American Indian Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old american indian quotes, american indian sayings, and american indian proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


The land is sacred. These words are at the core of your being. The land is our mother, the rivers our blood. Take our land away and we die. That is, the Indian in us dies.     

Mary Brave Bird

If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian, he can live in peace... Treat all men alike. Give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow.All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief.They are all brothers. The Earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it.     

White Elk

It almost seems that nobody can hate America as much as native Americans. America needs new immigrants to love and cherish it.     

Eric Hoffer

Everyone who's born in the Western Hemisphere is a Native American. We are all Native Americans.     

Russell Means

In my own view, the life expectancy of Native Americans in the United States is one of the really great moral crises that we face.     

Jim Yong Kim

People tend to forget that in our country, we'd pretty much all be immigrants, except for the Native Americans.     

Amy Bloom

I'm proud of being part Cherokee, and I think it's time all us Indians felt the same way.     

Loretta Lynn

The Trail of Tears has a great deal of meaning for every person of American Indian ancestry, whether they are Cherokee or not. For me, it has always stood for what is best and worst about the history of the United States.     

Joseph Bruchac

America is - and will always be - a success story. We have African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and members of other ethnic groups elected to positions inside our governments.     

Markwayne Mullin

When you start to look at Native American history, you realize that, very far from being a peaceful, morally superior people, Native Americans were not that different from Europeans.     

Philipp Meyer

The contributions of all American Indian tribes to our national culture have been long overlooked.     

Sue Rose

It's a Cherokee rose. The story is that when American soldiers were moving Indians off their land on the trail of tears the Cherokee mothers were grieving and crying so much 'cause they were losing their little ones along the way from exposure and disease and starvation.     

Frank Darabont

I'll tell you, if anyone got a raw deal it's the American Indian. This country has a black mark on its soul for what was done to them.      

John C. Richards

I admire American Indians so much. They so proud of their culture. if you insult their culture, they'll sue you. They will sue you and everybody in your family.     

George Lopez

If war come, Red Hawk be Indian. Not can be white man. Not can be alone. Red Hawk be Indian, make strong fight.     

Herb Meadow

As a matter of fact, Indians can smell white people.     

James Edward Grant

My sweet Indian warrior / One day I'll hold you / In my arms fold you / Oh, Cherokee / Brave Indian warrior     

Sascha Konietzko

I am an American Indian, / My tribe is Cherokee / My forefathers loved this land / They left it here for me     

Johnny Cash

We are heroes of the homeland, American remains / We live in many faces and answer many names / We will not be forgotten, we won't be left behind / Our memories live on in mortal minds / And poets pens / We'll ride again     

Johnny Cash

Many of the customs and traditions of the North American Indians / Are preserved today by the Black Indians of New Orleans. This is a practice / Traditionally a practice begins with the Indian prayer song, 'My Indian Red.'     

Dawn Richard

Don't believe in your American Dream. / The Indians, the buffalo and old Joe Mason, / They died from memory.     

Nanci Griffith

Cowboys say Howdy, Indians say How / No matter where you're meeting folks. / It's the real American way of greeting folks.      

Roger Edens

On reservations / A hopeless situation / Respect is something that you earn / Our Indian brothers' getting burned / Original American / Turned into second class citizen     

Charlie L Benante

Cry, cry, cry for the Indians / Love the land and fellow man / Peace is what we strive to have / Some folks have none of this / Hatred and prejudice     

Charlie L Benante

Could you tell that the empty quivered, / Brown skinned Indian on the banks / That were crowded and narrow, / Held a broken arrow?     

Neil Young

Oh, the history books tell it / They tell it so well / The cavalries charged / The Indians fell / The cavalries charged / The Indians died / Oh, the country was young / With God on its side     

Bob Dylan

Regardless of outside pressures the Indians have remained Indians, and they always will.      

Bertha Pauline Dutton

As with many Native American tribes, the Cherokee held their own religious and tribal beliefs and customs. Many of these traditions remain important to the Cherokee today. There were rituals, ceremonies, and stories devoted to every aspect of life.     

Cassie M. Lawton

You are not Cherokee because you have a BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs] enrollment card. You have to live and be the culture that is based on a unique heritage.      

