Cherokee Quotes and Sayings for Native American

  • A good man is a warrior in mind and spirit.
  • The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.
  • Listen to the whispers of your ancestors.
  • The greatest gift you can give someone is your time and attention.
  • The earth is our mother; we must take care of her.
  • It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand.
  • Never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.
  • We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
  • Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
  • Everything in the universe has a purpose. It is our job to find ours.
  • The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.
  • A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.
  • There is a road in the hearts of all of us, hidden and seldom traveled, which leads to an unknown, secret place.
  • Do not allow yesterday to take up too much of today.
  • Honor the sacred.

Famous Cherokee Quotes 

  • One does not sell the land people walk on.
  • The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
  • Walk lightly in the spring; Mother Earth is pregnant.
  • Tell me, and I will listen. Show me, and I will understand. Involve me, and I will learn.
  • To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
  • You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.
  • The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
  • Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.
  • Wisdom is not in words; wisdom is in deeds.
  • In a world filled with chaos and confusion, find peace in the silence.
  • The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.
  • We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.
  • He who would do great things should not attempt them all alone.
  • Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Inspirational Native American Sayings

  • We are not separate from the earth; we are a part of it.
  • It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?
  • 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.
  • The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
  • The world is a mirror; what you see is what you get.
  • A people without history is like wind on the buffalo grass.
  • We are all children of Mother Earth.
  • The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.
  • Be thankful for the smallest blessing, and you will receive greater things.
  • It is better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
  • The fire that warms us can also consume us; it is not the fault of the fire.
  • Our ancestors are like the stars that shine in the night sky; they guide us in the darkness.
  • The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people.
  • When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
  • The greatest gift you can give yourself is to find your purpose in life.
  • The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience, but how he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Native American Quotes 

  • The greatest wisdom comes from experiencing life fully.
  • The earth is not a gift from our ancestors, it is a loan from our children.
  • In the end, only kindness matters.
  • The true test of character is not how much we know, but how we put that knowledge into action.
  • The road to success is always under construction.
  • The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
  • The mind is everything. What you think you become.
  • Believe you can and you’re halfway there.
  • The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.
  • The best way to predict your future is to create it.
  • Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
  • Life is a journey, not a destination.
  • It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
  • The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
  • In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.
  • Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

Sayings for Native American Prayer

  • The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
  • It does not matter how tall you are, but how well you stand tall.
  • The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
  • Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.
  • The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
  • You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.
  • The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.
  • You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
  • It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.
  • In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
  • Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
  • Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
  • Change your thoughts and you change your world.
  • The only way to do good work is to love what you do.
  • If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.

Best Cherokee Sayings

  • The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
  • The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
  • It always seems impossible until it’s done.
  • A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.
  • The key to success is to focus on goals, not obstacles.
  • You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.
  • Believe in yourself, take on your challenges, dig deep within yourself to conquer fears. Never let anyone bring you down. You got this.
  • A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
  • The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
  • Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.
  • Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
  • Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
  • We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.

Cherokee Prayer Blessing

  • The only source of knowledge is experience.
  • I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
  • The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.
  • You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
  • The only thing standing between you and your goal is the story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.
  • If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.
  • The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
  • The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
  • We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.
  • The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.
  • Wisdom is not in words; wisdom is in deeds.

FAQ Native American Proverbs

Who was Sitting Bull, and why is he a significant figure in Lakota history?

Sitting Bull was a respected leader and holy man among the Lakota Sioux tribe, known for his courage and strong resistance against U.S. government policies aimed at Native peoples. His leadership in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, where his forces defeated the U.S. Army, marks him as a prominent historical figure in American Indian history.

Can you explain the significance of the Trail of Tears in Cherokee history?

The Trail of Tears refers to the forced relocation of the Cherokee Nation from their ancestral lands in Georgia to Oklahoma in the 1830s. This event was marked by immense hardship and suffering, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Cherokee people. It remains a pivotal moment in Cherokee heritage and American history.

What are some core aspects of Native American spirituality, particularly related to the Great Spirit?

Native American spirituality often centers on a deep connection with the Great Spirit, considered the creator and a central figure of guidance and wisdom. This spirituality is characterized by a profound reverence for nature and the life it supports, reflecting a belief that all things are connected and sacred.

How does the tale of two wolves reflect Cherokee culture and spirituality?

The Cherokee tale of two wolves teaches about the inner struggle between two wolves—one representing virtues like kindness and bravery, and the other representing vices such as greed and hatred. This story highlights Cherokee culture’s emphasis on personal morality and the importance of choosing actions that promote harmony and balance within the souls.

What was Chief Seattle known for, and how did his views influence Native American heritage?

Chief Seattle was a leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish tribes who is renowned for his powerful speeches that articulated the respect and reverence his people had for the environment. His words emphasized how Native peoples saw themselves as integral parts of the ecosystem and stewards of the earth, influencing broader perceptions of Native American heritage.

What role did Black Elk play among the Oglala Lakota, and what were his contributions to understanding indigenous spirituality?

Black Elk was an Oglala Lakota holy man who played a significant role in preserving Lakota traditions and spiritual practices. His teachings and life story, notably captured in the book “Black Elk Speaks,” offer deep insights into indigenous spirituality and his visionary experiences, emphasizing the unity of all living things and the presence of the Great Spirit in everyday life.

Describe the historical and current significance of Wilma Mankiller in the context of Cherokee leadership and indigenous women’s roles.

Wilma Mankiller was the first woman to serve as the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, playing a pivotal role in revitalizing the Cherokee community and advocating for Native American rights. Her leadership and advocacy underscored the significance of indigenous women in leadership roles and highlighted the modern progression of Cherokee and indigenous peoples’ societal roles.

What is the cultural significance of Tecumseh in the context of Shawnee and broader Native American heritage?

Tecumseh, a leader of the Shawnee, is celebrated for his formidable resistance against American expansion and his efforts to unite various Indian tribes under a single confederation. His vision and leadership are exemplified by his famous quote, “Live in peace with all people and ask not for war,” highlighting his deep commitment to the principles of truth and the unification of Native nations.

How does the philosophy of “all things share the same breath” reflect in the practices and beliefs of indigenous people?

This philosophy, often echoed in the sayings of Native American leaders like Oren Lyons, emphasizes the interconnectedness of life within the universe. It holds that humans, animals, plants, and all living things are part of a single sacred community, breathing together in a shared existence. This belief guides many indigenous practices, fostering a deep respect for nature and a commitment to live harmoniously with the environment.

Can you explain the importance of Native American Heritage Month in promoting understanding and appreciation of Native American art and leaders?

Native American Heritage Month is an annual celebration that acknowledges the significant contributions of Native American people to the cultural and social landscape of the United States. It serves as a vital platform for educating the public about the rich traditions, art, and leadership within Native American communities, enhancing awareness and appreciation of the diverse heritage that forms part of the national identity. This month also provides an opportunity to showcase Native American art as both a form of expression and a means of preserving and transmitting cultural values and stories.

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