No KXL! Words from Then That Help Us Now!

Posted By PowWows.com March 30th, 2015 Last Updated on: March 30th, 2015

As Natives and our allies everywhere deal with the Keystone Pipeline and reflect on President Obama's historic Veto, it's a good time to remember the words of our ancestors about our tribal relationship to the Land, Water and our Environment. These powerful insights from our Elders remind us all of our responsibility to Mother Earth.

(Many thanks to Harley Upton Designs!)

(Many thanks to Harley Upton Designs!)

by Dawn Karima, Native American Culture Editor

Powerful perspectives from our ancestors help to guide us into our future! (graphic by Harley Upton Designs)

Powerful perspectives from our ancestors help to guide us into our future!
(graphic by Harley Upton Designs)

*** “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 the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”–Black Elk ,Oglala Sioux

*** “The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. It is the blood of our ancestors.”–Plenty Coups, Crow

*** “The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of the forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers, he belongs just as the buffalo belonged.” — Luther Standing Bear, Oglala

***”In the beginning of all things, wisdom and knowledge were with the animals, for Tirawa, the One Above, did not speak directly to man. He sent certain animals to tell men that he showed himself through the beast, and that from them, and from the stars and the sun and moon should man learn.. all things tell of Tirawa. All things in the world are two. In our mind we are two — good and evil. With our eyes we see two things — things that are fair and things that are ugly … We have the right hand that strikes and makes for evil, and the left hand full of kindness, near the heart. One foot may lead us to an evil way, the other foot may lead us to a good. So are all things two, all two.”– Eagle Chief, Pawnee

*** “Traditional people of Indian nations have interpreted the two roads that face the light-skinned race as the road to technology and the road to spirituality. We feel that the road to technology…. has led modern society to a damaged and seared earth. Could it be that the road to technology represents a rush to destruction, and that the road to spirituality represents the slower path that the traditional native people have traveled and are now seeking again? The earth is not scorched on this trail. The grass is still growing there.”–William Commanda, Mamiwinini, Canada, 1991

***”Whole Indian Nations have melted away like snowballs in the sun before the white man's advance. They leave scarcely a name of our people except those wrongly recorded by their destroyers. Where are the Delewares? They have been reduced to a mere shadow of their former greatness. We had hoped that the white men would not be willing to travel beyond the mountains. Now that hope is gone. They have passed the mountains, and have settled upon Cherokee land. They wish to have that usurpation sanctioned by treaty. When that is gained, the same encroaching spirit will lead them upon other land of the Cherokees. New cessions will be asked. Finally the whole country, which the Cherokees and their fathers have so long occupied, will be demanded, and the remnant of the Ani Yvwiya, The Real People, once so great and formidable, will be compelled to seek refuge in some distant wilderness. There they will be permitted to stay only a short while, until they again behold the advancing banners of the same greedy host. Not being able to point out any further retreat for the miserable Cherokees, the extinction of the whole race will be proclaimed. Should we not therefore run all risks, and incur all consequences, rather than to submit to further loss of our country? Such treaties may be alright for men who are too old to hunt or fight. As for me, I have my young warriors about me. We will hold our land.” –Dragging Canoe, Chickamauga Cherokee

*** “From Wakan-Tanka, the Great Mystery, comes all power. It is from Wakan-Tanka that the holy man has wisdom and the power to heal and make holy charms. Man knows that all healing plants are given by Wakan-Tanka; therefore they are holy. So too is the buffalo holy, because it is the gift of Wakan-Tanka.” — Flat-Iron,Oglala Sioux Chief

*** “The earth was created by the assistance of the sun, and it should be left as it was. . . . The Country was made without lines of demarcation, and it is no mans business to divide it. . . . I see the whites all over the country gaining wealth and see their desire to give us lands which are worthless. . . .The earth and myself are of one mind. The measure of land and the measure of our bodies are the same. Say it us if you can say it, that you were sent by Creative Power to talk to us. Perhaps you think the Creator sent you here to destroy us as you see fit. If I thought you were sent by the Creator, I might be I might be induced to think you had a right to dispose of me. Do not misunderstand me, but understand me fully with reference to my affection to the land. I never said the land was mine do do with as I chose. The one who has a right to dispose of it is the one who has created it. I claim a right to live on my land, and accord you the privilege to live on yours.” –Chief Joseph, Nez Perce


Home » Native American Articles » Native American Culture » No KXL! Words from Then That Help Us Now!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

So its ok to cart oil in rail tanker cars that carry a much bigger risk of spillage? Warren Buffett knows he has you in his pocket since that is what he owns all the oil tanker rail cars that ship oil and Keystone would end his monopoly. Stop being a tool and wake up to reality, the Liberal Left take you for granted and treat our people like slaves.

Free Email Series: What to Expect at Your First Pow Wow