“Optimistic, hopeful people view barriers and obstacles as problems to be solved and not as the reason to give up or turn back. Positive people never, ever give up.”
Wilma Mankiller, Cherokee

“The happiest people I've ever met, regardless of their profession, their social standing, or their economic status, are people that are fully engaged in the world around them. The most fulfilled people are those who get up every morning and stand for something larger than themselves. They are people who care about others, people who will extend a helping hand to someone in need or will speak up about an injustice when they see it.” 
Wilma Mankiller, Cherokee

**"The stereotypes have grown worse and worse. The way people are raised and taught is coming out in a younger generation. We’re blind to (native] culture. It’s not something that should be kept from us.”
Christopher Gardipee, 18, non-native.

“America is not made of just white people. We all bring a certain quality to America.”
Briana Welsh

“Nobody really knows who we are. It’s not in the history books.”
Billy Franks Jr, Nisqually
“People only think of Native Americans as ‘back in the day. Every other culture is in the present.” 
Shakohwin Black Cloud, Lakota Muscokgee

"Your work is a reflection on you, and if you don't do a good job, what does that say about you?"
Lee Sakiestewa

**"It's the third largest constellation in the sky, and they saw it every single night for tens of thousands of years. It was like the TV being stuck on the same channel playing the same show nonstop."
Rex Saint Onge about Ursa Major and its importance to the Chumash people

“We know we are related physically and mentally, but we also have to be related spiritually.  We have to reconnect spiritually to come back together and work to be a family again.” 
Ernie LaPointe, Sioux

"We have much to gain from reaching out to share our cultures.”
Lynette Allston. Nottaway

"Some people say that Indians can survive without recognition, but in this day and age, they can’t.”  
Robert “Two Eagles” Green, Patawomeck

"The old people say, 'Learn from your mistakes'.  So I try to accept everything for what it is  and to make the best of each situation one day at a time." 
Dr. A.C.Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA

"When you begin a great work you can't expect to finish it all at once."
Teedyuscung, Delaware

**"Before our white brothers came to civilize us we had no jails. Therefore we had no criminals. You can't have criminals without a jail. We had no locks or keys, and so we had no thieves. If a man was so poor that he had no horse, tipi or blanket, someone gave him these things. We were too uncivilized to set much value on personal belongings. We wanted to have things only in order to give them away. We had no money, and therefore a man's worth could not be measured by it. We had no written law, no attorneys or politicians, therefore we couldn't cheat. We really were in a bad way before the white man came, and I don't know how we manage to get along without the basic things which, we are told, are absolutely necessary to make a civilized society. But now visible progress is everywhere - we have jails all over the place and men in neck-ties who lie and cheat."
Lame Deer - Ikce Wicasa

"Our language is what holds us. It is a part of who we are. This is what my father told me."
Dakota Littlecrow, Salish

"Balance is implicit in the Red Road. When you're on the Red Road, you are in the center. Yet, you do not go to either extreme, and you allow both sides to exist. This is accomplished by continually postponing surrendering to temptation, whatever it may be. It is saying `later' instead of `no.'" 
Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA

"You have the values that come with the language. Never trade off for something that is foreign. Your legacy should be good enough."
Rhonda Hopkins, Chippewa
“[The stories] teach us about … a good way to live life, and they help us understand ourselves. Our world view, our perspective, is in those stories. When those things may be missing in other parts of your life, you can find them by listening.”
Bill Howes,  College of St Scholastica

“We’re taught not to be better than anyone else; we’re taught to be equals,” Amik Smallwood, Ojibwe

“We’re not afraid to fail because every failure brings us closer to success.” 
Gregory E. Pyle, Choctaw

 **"Each of us must find out for himself or herself what their gift is, so that they can use it in their life."
Jimmy Jackson, OJIBWAY

“"One of the essential characteristics we need to learn as men was to be gentle, and to be gentle means to be serene, to enter meditation or a prayerful state in the morning and evening."  Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA

Words from the Circle p. 23
Words from the Circle p. 25

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