64 Indigenous People Quotes On Success In Life

These indigenous people quotes will inspire you. Indigenous Peoples are distinct social and cultural groups that share collective ancestral ties to the lands and natural resources where they live, occupy, or from which they have been displaced.

A collection of motivating, happy, and encouraging indigenous people quotes, indigenous people sayings, and indigenous people proverbs.

Best Indigenous People Quotes

  1. “A great deal of anthropological/ethnological literature describes indigenous peoples who live in oneness with the natural world and one another. Survival itself necessitates a borderlessness between inner and outer worlds. At times we still feel a return to that unified state. T.S. Eliot’s designation of our return is ‘through the unknown remembered gate.'” ~ John Zerzan
  2. “We cannot allow some people to be left at the back of the human rights bus… We must ensure the rights of individual groups or people -be they indigenous peoples, or peoples of Asian or African or American descent, or Jews or Muslims- are not sacrificed on an altar of progress for some while there are setbacks to others.” ~ Matthew Coon Come
  3. “We must respect each other’s right to choose a collective destiny, and the opportunity to develop the legal and political rights for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples so that we may enjoy the right to maintain our culture, our heritage and our land, as a united Australia.” ~ Jackie Huggins
  4. “Indigenous people believe that Man belongs to the World; civilized people believe that the World belongs to Man.” ~ Daniel Quinn

  5. “Since the beginning, Native Peoples lived a life of being in harmony with all that surrounds us. It is a belief that all humankind are related to each other. Each has a purpose, spirit and sacredness. It is an understanding with the Great Spirit or Creator that we will follow these ways. And in this understanding we believe we are related to all other living species.” ~ Dennis Banks , Indigenous People quotes about life
  6. “We are all indigenous people on this planet, and we have to reorganize to get along.” ~ Rebecca Adamson
  7. “We seem to have lost the wisdom of the indigenous people, which dictated that in any major decision, the first consideration was ‘How will this decision we’re making today affect our people in the future? These days, decisions are made based on the bottom line.” ~ Jane Goodall
  8. “We are not myths of the past, ruins in the jungle, or zoos. We are people and we want to be respected, not to be victims of intolerance and racism.” ~ Rigoberta Menchu

  9. “For Indigenous peoples , the impact of separating us from our heritage goes directly to the heart that pumps life through our peoples. To expect a people to be able to enjoy their culture without their cultural heritage and their sacred belongings is equivalent to amputating their legs and digging up the ground and asking them to run a marathon.” ~ Mick Dodson
  10. “I resolutely believe that respect for diversity is a fundamental pillar in the eradication of racism, xenophobia and intolerance. There is no excuse for evading the responsibility of finding the most suitable path toward the elimination of any expression of discrimination against indigenous peoples.” ~ Rigoberta Menchu
  11. “I support the indigenous people anywhere in the planet” ~ Edward James Olmos
  12. “Solutions will not be found while Indigenous people are treated as victims for whom someone else must find solutions.” ~ Malcolm Fraser

  13. “I am against the fact that a settler minority should impose an entire system of values on an indigenous people.” ~ Steven Biko
  14. “Through consciousness, our minds have the power to change our planet and ourselves. It is time we heed the wisdom of the ancient indigenous people and channel our consciousness and spirit to tend the garden and not destroy it.” ~ Bruce H. Lipton
  15. “The indigenous peoples understand that they have to recover their cultural identity, or to live it if they have already recovered it. They also understand that this is not a favor or a concession, but simply their natural right to be recognized as belonging to a culture that is distinct from the Western culture, a culture in which they have to live their own faith.” ~ Samuel Ruiz
  16. “In every Indigenous community I’ve been in, they absolutely do want community infrastructure and they do want development, but they want it on their own terms. They want to be able to use their national resources and their assets in a way that protects and sustains them. Our territories are our wealth, the major assets we have. And Indigenous people use and steward this property so that they can achieve and maintain a livelihood, and achieve and maintain that same livelihood for future generations.” ~ Rebecca Adamson
  17. “As it has for America’s other indigenous peoples, I believe the United States must fulfill its responsibility to Native Hawaiians.” ~ Daniel Kahikina Akaka

