Native American Proverbs, Sayings, and Expressions

89 of the best Native American Proverbs:

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

A pearl is worthless as long as it is in its shell.

A Native American grandfather talking to his young grandson tells the boy he has two wolves inside of him struggling with each other. The first is the wolf of peace, love and kindness. The other wolf is fear, greed and hatred. “Which wolf will win, grandfather?” asks the young boy. “Whichever one I feed,” is the reply.

All dreams spin out from the same web.

As you go the way of life you will see a great chasm, Jump. It is not as wide as you think.

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

Don’t judge any man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.

Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.

Everything the Power does, it does in a circle

If it does not kill you, it will bring you happiness.

It is easy to be brave from a distance.

It only looks that way.

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

No river can return to its source, yet all rivers must have a beginning.

Nobody gets out of the bed to sleep on the floor.

Not every sweet root gives birth to sweet grass.

One foe is too many and a hundred friends are too few.

One shower doesn’t make a flood.

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

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

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

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

The center of the universe is everywhere.

The devil goes away and heaven comes to stay.

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

The lazy ox drinks dirty water.

The ones that matter the most are the children.

The power of the world always works in circles.

The river is my brother for it carries my canoe.

The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

The words of God are not like the oak leaf which dies and falls to the earth, but like the pine tree which stays green forever.

There is no death, only a change of worlds.

There is nothing so eloquent as the rattlesnake’s tail.

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

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

Touching the earth equates to having harmony with nature. 

True peace between nations will only happen when there is true peace within people’s souls.

We do no inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.

What the people believe is true.

When a man moves from nature, his heart becomes hard.

When the earth is hot, the worm stays in the ground.

Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking

May you always walk in Beauty

All of this Creation is Sacred

If there is a shadow of a doubt someplace, that will cause a weakness You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts 

All things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man … the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports

One does not sell the land upon which people walk

I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself

As a child I understood how to give, I have forgotten this grace since I have become civilized.

The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. It is the blood of our ancestors

By peace our condition has been improved in the pursuit of civilized life

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