

I am as a stone, broken and thrown away-one part thrown this way, and one part thrown that way. I am a chief no more, but that is not what grieves me-I am grieved at the ruin of my people
Kicking Bird

We have been guilty of only one sin - we have had possessions that the white man coveted.
Eagle Wing

There is no death, only a change of worlds.
Chief Seattle

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