J. T. Garrett

American Indian traditional values of sharing, cooperation, noninterference, being, family and tribe, harmony with nature, a time orientation toward living in the present.     

J. T. Garrett

West Indian cultural mentality and a North American life equals the perfect balance.     

Melanie Fiona

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

Chiksika

Being is a spiritual proposition. Gaining is a material act. Traditionally, American Indians have always attempted to be the best people they could. Part of that spiritual process was and is to give away wealth, to discard wealth in order not to gain.     

Russell Means

The old Indian teaching was that is is wrong to tear loose from its place on the earth anything that may be growing there. It may be cut off, but it should not be uprooted. The trees and the grass have spirits. Whatever one of such growth may be destroyed by some good Indian, his act is done in sadness and with a prayer for forgiveness because of his necessities.     

Wooden Leg

The American Indian was an individualist in religion as in war. He had neither a national army nor an organized church.     

Charles Alexander Eastman

Indian intellectuals today feel radical when they condemn fundamentalism, but not many people are talking about the links between privatization, globalization, and fundamentalism.     

Arundhati Roy

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.     

Opothleyoholo

What the American Indian Movement says is that the American Indians are the Palestinians of the United States, and the Palestinians are the American Indians of Europe.     

Russell Means

We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.     

Albert Einstein

There are more American Indians alive today than there were when Columbus arrived or at any other time in history. Does this sound like a record of genocide?     

Rush Limbaugh

It takes a strong effort on the part of each American Indian not to become Europeanized. The strength for this effort can only come from the traditional ways, the traditional values that our elders retain.     

Russell Means

There is no death, only a change of worlds.     

Chief Seattle

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.     

Mahatma Gandhi

Traditional American Indian values and attributes include a sense of humor that can only be appreciated because of living that culture and time, as is the case with other cultures of people.     

J. T. Garrett

The key to American Indian values, attitudes, and behaviors is to be strong and endure while belonging to a group, while respecting nature, the elders, the family and the tribe.     

J. T. Garrett

The traditional Indian view is to accept the differences as a way of life, and that is okay.     

J. T. Garrett

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

The Indian lived---lived in every sense of the world---from his first to his last breath.     

Chief Luther Standing Bear

Indian etiquette was very strict, and among the requirements was that of avoiding direct address. A term of relationship or some title of courtesy was commonly used instead of the personal name by those who wished to show respect.     

Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiseya)

There is no swear word in the Indian languages, and I haven't yet learned to swear.     

Gertude S Bonnin

American Indian s were the original rulers and caretakers of the vast territory that is today the United States.     

Sharon O'Brien

Europeans considered Indians 'children of nature' or 'savage beasts.'     

Sharon O'Brien

Indians seen as being very religious, yet they have no organized religion in our sense of the word.     

William Lyon

Because medicine traditions are at the very heart and core of every Indian culture, to disregard them as merely superstition is to lose sight of the basic nature of traditional American Indians.     

William Lyon

Traditional Indians know of this personal connection to the Great Mystery. Much of their daily life involved aligning themselves, in one way or another, with the powers of the Great Mystery.     

William Lyon

Among the North American Indians, supernatural events were a daily affair. Obviously, that's not the problem.     

William Lyon

Some Indian people developed complex mythologies and religions, whereas others made do with relatively simple beliefs.     

Barry Pritzker

But the American Indian tribes that remain are proudly keeping their culture alive.      

Sandy Phan

American Indians were the first people to live in Texas. Eventually, most American Indians were forced to leave Texas and settle on reservations in Oklahoma.     

Sandy Phan

The ways in which American Indians have resisted assimilation and maintained their identity are as creative and diverse as the people themselves.     

The University of Arizona Press

The advisors believed that most American Indian societies have adapted well to change when they have given anything like a fair chance to make the most of a new situation on their own terms.     

The University of Arizona Press

None of the American Indians were or are red-skinned, but were either a light or a dark brown, or as fair as any Frenchman.     

Jon Manchip White

Long ago, Georgia was home to many American Indians. Some lived in the mountains. Others lived in the river valleys. They all lived in groups called tribes.     

Kelly Rodgers