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Native American Quotes


"Some Native American writers enjoy being called Native American writers." - Toni Morrison

"I'm a Native American actress." - Julia Jones

"I'm proud of my Native American heritage," - Elizabeth Warren

"My family is Native American, and I was raised with Native American ceremonies." - Eric Balfour

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

"Look at the Native American culture. They revere the elders." - Thomas Haden Church

"I have built my world through Native American mythology." - Tori Amos

"I'm tri-racial: African-American, Native American and Euro - that's the Scotch-Irish part." - Alice Walker

"You see the one thing I've always maintained is that I'm an American Indian. I'm not a Native American. I'm not politically correct. Everyone who's born in the Western Hemisphere is a Native American. We are all Native Americans. And if you notice, I put American before my ethnicity. I'm not a hyphenated African-American or Irish-American or Jewish-American or Mexican-American." - Russell Means

"I'm even taller in person, because photographs shrink you down and steal your soul native american." - Thom Yorke

"The native American has been generally despised by his white conquerors for his poverty and simplicity." - Charles Alexander Eastman

"I'm half Native American and half white so I think I can adjust culturally to anything." - Jacoby Ellsbury

"[Native American pre-battle motto:] This is a good day to die." - Saying

"The native American has been generally despised by his white conquerors for his poverty and simplicity." - Charles Eastman

"The Native American side was tragic. It's just unbelievable what has happened to them." - Skeet Ulrich

"I've got tonnes of aboriginal and Native American art, but I'd like even more." - Tori Amos

"From the newest arrivals to our Native American brothers and sisters, we are one America." - Jared Polis

"Yancy is actually a Native-American name, but I'm Irish. Go figure." - Yancy Butler

"There are better mothers than disaster. A native land is the best of all mothers. We American Jews have a native land we love. But it is even better to have a native land who loves us." - Louis D Brandeis

"The Justice Department ruled that Native American tribes are allowed to grow and sell marijuana on reservations. This decision was hailed as a victory by Native American leader Giggling Eagle." - Conan O'Brien

"During 1866 and 1922, Native Americans and black soldiers often intermingled in the American west, on the frontier." - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"Being Native American has been part of my story I guess since the day I was born," - Elizabeth Warren

"Unless you're one of the first Americans, a Native American, you came from someplace else. Somebody brought you." - Barack Obama

"Ruefulness is one of the classical tones of American fiction. It fosters a native, deglamorized form of anxiety." - Anatole Broyard

"When it comes down to pure ornamental cursing, the native American is gifted above the sons of men." - Mark Twain

"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress." - Mark Twain

"I'm Native American, so it's in my blood to always want brothers and friends. I'm a good brotherhood guy." - Duane Chapman

"Nobody else in the world has a form like the Native American musical, and Americans should be very proud." - Mikhail Baryshnikov

"There aren't very many notable Native American female figures historically. That's the way that it's been. Pocahontas and Sacajawea." - Julia Jones

"I didn't know much about my Native American ancestry, but as I got older I became more interested in it." - Alan Robinson

"Music is a performing art, as any Native American will tell you. It isn't there in the score." - Michael Tippett

"No matter where you're from - you can be Native American, Italian, Jewish, Latino, African-American - whatever you are, we're all distant relatives." - Nas

"Above all, I wanted to be appreciated as a prima ballerina who happened to be a Native American, never as someone who was an American Indian ballerina," - Maria Tallchief

"I think the African American community, the Latino community, the Native American communities have borne an unfair burden in the last century, and continue to." - Van Jones

"I have four relatively small children, and around fourth grade, they start doing big projects on Native Americas: everything is Native Americans in elementary school. Do you know how many Native American dresses I've sewn, on and on; it's a full yearlong study. And then never again. As journalists, we never even cover Native Americans." - Soledad Obrien

"The one being abhorrent to the powers above the earth and under them is the hyphenated American - the "German-American," the "Irish-American," or the "native-American." Be Americans, pure and simple!" - Theodore Roosevelt

"Well, as a native, as a colonized people you do live in the in between. The thing is I'm native. But necessarily because I'm a member of the country, I'm also a White American." - Sherman Alexie

"In the end, there is no absence of irony: the integrity of what is sacred to Native Americans will be determined by the government that has been responsible for doing everything in its power to destroy Native American cultures." - Winona Laduke

"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 word is important in Native American tradition. You speak the path on which you walk. Your words make the trail." - Diane Glancy

