. Native American Poems and Prayers

Native American Poetry & Prayers



Black Hawk Productions

You must become the rock the river cannot wash away.

Speak your voice.



Thank you my Native brothers for teaching me your beautiful ways.

I thank Creator for the ways of creation.

For eyes to see the beauty of creation.

For ears to hear the sounds of creation.

For the heart to understand the ways of Creator

For hands to touch

For words to teach little ones the ways of Creator

I pray for love for all our relations.

- phil gottfredson



sacred WARRIOR

Life offers us the opportunity to become a sacred Warrior. 
A warrior is one who bravely goes into those dark areas within 
themselves to ferret out the Truth of their being. 
It takes great courage, stamina and endurance to 
become a sacred Warrior.

The path is narrow, the terrain rough and rocky. 
You will walk alone: through the dark caves, 
up those steep climbs and through the dense thick forest. 
You will meet your dark side. The faces of fear, deceit, and 
sadness all await your arrival

No one can take this journey but you. 
There comes a time, in each of our lives, 
when we are given the choice to follow this path. 
Should we decide to embark on this journey, 
we can never turn back.... Our lives are changed forever 
On this journey, there are many different places we can 
choose to slip into and hide. But the path goes on. 
The sacred Warrior stays the course, wounded at times, 
exhausted and out of energy. Many times, the Warrior will 
struggle back to their feet to take only a few steps before 
falling again.

Rested, they forge on, 
continuing the treacherous path. 
The journey continues. The sacred Warrior 
stays the course. Weakened, but never broken. 
One day, the battle, loneliness and desperate fights are over. 
The sun breaks through the clouds; the birds begin to sing 
their sweet melodies. There is a change in the energy. 
A deep change within the self.

The warrior has fought the courageous fight. 
The battle of the dark night of the soul is won. 
New energy now fills the Warrior. 
A new path is now laid before them. 
A gentler path filled with the inner-knowing 
of one who has personal empowerment.

With their personal battle won, they are filled with joy. 
A new awareness that they are one with the Spirit beams 
as they go forth to show others the way. 
They are not permitted to walk the path for others. 
They can only love, guide and be a living example 
of the Truth of their being. 


Long road winding began in the stars,
spilled onto the mountain tops,
was carried in the snow to the streams,
to the rivers, to the ocean…
It covers Canada, Alaska, America,
Mexico to Guatemala,
and keeps winding around the indigenous.

The Red Road is a circle of people 
standing hand in hand,
people in this world, people between
people in the Spirit world.
star people, animal people, stone people,
river people, tree people…
The Sacred Hoop.

To walk the Red Road 
is to know sacrifice, suffering. 
It is to understand humility.
It is the ability to stand naked before God
in all things for your wrong doings,
for your lack of strength,
for your uncompassionate way,
for your arrogance - because to walk 
the Red Road, you always know
you can do better. And you know,
when you do good things,
it is through the Creator, and you are grateful.

To walk the Red Road
is to know you stand on equal ground
with all living things. It is to know that
because you were born human,
it gives you superiority over nothing.
It is to know that every creation carries a Spirit,
and the river knows more than you do,
the mountains know more than you do,
the stone people know more than you do,
the trees know more than you do,
the wind is wiser than you are,
and animal people carry wisdom.
You can learn from every one of them,
because they have something you don't:
They are void of evil thoughts.
They wish vengeance on no one, they seek Justice.

To Walk the Red Road,
you have God given rights,
you have the right to pray,
you have the right to dance,
you have the right to think,
you have the right to protect,
you have the right to know Mother,
you have the right to dream,
you have the right to vision,
you have the right to teach,
you have the right to learn,
you have a right to grieve,
you have a right to happiness,
you have the right to fix the wrongs,
you have the right to truth,
you have a right to the Spirit World.

To Walk the Red Road
is to know your Ancestors,
to call to them for assistance…
It is to know that there is good medicine,
and there is bad medicine…
It is to know that Evil exists,
but is cowardly as it is often in disguise.
It is to know there are evil spirits
who are in constant watch
for a way to gain strength for themselves
at the expense of you.