  18. “At the end of the day, these are issues that need to be discussed: femicides, among other things – immigrant rights, women’s’ rights, indigenous people’s rights, animal rights, Mother Earth’s rights. If we don’t talk about these topics, then we have no place in democracy. It won’t exist. Democracy isn’t just voting; it’s relegating your rights.” ~ Ruben Isaac Albarran Ortega
  19. “For Indigenous people, the goal for our land is definitely about protection, but it’s also about use. We see ourselves as so integrated with our territory that our protection is tied to our use and our use is tied to our protection. We use the resources on our territory to live.” ~ Rebecca Adamson
  20. “We are now facing a difficult situation in Peru, where there are attempts to cut back the territorial rights of the indigenous peoples, including moves to divide, fragment and privatise our communal organisations. Now more than ever, it is a matter of urgency for us to consolidate our own indigenous alternatives for development.” ~ Evaristo Nugkuag
  21. “A good government is one with a duty to help everyone, to maximise his or her potential: Indigenous people, people with disabilities, and our forgotten families.We will not leave anyone behind.” ~ Warren Mundine

  22. “The true essence of reconciliation is more than making friends with nonindigenous people. Our motto is united Australia, one that respects the land and the heritage of its indigenous peoples and provides justice and equity for all. I think reconciliation is about changing the structures that govern us and trying to influence opinion leaders in whatever way we can.” ~ Jackie Huggins
  23. “I’d like to talk about free markets. Information in the computer age is the last genuine free market left on earth except those free markets where indigenous people are still surviving. And that’s basically becoming limited.” ~ Russell Means
  24. “The more I consider the condition of the white men, the more fixed becomes my opinion that, instead of gaining, they have lost much by subjecting themselves to what they call the laws and regulations of civilized socieities.” ~ Tomochichi

  25. “For the Amahuaca, the Koyukon, the Apache, and the diverse Aboriginal peoples of Australia – as for numerous other indigenous peoples – the coherence of human language is inseparable from the coherence of the surrounding ecology, from the expressive vitality of the more-than-human terrain. It is the animate earth that speaks; human speech is but a part of that vaster discourse.” ~ David Abram
  26. “I believe that in order to tackle the big issues of the world today, like environmental issues, we need everybody’s involvement. We need the resources of the corporate world. We need the cooperation of governments. We need the wisdom of indigenous people.” ~ Michael Franti
  27. “In a society where all are related, simple decisions require the approval of nearly everyone in that society. It is society as a whole, not merely a part of it, that must survive. This is the indigenous understanding. It is the understanding in a global sense. We are all indigenous people on this planet, and we have to reorganize to get along.” ~ Rebecca Adamson
  28. “Indigenous people made huge contributions to this country. The biggest is in sharing the land and resources. People need to see that, understand that. Indigenous people should be viewed as the founding peoples of this land.” ~ Perry Bellegarde

  29. “If you can imagine the one family continuously occupying the same land for 40,000 years or more, using it not just to sustain life but as a place of reverence and worship, where every tree, rock and waterhole had significance, you will get some understanding of the importance of land to indigenous people.” ~ Tania Major
  30. “Christopher Columbus introduced two phenomena that revolutionized race relations and transformed the modern world: the taking of land, wealth, and labor from indigenous people in the Western Hemisphere, leading to their near extermination, and the transatlantic slave trade, which created a racial underclass.” ~ James W. Loewen
    1. “The rich and powerful countries are trying to wreck as much as possible. You know, go off the cliff as soon as you can. Extract every drop of hydrocarbons off the ground and destroy the environment. At the opposite extreme are countries like Bolivia and Ecuador, indigenous people around the world, and first nations in Canada and tribal people in India, campesinos in Colombia… They’re trying to save the commons.” ~ Noam Chomsky
  31. “Although we are in different boats you in your boat and we in our canoe we share the same river of life.” ~ Oren Lyons

  32. “Though many non-Native Americans have learned very little about us, over time we have had to learn everything about them. We watch their films, read their literature, worship in their churches, and attend their schools. Every third-grade student in the United States is presented with the concept of Europeans discovering America as a “New World” with fertile soil, abundant gifts of nature, and glorious mountains and rivers. Only the most enlightened teachers will explain that this world certainly wasn’t new to the millions of indigenous people who already lived here when Columbus arrived.” ~ Wilma Mankiller
  33. “As ever, the original inhabitants of Turtle Island are entirely overlooked. Mysteriously, the only time indigenous people are guaranteed a mainstream Amerikkan mention is on Thanksgiving. Again, to contextualize, this would be be kinda like someone busting into your house and robbing you blind, then sending you postcards once a year to remind you how much they are enjoying all of your stuff, and getting annoyed with you if you don’t respond with appreciation for their thoughtfulness.” ~ Inga Muscio
  34. “The problem is that those of us sympathetic with the plight of indigenous people view them as quaint and colorful, but somehow reduced to margins of history as the real world [(our world)] moves on We will be known as an era in which we stood by and either actively endorsed or passively accepted the massive destruction of both biological and cultural diversity on the planet.” ~ Wade Davis
  35. “The media and politics have never allowed our people to speak through them. The absolute marginalization of the indigenous peoples is a fact, as is sophisticated militarization. These have been the most significant ingredients in the silent war.” ~ Rigoberta Menchu