"I think laughter is crucial. Some of the original cultures, like the Dalit and the Native American, don't separate laughter and seriousness." - Gloria Steinem

"There is an old and very wise Native American saying: Every time you point a finger in scorn-there are three remaining fingers pointing right back at you." - Alyson Noel

"Instead of kids just hearing about beads and baskets and fringe, and about what 'was' and 'were,' we present Native American culture as a living contemporary culture." - Buffy Sainte-Marie

"You know that just before that first Thanksgiving dinner there was one wise, old Native American woman saying, Don't feed them. If you feed them, they'll never leave." - Dylan Brody

"The only people that deserve to be called Americans are Native Americans, otherwise, I'm a Latino American, you know.... Anybody else... well where did you come from?" - Cristian Machado

"Native people such as the Cherokees are just as human and complex and real as Americans are, and our nation needs to respect American Indian cultures and traditions." - Joseph Bruchac

"I have good genes. My father is Danish and my mother is Irish and Native American. They both have good skin." - Virginia Madsen

"There's all sorts of soul. There's Irish soul and Native American soul. If it touches you and moves you, it's soul." - John Oates

"I always think of the Pacific Northwest as giant trees, and rain, and clouds and dampness, like the Native American art from that area." - Kyle Maclachlan

"Instead of kids just hearing about beads and baskets and fringe, and about what 'was' and 'were,' we present Native American culture as a living contemporary culture." - Buffy Saintemarie

"You'd never know it from reading the rest of the Native writers, but Indians actually grew up with American pop culture." - Sherman Alexie

"My wife was the first romantic partner who understood both American and native parts of me - not so much the positive stuff, but the damage." - Sherman Alexie

"Growing up, my mother and grandparents often talked about our family's Native American heritage. As a kid, I never thought to ask them for documentation - what kid would?" - Elizabeth Warren

"The Native American cultures on this continent, most of them, were matrilineal, and some women were the chiefs. Societies were about balance." - Gloria Steinem

"They say there are about 12 million illegal immigrants in this country. But if you ask a Native American, that number is more like 300 million." - David Letterman

"Last year, I twice voted against the Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations bill because it did not adequately fund education in general, and Native American programs specifically." - Rick Renzi

"Think about the number of people who do film music, make records and have a Native American heritage - and I may be the only one on the list." - Robbie Robertson

"My mother is Greek and my father is Bulgarian. I am a first-generation American and native Los Angeleno. I was born and raised in Hollywood." - Rita Wilson

"I like Celtic folk music, Native American music, and any kind of early music. There isn't a lot of music that I don't like... except for Show Tunes." - Terri Windling

"Won't it be wonderful when black history and native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history." - Maya Angelou

"I always see America as really belonging to the Native Americans. Even though I'm American, I still feel like a visitor in my own country." - Nicolas Cage

"I think people should look at learning about Native American history the same as visiting Washington, D.C., and seeing the monuments there. It's all part of the package." - Chaske Spencer

"To us, basing stories on christianity is the same as basing stories on Roman mythology, Native American folklore, or unsubstantiated government conspiracies." - Richard King

"Then let these useless streams be stayed; wear native courage in your face." - Isaac Watts

"The expansion of this country was accomplished at the cost of decimation to the Native American population. The American Indian death toll due to the United States' march to the Pacific was massive. Much of the land we stole from the Native Americans is uninhabited to this day; basically, the Indians could have stayed where they were. Had America expanded its boundaries yet been true to its conscience, the American Indian nations could have remained intact. And were there a greater prevalence of Native American philosophy and culture in the United States today, the life of our nation would be immeasurably enriched." - Marianne Williamson

"I think most Native American literature is unreadable by the vast majority of Native Americans. Generally speaking Indians don't read books. It's not a book culture. That's why I'm trying to make movies. Indians go to movies; Indians own video recorders." - Sherman Alexie

"The greatest moments of Native History lie ahead of us if a great spiritual renewal and wakening should take place. The Native American has been a sleeping giant. He is awakening. The original Americans could become the evangelists who will help win America for Christ! Remember these forgotten people!" - Billy Graham

"We also have a piece about the Mayflower, but it's just a very different, very gritty, very character-driven version of why those people were on that boat and what the experience was like for them, emotionally, physically and spiritually, and also the Native Americans and what the state of Native American society was at that time." - John Landgraf