To Walk the Red Road,
you have less fear of being wrong,
because you know that life is a journey,
a continuous circle, a sacred hoop.
Mistakes will be made,
and mistakes can be corrected 
if you will be humble,
for if you cannot be humble,
you will never know
when you have made a mistake.

If you walk the Red Road,
you know that every sorrow
leads to a better understanding,
every horror cannot be explained,
but can offer growth.

To Walk the Red Road
is to look for beauty in all things.

To Walk the Red Road
is to know you will one day
cross to the Spirit World,
and you will not be afraid…

Native American Wisdom

"Those that lie down with dogs, get up with fleas." Blackfoot

"Life is not separate from death. It only looks that way." Blackfoot

"We do not inherit the world from our ancestors;

we borrow it from our children.

Duty on us to return it to them in the absolute situation" tribe unknown

"Listening to a liar is like drinking warm water." tribe unknown

"When a fox walks lame, the old rabbit jumps." Oklahoma

"A starving man will eat with the wolf." Oklahoma

"The moon is not shamed by the barking of dogs." Southwest

"Even a small mouse has anger." tribe unknown

"Make my enemy brave and strong, so that if defeated, I will not be ashamed." Plains

"Not every sweet root gives birth to sweet grass." tribe unknown

"The coward shoots with eyes." Oklahoma

"If a man is to do something more than human, he must have more than human powers." tribe unknown

"If you raindance... You will get your teepee wet."

"Tell me, and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand."

"Tell the truth always even if it is bitter to taste."

"If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both."

"The Great Spirit gave you two ears and only one mouth, so you can talk half as much as you listen."

"If you take a copy of the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone. Our bible IS the wind."

"Each bird loves to hear himself sing." Arapaho

"All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them." Arapaho

"If we wonder often, the gift of knowledge will come" Arapaho

There is a road in the hearts of all of us, hidden and seldom traveled, which leads to an unknown, secret place.

Do not lead me,

For I may not always follow.

Do not follow me,

For I may not always lead.

Lets walk our paths together,

As brothers, friends forever as one.

ah tey wa chee un kink tay

"...and, again I will see You"

Black Hawk Productions Phillip Gottfredson


Native Wisdom

It is less of a problem to be poor, than to be dishonest. Anishnabe

What the people believe is true. Anishnabe

It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand. Apache

Each bird loves to hear himself sing. Arapaho

All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them. Arapaho

Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it. Arapaho

Before eating, always take time to thank the food. Arapaho

When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us. Arapaho

If we wonder often, the gift of knowledge will come. Arapaho

Most of us do not look as handsome to others as we do to ourselves. Assiniboine

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... Blackfoot

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, he world cries and you rejoice. Cherokee

Don't let yesterday use up too much of today. Cherokee

The weakness of the enemy makes our strength. Cherokee

A good soldier is a poor scout. Cheyenne

If a man is as wise as a serpent, he can afford to be as harmless as a dove. Cheyenne

Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark. Cheyenne

Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins. Cheyenne

A danger foreseen is half-avoided. Cheyenne Our first teacher is our own heart. Cheyenne

All who have died are equal. Comanche

One rain does not make a crop. Creole

Man's law changes with his understanding of man. Only the laws of the spirit remain always the same. Crow Old age is not as honorable as death, but most people want it. Crow You already possess everything necessary to become great. Crow We will be known forever by the tracks we leave. Dakota

There is no death, only a change of worlds. Duwamish

Day and night cannot dwell together. Duwamish

In age, talk; in childhood, tears. Hopi

One finger cannot lift a pebble. Hopi

All dreams spin out from the same web. Hopi

The one who tells the stories rules the world. Hopi

The rain falls on the just and the unjust. Hopi

Don't be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts. Hopi

Wisdom comes only when you stop looking for it and start living the life the Creator intended for you. Hopi

