"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." Bedage
The native American Indians respected the earth, the sky, the sea and all living things. Their footprint on the earth was barely noticable. They lived in such a close relationship with nature and defined themselves by this relationship being in tune with the seasons and the rhythms of where they lived. They saw a deep unity in the natural and the spiritual world. Their traditions, stories and beliefs connected them with the earth, the sky and the sea - even their names show this connection - Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, Fish Hawk, Princess Raven, Big Thunder, Ten Bears.. the list goes on.
Their "spiritual stories are deeply based in Nature and are rich with the symbolism of seasons, weather, plants, animals, earth, water, sky & fire." Read more about these stories.
Coyote attempts to get persimmons from Opossum in a traditional native American story
"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 - Chief Edward Moody, Nuxalk Nation.
SUGGESTED BOOKS TO READ TO CHILDREN:
- Pushing up the Sky: Seven Native American Plays for Children
- Keepers of the Animals: Native American Stories and Wildlife Activities for Children (Keepers of the Earth)
- Native American Tales and Legends
See more original photographs and quotes and learn about the history of the Native American Indians at Native American Images.