"I know that if a team had a derogatory name for African Americans, I would help those who helped extinguish that name. I have quite a few friends who are Native Americans. And even if I did' have Native American friends, the name of the team is disrespectful." - Mike Carey

"I started collecting aerial photographs of Native American and South Pacific architecture; only the African ones were fractal. And if you think about it, all these different societies have different geometric design themes that they use. So Native Americans use a combination of circular symmetry and fourfold symmetry." - Ron Eglash

"There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and the wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbal of the great human principle." - Franklin D Roosevelt

"I like American history." - Kevin Costner

"I admire American ideas." - Mikhail Saakashvili

"I'm very American." - Norah Jones

"Solitude is un-American." - Erica Jong

"I sang a song in Hindi; nobody even knew what that was. Singing about Native American issues, nobody did that. I had no reason to want to copy anybody else. All I had was my originality." - Buffy Sainte-Marie

"Think of the undying glory that hangs around the ancient name of Africa and forget not that you are native-born American citizens, and as such, you are justly entitled to all the rights that are granted to the freest." - Henry Highland Garnet

"Growing up on the border there, we were always frustrated with people's pronunciations of towns in Michigan, and people mispronouncing Illinois. There are all these Native American words that no one really knows how to pronounce." - Sufjan Stevens

"Just because I'm Native American does' mean I can track furniture through the wilderness." She deepened her voice: ""Yes, kemosabe. A three-legged table passed this way an hour ago." Heck, I do' know." - Rick Riordan

"Just because I'm Native American doesn't mean I can track furniture through the wilderness." She deepened her voice: "'Yes, kemosabe. A three-legged table passed this way an hour ago.' Heck, I don't know." - Rick Riordan

"I have a lot of different collections of cards at home. It's hard to say my favorite deck, but there is a deck called the medicine cards, and it's Native American animal cards." - Valerie June

"United States Government needs to acknowledge and respect our sovereignty, treaties, traditional Native American values, and our human rights as a people, which under the law as written we deserve, and which should be protected." - Leonard Peltier

"American life is a powerful solvent. It seems to neutralize every intellectual element, however tough and alien it may be, and to fuse it in the native good will, complacency, thoughtlessness, and optimism." - George Santayana

"A bit of advice Given to a young Native American At the time of his initiation: As you go the way of life, You will see a great chasm. Jump. It is not as wide as you think." - Joseph Campbell

"The realization of a sustainable economic development strategy for Maine's Native American communities has always been a priority and a critical element of my administration's overall economic development strategy." - John Baldacci

"So the American government lied to the Native Americans for many, many years, and then President Clinton lied about a relationship, and everyone was surprised! A little naive, I feel!" - Eddie Izzard

"On the first season of our show, I commissioned a Native American artist to make up, 'cause I'm known for the tomahawk, besides the hair and the leather outfit and the whole thing." - Joe Lando

"There have been players with Indian heritage, but there hasn't been a Native-American professional basketball player who became a regular for all sorts of social and political reasons." - Sherman Alexie

"I have a hard problem, being some part Native American - being a Christian: do you get burned, do you get cremated, do you get - let the sharks eat you? How do you die?" - Duane Chapman

"I wanted in my lifetime to vote for a radical Native American woman, since my vision of any future that we might have is that it will be led by women and older women." - Alice Walker

"Our country was founded on immigration. We are all occupying Native American land here. At what point do we say 'It's our land, and nobody else can come here.'" - Michael Franti

"We use a Native American tradition of the talking stick. You sit and pass it around and whoever has the stick has to talk. Some people just hold it. Others really share." - Lisa Bonet

"I wanted a trumpet concerto that reflected Native American music because, well, there aren't any. I looked around for one but couldn't find anything. So it's a wide-open field." - Christopher Moore

"It is important that Congress works to promote home ownership in Indian Country. These federal housing funds and programs will help young Native American families to stay on tribal lands in order to live, work and raise a family." - Rick Renzi

"Most of my younger Native American friends are not in any way looking for sympathy, and they're not looking to lay guilt on anybody. They have their dignity, and they do what they do." - Robbie Robertson

"Speed is scarcely the noblest virtue of graphic composition, but it has its curious rewards. There is a sense of getting somewhere fast, which satisfies a native American urge." - James Thurber

"In more recent years, I've become more and more fascinated with the indigenous folklore of this land, Native American folklore, and also Hispanic folklore now that I live in the Southwest." - Terri Windling

"The more I heard, the more I've learned, and the more I saw, the more resolved I became about helping to address the challenges that plague the Native American community." - Daniel Snyder