The rainbow is a sign from Him who is in all things. Hopi

A brave man dies but once, a coward many times. Iowa

Walk lightly in the spring; Mother Earth is pregnant. Kiowa

When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard. Lakota

Force, no matter how concealed, begets resistance. Lakota

Many have fallen with the bottle in their hand. Lakota

Everything the power does, it does in a circle. Lakota

A man or woman with many children has many homes. Lakota Sioux

Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, Wisdom is of the future. Lumbee

Everyone who is successful must have dreamed of something. Maricopa

If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself. Minquass

A good chief gives, he does not take. Mohawk

Remember that your children are not your own, but are lent to you by the Creator. Mohawk

Regard Heaven as your father, Earth as your Mother and all things as your Brothers and Sisters. Native American

The soul would have no rainbow if the eye had no tears. Native American

Coyote is always out there waiting, and Coyote is always hungry. Navajo

There is nothing as eloquent as a rattlesnakes tail. Navajo

You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. Navajo

A rocky vineyard does not need a prayer, but a pick ax. Navajo

Every animal knows more than you do. Nez Percé

White men have too many chiefs. Nez Percé

To touch the earth is to have harmony with nature. Oglala Sioux

When a fox walks lame, the old rabbit jumps. Oklahoma

A starving man will eat with the wolf. Oklahoma

The coward shoots with shut eyes. Oklahoma

It is easy to be brave from a distance. Omaha

Ask questions from you heart and you will be answered from the heart. Omaha

A hungry stomach makes a short prayer. Paiute

Do not wrong or hate your neighbor for it is not he that you wrong but yourself. Pima

Cherish youth, but trust old age. Pueblo Sharing and giving are the ways of God. Sauk

We are all one child spinning through Mother Sky. Shawnee

Each person is his own judge. Shawnee

Sing your death song and die like a hero going home. Shawnee - Chief Tecumseh

We are made from Mother Earth and we go back to Mother Earth. Shenandoah

It is no longer good enough to cry peace, we must act peace, live peace and live in peace. Shenandoah

There are many good moccasin tracks along the trail of a straight arrow. Sioux

With all things and in all things, we are relatives. Sioux

Poverty is a noose that strangles humility and breeds disrespect for God and man. Sioux

The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives. Sioux

A people without a history is like the wind over buffalo grass. Sioux

The moon is not shamed by the barking of dogs. Southwest

Tell me and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand. tribe unknown Listening to a liar is like drinking warm water. tribe unknown Listen or your tongue will keep you deaf. tribe unknown

If a man is to do something more than human, he must have more than human powers. tribe unknown

The soul would have no rainbow if the eye had no tears. tribe unknown

Even a small mouse has anger. tribe unknown

Not every sweet root give birth to sweet grass. tribe unknown

Man has responsibility, not power. Tuscarora

Those who have one foot in the canoe, and one foot in the boat, are going to fall into the river. Tuscarora

They are not dead who live in the hearts they leave behind. Tuscarora

The way of the troublemaker is thorny. Umpqua God gives us each a song. Timpanogos

A man must make his own arrows. Winnebago After dark all cats are leopards. Zuni

When you die, you will be spoken of as those in the sky, like the stars. Yurok

Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints. Chief Seattle

When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear, when that happens, The Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them. Chief Seattle

All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life. He is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. Chief Seattle

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view and demand that they respect yours. Chief Tecumseh

Peace comes within the souls of men, when they realize their oneness with the Universe, when they realize it is really everywhere... it is within each one of us. Black Elk, Lakota Medicine Man

A very great vision is needed, and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky. Chief Crazy Horse Hoka Hey It is a good time to die. Chief Crazy Horse

My elders have told me that these teachings are important to humanity. And that the more people understand them, the better things will get. Although the essence of tradition belief and spirit is the same the world over; they say, that if you are able to search out your own roots, it is best if we can preserve our own traditions. We need them all. All the Earth's indigenous ways. Furthermore, they were created to work in the land of their birth.

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