  36. “The indigenous peoples of the great tourist spots seem to lose their souls. All cultural, religious, and political efforts and ideals are crippled since the culture is engaged only in luring ever more tourists. It is not the contact with an essentially foreign population that corrupts the inhabitants of the great foreign resorts. It is the contact with great masses of people who are seeking fir the moment only well-being and not salvation that weakens and devalues the indigenous population.” ~ Adolph Guggenbuhl-Craig
  37. “In England, enclosure programs kind of destroyed the commons. In the United States, it happened later. But, ah, now it’s happening in the world. The last remnant of the commons is the environment, which the indigenous people are still trying to preserve and we sophisticated rich people are trying to destroy.” ~ Noam Chomsky
  38. “We must pay close attention to those with another imagination: an imagination outside of capitalism, as well as communism. We will soon have to admit that those people, like the millions of indigenous people fighting to prevent the takeover of their lands and the destruction of their environment – the people who still know the secrets of sustainable living – are not relics of the past, but the guides to our future.” ~ Arundhati Roy
  39. “Baldness that appears to be normal is a disease in Europe, almost all of them are bald, and that is because of the things they eat; while among the indigenous peoples there are no bald people, because we eat other things.” ~ Evo Morales

  40. “Here’s the reality. The image of a white Jesus has been used to justify enslavement, conquest, colonialism, the genocide of indigenous peoples. There are literally millions of human beings whose lives have been snuffed out by people who conquered under the banner of a white god.” ~ Tim Wise
  41. “One of the movements we have developed is to say that, just as intellectual property rights protect the inventions of individuals, common rights are needed to protect the common intellectual heritage of indigenous peoples. These are rights that are recognized through the Convention on Biological Diversity. We are working to make sure that they become foundations of our jurisprudence.” ~ Vandana Shiva
  42. “Education will lead to understanding; understanding will lead to action. Education and understanding are going to be key to moving us forward. That’s why I take every opportunity I can to try to educate Canadian people on the impact of intergenerational trauma. To tell them how, until 1951, indigenous people weren’t allowed to leave the reserve without a permit. That it was illegal for a lawyer to give us advice. It was illegal for us to sell our wood, our cattle, without a permit. I want the next generation to understand we have endured, we have persevered and we are getting stronger.” ~ Perry Bellegarde
  43. “Indigenous people have discovered that Christianity is not inherently Western but universal – ‘translatable’ into any cultural idiom.” ~ Nancy Pearcey

  44. “We do not want to be reminded that it is we, the indigenous people, who are poor and exploited in the land of our birth. These are concepts which the Black Consciousness approach wishes to eradicate from the black man’s mind before our society is driven to chaos by irresponsible people from Coca-cola and hamburger cultural backgrounds.” ~ Steven Biko
  45. “I would like to quote a very prejudicial doctrine that was handed down by the Supreme Court in 1823. It said that the Indian Nations do not have title to their lands because they weren’t Christians. That the first Christian Nations to discover an area of heathen lands has the absolute title. This doctrine should be withdrawn and renounced to establish a new basis for relationship between indigenous peoples and other peoples of the world.” ~ Floyd Red Crow Westerman
  46. “The importance of the term “genocide” for many Indigenous Peoples is that it is more than a term or an accusation; it is a word created in the wake of the Shoah in Europe to describe what happens when a people are targeted by a government for extermination, as were the Jews of Europe, and which is the term used in the most important international law related to concerned Indigenous Peoples, as the only international human rights law that pertains specifically to collectivities of people rather than individuals.” ~ Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  47. “All definitions of wilderness that exclude people seem to me to be false. African ‘wilderness’ areas are racist because indigenous people are being cleared out of them so white people can go on holiday there.” ~ Jay Griffiths

