50 Best Native American Proverbs & Sayings
Home > 50 Best Native American Proverbs & Sayings (Motivational)

50 Best Native American Proverbs & Sayings (Motivational)

Native Americans are the indigenous peoples of the Americas, including the United States, Canada, Central America, and South America. They are the original inhabitants of these regions and have diverse cultures, languages, and traditions. Native American tribes and nations are distinct, each with its own unique history, customs, and heritage. These indigenous peoples have played a significant role in shaping the history and cultural diversity of the Americas.

They are an important part of the Americas’ history and culture. Native American tribes spent thousands of years interacting with the environment and their neighbours.

Native American proverbs are motivational and promote mindfulness. They frequently encourage qualities like appreciation and respect for others. Because they provide guidance on how to grow individually and as a person, these proverbs attract people. In addition to these proverbs, Native American cultures also have many beautiful poems, songs, and stories.

Let us explore the best collection of Native American proverbs and sayings to appreciate your life.


Best Native American Proverbs & Sayings

“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.” – Native American Proverb


“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” – Native American Proverb

“Don’t be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts.” – Hopi Proverb

“Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows.” – Native American Proverb

“Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins.” – Cheyenne Proverb


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

“The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.” – Native American Proverb

“Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it.” – Arapaho Proverb

“To touch the earth is to have harmony with nature.” – Oglala Lakota Proverb

“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.” – Cherokee Proverb

native american proverbs about life

“The greatest strength is gentleness.” – Iroquois Proverb

“A good chief gives, he does not take.” – Mohawk Proverb

“In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation… even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine.” – Iroquois Proverb

“Wisdom comes not from age, but from education and learning.” – Sioux Proverb

native american wise sayings

“Tell me, and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.” – Tribe Unknown

“Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.” – Sioux Proverb

“The heart of the Indian is lying prone, buried under the snow.” – Cheyenne Proverb

“When you were born, you cried, and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die, the world cries, and you rejoice.” – White Elk

“Silence is the mother of truth.” – Hopi Proverb

“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.” – Crowfoot

“Do not wrong or hate your neighbor, for it is not he that you wrong but yourself.” – Pima Proverb

“It is less of a problem to be poor than to be dishonest.” – Anishinabe (Ojibwa) Proverb


“He who would do great things should not attempt them all alone.” – Seneca Proverb

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

“Man’s law changes with his understanding of man. Only the laws of the spirit remain always the same.” – Crow Proverb

“All dreams spin out from the same web.” – Hopi Proverb

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” – Native American Proverb

“Take me to the river. Let me be baptized.” – Paiute Proverb


“Honor the sacred. Honor the Earth, our Mother. Honor the Elders. Honor all with whom we share the Earth: Four-leggeds, two-leggeds, winged ones, swimmers, crawlers, plant and rock people. Walk in balance and beauty.” – Native American Elder

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” – Gary Snyder

“The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.” – Sioux Proverb

“We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.” – Dakota Proverb

“The more you give, the more good things come to you.” – Crow Proverb

“He who is present at a wrongdoing and does not lift a hand to prevent it is as guilty as the wrongdoers.” – Omaha Proverb

“A brave man dies but once, a coward many times.” – Tribe Unknown


“The one who tells the stories rules the world.” – Hopi Proverb

“Every animal knows more than you do.” – Nez Perce Proverb

“The white man knows how to make everything, but he does not know how to distribute it.” – Sitting Bull

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

“We are the land. To the best of my understanding, that is the fundamental idea that permeates American Indian life.” – Mary Crow Dog

“No tree has branches so foolish as to fight amongst themselves.” – Ojibwa Proverb

native american proverbs life changing wisdom

“Our first teacher is our own heart.” – Cheyenne Proverb

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

“Do not grieve. Misfortunes will happen to the wisest and best of men.” – Tribe Unknown

“The weakness of the enemy makes our strength.” – Cherokee Proverb

“Take only memories, leave only footprints.” – Chief Seattle

“The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different.” – Tribe Unknown

“Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, wisdom is of the future.” – Lumbee Proverb


“Give thanks for the beauty and bounty of the Earth.” – Native American Proverb

“The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth.” – Tribe Unknown

Disclaimer: All quotes credits goes to the respective writers/authors and full credits goes to them. We don’t own any copyrights we have curated from various sources.

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