Native American Proverbs

Chief Sitting Bull:

“If we must die, we die defending our rights.”

“The white man knows how to make everything, but he does not know how to distribute it. Strangely enough, they have a mind to till the soil, but the love of possessions is a disease in them.”

“I am a red man; if the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man, He would have made me so in the first place.”

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.”

“Is it wrong for me to love my own? Is it wicked for me because my skin is red? Because I am Sioux?”

Other Native American Proverbs:

Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish has been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.

There are two wolves fighting inside all of us; the first one is evil, the second one is good…. Which wolf will win? The one you feed.

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.

It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand.

Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.

Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, wisdom is of the future.

The weakness of the enemy makes our strength.

Do no judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins.

They are not dead who live in the hearts they leave behind.

There is nothing as eloquent as a rattlesnake’s tail.

It is less of a problem to be poor than to be dishonest.

A brave man dies but once; a coward many times.

Make my enemy brave and strong, so if defeated, I will not be ashamed.

The bird who has eaten cannot fly with the bird who is hungry.

Cherish youth, but trust old age.

Wisdom comes only when you stop looking for it and start living the life the Creator intended for you.

Not every sweet root gives birth to sweet grass.

Take only what you need, and leave the land as you found it.

It is no longer good enough to cry peace: We must act peace, live peace, and live in peace.

When man moves away from nature, his heart becomes hard.

Beware of the man who does not talk and the dog who does not bark.

Our pleasures are shallow, our sorrows are deep.

It does not require many words to speak the truth.

Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.

If a man is as wise as a serpent, he can afford to be as harmless as a dove.

Remember your children are not your own, but are lent to you by the Creator.

Ask questions from the heart, and you will be answered from the heart.

There is no death, only a change of worlds.

What is life?

It is a flash of firefly in the night;
It is a breath of a buffalo in the wintertime;
It is as the little shadow that runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.