Tz'atzie, sit and stay

Susquehannock to english

In the government you call civilized, the happiness of the people is constantly sacrificed to the splendor of empire. Hence the origin of your codes of criminal and civil laws; hence yor dungens and prisons. We have no prisons; we have no pompous parade of courts; we have no written laws; and yet judges are as highly revered among us as they are among you, and their decisions are as much regraded. We have among us no exalted villains above the control of our laws. daring wickedness is here never allowed to triumph over helpless innocence. The estates of widows and orphans are never devoured by enterprising swindlers. We have no robbery under the pretext of law.

Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea)




How smooth must be the language of the whites,

when they can make right look wrong, and wrong look right.


                                                                  Black Hawk



   Many of the white man's ways are past our understanding. . . . .

They put a great store upon writings; there is always a paper.

The white people must think that paper has some mysterious power to help them in the world. The Indian needs no writings;

words that are true sink deep into the heart, where they remain.

He never forgets them. On the other hand, if the white man loses his papers, he is helpless. I once heard one of their preachers say that no white man was admitted to heaven unless there were writings about him in a great book.

Four Guns

Oglala Sioux


    It is our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one's spiritual balance. Therefore, children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving.

    If a child is inclined to be grasping, or to cling to any of his or her little possessions, legends are related about the contempt and disgrace falling upon the ungenerous and mean person.....

   The Indians in their simplicity litterally give away all that they have to relatives, to guests of other tribes or clans, but above all to the poor and aged, from whom they can hope for no return.

Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa)

Santee Sioux


 * The quotes here in this page with a * symbol are reprinted from the book "Native American Wisdom"

compiled by Kent Nerburn, PH.D. and Louise Mengelkoch, M.A.

Published by the Classic Wisdom Collection New World Library 14 pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949

ISBN 0978-0-931432-78-1