“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors; we borrow it from our Children.”
~ Ancient Indian Proverb
Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture your heart.
~ Old Indian saying
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
~ Cherokee Expression
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. We are a part of the earth and it is part of us. ~Chief Seattle
Lose your temper and you lose a friend; lie and you lose yourself.”
Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find money cannot be eaten.
~ Cree Prophecy
May the warm winds of heaven blow softly upon your house. May the Great Spirit bless all who enter there.  May your moccasins make happy tracks in many snows, and may the rainbow always touch your shoulder.
~ Cherokee Prayer Blessing
Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery, teach me how to trust my heart, my mind, my intuition, my inner knowing, the senses of my body, the blessings of my spirit. Teach me to trust these things so that I may enter my Sacred Space and love beyond my fear, and thus Walk in Balance with the passing of each glorious Sun.
~ Lakota Prayer
Honor the sacred. Honor the Earth, our Mother. Honor the Elders.
Honor all with whom we  share the Earth:-
Four-leggeds, two-leggeds, winged ones,
Swimmers, crawlers, plant and rock people.
Walk in balance and beauty.
~Native American Elder
O’ Great Spirit, help me always to speak the truth quietly, to listen with an open mind when others speak, and to remember the peace that may be found in silence.
~ Cherokee Prayer
We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can’t speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees.
~ Qwatsinas, Nuxalk Nation
“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” ~ Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator
…Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence. ~ Mourning Dove Salish

The Great Spirit is in all things, he is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother. She nourishes us, that which we put into the ground she returns to us…. ~Big Thunder (Bedagi) Wabanaki Algonquin

“One does not sell the land people walk on.” ~Crazy Horse, Sept. 23, 1875
“Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mohican, the Pokanoket, and many other once powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice and the oppression of the White Man, as snow before a summer sun.
“Will we let ourselves be destroyed in our turn without a struggle, give up our homes, our country bequeathed to us by the Great Spirit, the graves of our dead and everything that is dear and sacred to us? I know you will cry with me, ‘Never! Never!’”
~The Great Chief Tecumseh~ Shawnee
*Image of Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota
“When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.”  ~Chief Aupumut, Mohican. 1725
“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 (Maza Blaska) Oglala Sioux Chief
“When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear, when that happens, TheWarriors of the Rainbow will come to save them.” ~ Chief Seattle
“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. He put in your heart certain wishes and plans, in my heart he put other and different desires. Each man is good in his sight. It is not necessary for Eagles to be Crows. We are poor…but we are free. No white man controls our footsteps. If we must die…we die defending our rights.” ~ Sitting Bull Hunkpapa Sioux
“I will follow the white man’s trail. I will make him my friend, but I will not bend my back to his burdens. I will be cunning as a coyote. I will ask him to help me understand his ways, then I will prepare the way for my children, and their children. The Great Spirit has shown me – a day will come when they will outrun the white man in his own shoes.” ~ Many Horses
If you talk to the animals they will talk with you
and you will know each other.  If you do not talk to them
you will not know them, and what you do not know
you will fear.  What one fears one destroys.
~Chief Dan George
“The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of 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 Sioux
“Our land is everything to us… I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember that our grandfathers paid for it – with their lives.”
*All images are royalty free. I am interested in purchasing more Native American images. Contact me at: bctrissel@yahoo.com


  1. Mary Marvella // August 16, 2010 at 9:31 PM  

    Beth, you are an artist in many ways. Your choice of images and your words touch my heart.

  2. Judy // August 17, 2010 at 7:38 AM  

    Beth, these are wonderful! If everyone would read just one of these sayings everyday, just think of how wonderful the world would be!! thank you!

  3. Scarlet Pumpernickel // August 17, 2010 at 7:48 AM  

    Awe inspiring. This post calls to the Native American blood that runs in my veins. In Georgia, because of the Trail of Tears, many families hid their Native American blood and over the years that treasure of spirit was forgotten. My we find our lost heritage and rejoice in its rich history. Beth, thanks for a beautiful post.

  4. Beth Trissel // August 17, 2010 at 8:03 AM  

    Thanks. Yes, wonderful sayings. Transforming. Tragically, many Native Americans were forced to hide their true identity well into the 20th century.

  5. Barbara Monajem // August 17, 2010 at 10:15 AM  

    This is lovely, Beth. Thank you.

  6. Nightingale // August 17, 2010 at 10:55 AM  

    Absolutely beautiful!

  7. Mary Ricksen // August 17, 2010 at 12:20 PM  

    We all could live better by using the wisdom of the first Americans.
    They took care of their land, it was life and alive. Sadly, we don't do that now. The oily beaches would have been horror to the natives who lived here in Florida. Touching quotes Beth!

  8. Mary Ricksen // August 17, 2010 at 12:22 PM  

    Oh, I forgot to mention, I am one eighth Abenaki Indian. There are something like 150 native born, full blooded, Abenaki Indians in the North East.
    It's a damn shame.

  9. Beth Trissel // August 17, 2010 at 2:06 PM  

    Amen Mary. Thanks all.

  10. Pamela Vee // August 17, 2010 at 9:54 PM  

    Beth, I've always respected the Native American approach to life. It nourishes our souls instead of draining it with an overload of worldy desires. But most importantly it reminds me to be grateful for everything I have.

  11. Autumn Jordon // August 17, 2010 at 10:20 PM  

    So many great and inspiring quotes. The Lakota Prayer caught my breath. So beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing.

  12. Mary Marvella // August 17, 2010 at 11:41 PM  

    Beth, I think people agree that it's a wonderful blog.

  13. Mona Risk // August 18, 2010 at 2:23 PM  

    So much wisdom in those says. And beautiful pictures.

  14. Lynne Roberts // August 20, 2010 at 3:33 PM  

    Great post! Thank you.

  15. Beth Trissel // August 20, 2010 at 11:35 PM  

    I'm so glad everyone appreciated this unique post and had a sense of reverence for it. Thank you.

  16. Joanne // August 23, 2010 at 1:08 PM  

    Outstanding pictures, beautifully touching sayings---this blog was outstanding. Thanks for sharing.