"I've always felt, in all my books, that there's a deep decency in the American people and a native intelligence - providing they have the facts, providing they have the information." - Studs Terkel

"The name Crow was inspired by a number of things. I thought it would be cool to have a robot with sort of a Native American feel to it." - Joel Hodgson

"The power of these recommendations is that they come from leaders representing a broad spectrum of religious conviction. At the table were people with Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Native American and humanist perspectives, as well as individuals from advocacy groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to the American Center for Law and Justice." - Charles Haynes

"Today, we have come a distance. We have made a lot of progress. That cannot be denied. You cannot dispute the fact that our country is so different from 50 years ago. But we still have problems. There are too many people that have been left out and left behind, and they are African American, they are White, Latino, Asian American, and Native American." - John Lewis

"I am honored to have Ajamu Baraka as a running mate. I think he brings enormous credibility in the disenfranchised communities, not just African American but Latino, Asian American and Native American. He is a recognized advocate for racial justice, economic justice and human rights, and I think this conversation is only just begun. It is very important." - Jill Stein

"If you don't have a bed, or a dresser or a wall, or a book or a toy you are oppressed. An African American in a white world. A Jew in a Christian world. A gypsy. A Native American. A Chinese American. Let's say, you were born deprived." - Gerald Stern

"Teachers and librarians can be the most effective advocates for diversifying children's and young adult books. When I speak to publishers, they're going to expect me to say that I would love to see more books by Native American authors and African-American authors and Arab-American authors. But when a teacher or librarian says this to publishers, it can have a profound effect." - Pat Mora

"Strike-for your altars and your fires; Strike-for the green graves of your sires; God-and your native land!" - Fitz-Greene Halleck

"My native land, good night!" - Lord Byron

"Facts are God's native tongue." - Michael Dowd

"Facts are God's native tongue." - Michael Dowd

"Facts are God's native tongue." - Michael Dowd

"It is the fundamental right of every American, as guaranteed by the first amendment of the Constitution, to worship as he or she pleases... This legislation sets forth the policy of the United States to protect and preserve the inherent right of American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiian people to believe, express, and exercise their traditional religions" - Jimmy Carter

"The white, the Hispanic, the black, the Arab, the Jew, the woman, the Native American, the small farmer, the businessperson, the environmentalist, the peace activist, the young, the old, the lesbian, the gay and the disabled make up the American quilt." - Jesse Jackson

"We must never allow demagogues to divide us up by race, by religion, by national origin, by gender, or sexual orientation. Black and whites, Latino, Asian-American, Native American, Christian, Jew, Muslim, and every religion - straight or gay, male or female - we must stand together. This country belongs to all of us." - Bernie Sanders

"On the Native American front, we have turned a new page in the 400-year history of the interface between the American settlers of this country and the nation's first Americans. That's included a new relationship where the sovereignty of tribes is in fact recognized." - Ken Salazar

"Can you have a heritage more American than Obama's? The literal marriage of the immigrant and native. Born in our most diverse state. One without an ethnic majority, but where people of mixed race make up some 20 percent of the total population. There is nothing about Obama's background that isn't truth to the tired saw of the American melting pot." - John Ridley

"A lot of things occurred to me with shamans in Peru.There were a number of different kinds of experiences that you learn from doing ritual and taking ayahuasca [a common tropical forest hallucinogen] is the key to understanding the native consciousness and perception of the world with the Peruvian shamans that you wouldn't get unless you had been with them, but every shamanic tradition, including the Native American tradition of medicine and cleansing ritual, like the Sun Dance or the sweat lodge." - Fred Alan Wolf

"American poetry is a mess. Long live American poetry." - David Biespiel

"Still humping the American Dream" - Hunter S Thompson

"God bless the American spectator." - Charlaine Harris

"Solitude is considered un-American." - Erica Jong

"American comics are so constipated." - Frank Miller

"American men are like women." - Bikram Choudhury

"American workers are first rate." - Christopher Dodd

"Being religious is quintessentially American." - Denis Mcdonough

"I've lived the American dream." - Cathy Mcmorris Rodgers

"I'm basically a homegrown American." - Junior Seau

"I am a gay American." - James Mcgreevey

"American society is still puritanical." - Nick Nolte

"I'm an American. I'm not an African-American; I'm an American." - Raven-Symone

"Every time I make American film I just trust American directors and American writers." - Jackie Chan