  48. “Because Ajamu Baraka speaks in the language of his community, and makes no bones about it, he really invites in a whole new demographic of voters who have been locked out? – African-American and black and brown people and indigenous people? – who have felt like this system has no place for them. And he is unapologetic about standing up for the rights of the oppressed people and against colonialism and against imperialism.” ~ Jill Stein
  49. “No event for the Koyukon – or for most other indigenous peoples – is ever entirely meaningless or accidental, but neither is any event entirely predetermined or fated. Rather like the trickster, Raven, who first gave it its current form, the sensuous world is a spontaneous, playful and dangerous mystery in which we participate, an articulate and improvisational field of powers ever responsive to human actions and spoken words.” ~ David Abram
  50. “If one looks into the genealogies of many ‘old families,’ one discovers episodes of slave trafficking, bootlegging, gun running, opium trading, falsified land claims, violent acquisition of water and mineral rights, the extermination of indigenous peoples, sales of shoddy and unsafe goods, public funds used for private speculations, crooked deals in government bonds and vouchers, and payoffs for political favors.” ~ Michael Parenti
  51. “Haiti was founderd by a righteous revolution in 1804 and became the first black republic. It was the first country to break the chains of slavery, the first to force Emperor Napoleon to retreat, and the only to aid Simón Bolívar in his struggle to liberate the indigenous people and slaves of Latin America from their colonial oppressors.” ~ Paul Farmer
  52. “Let us not be tempted by those who try to find the unique qualities in a particular group. In this case, among South Africa indigenous people, it reflected what has been evidenced throughout the world.” ~ Nelson Mandela

  53. “So many indigenous people have said to me that the fundamental difference between Western and indigenous ways of being is that even the most open-minded westerners generally view listening to the natural world as a metaphor, as opposed to the way the world really is. Trees and rocks and rivers really do have things to say to us.” ~ Derrick Jensen
  54. “As Indigenous peoples, we know there is more to the world. We know spirits exist. We know as women, because we’re especially attuned to this kind of knowledge, that spirits exist and have a presence in our lives. Some of us are gifted and can communicate with the spirit world. Not everyone has that gift and can perceive the borders between the living and the dead and our society actively discourages us of exploring the knowledge of what many of us have already always known in our cultures.” ~ Sandra Cisneros
  55. “Now is the time to take stock of a painful part of our history. Only then can we move past it. Anything less would render generations of courageous struggle and soul-searching a truly lost cause. A lot of Canadians don’t seem to want to hear it. All I can say to them is: try to listen. Open your heart, your mind. The Indian Act and residential schools did a number on us, breaking down Indigenous people, then families, communities, nations. We can learn so much from each other. There is so much to be hopeful for.” ~ Perry Bellegarde
  56. “What Australia was before is the fullest Australia has ever been… as created and made and valued by indigenous people. The white man came here and took it away, took it away and replaced it.” ~ Galarrwuy Yunupingu

  57. “I am deeply gladdened that 1993 has been delcared the International Year of Indigenous Peoples by the United Nations. It is the first year we have had in five hundred years. This is thanks to the struggle of many untitled, unnamed indigenous brothers who, without understanding international law, patiently walked the corridors asking for some time. Thanks to them this international year has been declared.” ~ Rigoberta Menchu
  58. “Look, you are interested in trying to make sure that governments keep a clean environment, have regard for the lifestyles of indigenous peoples, and work for fair trade rules. Well, it’s exactly the same for human rights – from non-discrimination to the basic rights to food, safe water, education and health care. We are talking rights not needs. There are standards that governments have signed up to – but nobody is holding them to account.” ~ Mary Robinson
  59. “Intellectual traditions emerging from populations that have always been the constitutive other in the development of the properly free citizen – indigenous people, populations labeled physically or mentally unfit, black people, migrants, women, prisoners – have always produced robust critiques of the what Dylan Rodriguez calls “white bourgeois freedom.”” ~ Dean Spade
  60. “There are certain regions in the country where the indigenous people eat dogs.” ~ Jessica Hagedorn

  61. “In the present, the way benevolence is expressed is in conceptualizing the Native as a historical relic; US people have to be constantly reminded that there are still existent Indigenous peoples and communities in North America, but whether left or right, recent immigrant or descendants of settlers, even descendants of enslaved Africans, the Native presence is not a consideration in the day to day life of individuals and municipal, state and national governments.” ~ Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  62. “The idea of regularly acknowledging our indebtedness to the natural world and giving thanks for the many gifts we receive from it, or considering other species to be our close “relations” which many indigenous peoples still do, couldn’t be more alien to most of us.” ~ Charlie Cook
  63. “Most governments in Latin America have failed to recognize the rights of indigenous people and their right to their own traditional territories.” ~ Bianca Jagger

  64. “What we want for the Iranian people is control over their own government, which they don’t have now. So you would do it through supplying resources and support from the outside to the indigenous people who are already quite unhappy. The mullahs have made hash of the economy since 1979, there’s a huge amount of economic dissatisfaction. The young people, who are pretty well educated and sophisticated, know they could have a better life than this strict Islamic law.” ~ John Bolton

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