"I was born an American; I will live an American; I shall die an American." - Daniel Webster

"South America had been an island continent, far bigger and far more diverse than Australia, for tens of millions of years before the Isthmus of Panama rose just a couple of million years ago. The resulting flood of North American mammals across the new land bridge corresponds in time with the decimation of the native South American fauna. In fact, most large mammals generally considered distinctly South American... are all recent migrants from North America." - Stephen Jay Gould

"Knowledge is power. Unfortunate dupes of this saying will keep on creating, ambitiously, till they have stunned their native initiative and made their thoughts weak." - Clarence Day

"Breathes there the man with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said, This is my own, my native land." - Walter Scott

"Of course, western is my native music," - Ken Curtis

"I can speak Esperanto like a native." - Spike Milligan

"Creationists have also changed their name ... to intelligent design theorists who study 'irreducible complexity' and the 'abrupt appearance' of life-yet more jargon for 'God did it.' ... Notice that they have no interest in replacing evolution with native American creation myths or including the Code of Hammarabi alongside the posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools." - Michael Shermer

"The American feels too rich in his opportunities for free expression that he often no longer knows what he is free from. Neither does he know where he is not free; he does not recognize his native autocrats when he sees them." - Erik Erikson

"I feel sorry for people of good heart who have never had a chance to learn the realities of Native American everything - not just our history but the sweetness and the beauty and the reasons why were so close to Mother Earth." - Buffy Sainte-Marie

"The forest is the first cathedral. I felt that from the time I was a child. I credit my mother with that. I used to think it came from her Native-American side. Whichever it was, she instinctively connected with nature, and taught me that." - Alice Walker

"There can be no more ancient and traditional American value than ignorance. English-only speakers brought it with them to this country three centuries ago, and they quickly imposed it on the Africans-who were not allowed to learn to read and write-and on the Native Americans, who were simply not allowed." - Barbara Ehrenreich

"I was inspired by Colin Farrell in the fact that he's Irish and has freckles but with black hair. I'm a bunch of different things, Irish, Polish, Native American, and French, but I wanted to tap into that Irish side and be freckle-y with black hair, so that's what I did." - Joanna Noelle Levesque

"Environmental policies are driven by a kind of emotional spiritualism that threatens the very foundation of our society. There is increasing evidence of a government-sponsored religion in America. This religion, a cloudy mixture of new-age mysticism, Native American folklore, and primitive Earth worship, is being promoted and enforced by the Clinton administration in violation of our rights and freedoms." - Helen Chenoweth-Hage

"All I try to do is portray Indians as we are, in creative ways. With imagination and poetry. I think a lot of Native American literature is stuck in one idea: sort of spiritual, environmentalist Indians. And I want to portray everyday lives. I think by doing that, by portraying the ordinary lives of Indians, perhaps people learn something new." - Sherman Alexie

"I think the worst one [indian mascot] is the Cleveland Indians' Big Chief Wahoo. It's just a red face on a baseball with a big, toothy grin. It's the Sambo of all other offensive mascots. I have never seen a Native American smile that hard before, not even at a casino opening." - Wanda Sykes

"There is too much sour grapes for my taste in the present American attitude. The time to denounce the bankers was when we were all feeding off their gold plate; not now! At present they have not only my sympathy but my preference. They are the last representatives of our native industries." - Edith Wharton

"There may be something in the fact that when I was a little kid I'd been told growing up that we had some degree of native American blood in us, I always found that a point of pride. So, when it came to cowboys and Indians I most certainly did not want to be John Wayne. I wanted to be one of the Indians." - Johnny Depp

"A native American group has filed a class-action lawsuit against the government for mismanagement of oil, gas, grazing, timber and other royalties since 1887. They're seeking $100 billion. Here's the good news: The government has responded what I believe is an appropriate counteroffer: A two-cent Navajo stamp." - Stephen Colbert

"The American independent cinema is as formulaic as Hollywood and one genre is what you might call the 'inaction movie'. The setting is invariably a decaying town in a regional backwater where a catalytic stranger or returning native meets up with a group of sad, eccentric outsiders." - Philip French

"There's that older poem of John Ashbery's-"America"-with the pun "I'm a wrecker," so wreckage and building out of the ashes of that. We're haunted by the genocide that is America, the decimation of so many native cultures. As a mix-blood European ancestry American, you're a nexus of all those violences, and yet there's a relative personal identity as well." - Anne Waldman



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