Chief Joseph Quotes
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It does not require many words to speak the truth.
I believe much trouble would be saved if we opened our hearts more.
I do not believe that the Great Spirit Chief gave one kind of men the right to tell another kind of men what they must do.
Our chiefs are killed. . . . The little children are freezing to death. . . . My people have no blankets, no food. . . . My heart is sick and sad. . . . I will fight no more forever.
The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it.
I have asked some of the great white chiefs where they get their authority to say to the Indian that he shall stay in one place, while he sees white men going where they please. They cannot tell me.
Good words do not last long unless they amount to something.
Treat all men alike. Give them the same law. Give them an even chance to live and grow.
Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.
It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and the broken promises.
We gave up some of our country to the white men, thinking that then we could have peace. We were mistaken. The white man would not let us alone.
The eye tells what the tongue would hide.
The earth and myself are of one mind. The measure of the land and the neasure of our bodies are the same
We soon found that the white men were growing rich very fast, and were greedy.
We were contented to let things remain as the Great Spirit Chief made them. They were not; and would change the rivers and mountains if they did not suit them.
The earth was created by the assistance of the sun, and it should be left as it was. The country was made without lines of demarcation, and it is no man's business to divide it.
It takes few words to tell the truth.
We are going by you without fighting if you will let us, but we are going by you anyhow!
General Howard informed me, in a haughty spirit, that he would give my people 30 days to go back home, collect all their stock, and move onto the reservation.
The Great Spirit Chief who rules above all will smile upon this land... and this time the Indian race is waiting and praying.
I pressed my father's hand and told him I would protect his grave with my life. My father smiled and passed away to the spirit land.
An Indian respects a brave man, but he despises a coward.
We do not want churches. They will teach us to quarrel about God.
Our people could not talk with these white-faced men, but they used signs which all people understand.
Big name often stands on small legs.
All men were made by the Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers.
For a short time we lived quietly. But this could not last. White men had found gold in the mountains around the land of winding water.
You might as well expect rivers to run backwards as any man born free to be contented penned up.
The first white men of your people who came to our country were named Lewis and Clark.
I cannot tell how much my heart suffered for my people while at Leavenworth.
I only ask of the Government to be treated as all other men are treated. If I cannot go to my own home, let me have a home in a country where my people will not die so fast.
I am tired of talk that comes to nothing.
Look twice at a two-faced man.
My father was the first to see through the schemes of the white man.
We were like deer. They were like grizzly bear.
I will speak with a straight tongue.
My father... had sharper eyes than the rest of our people.
Let me be a free man - free to travel, free to stop, free to work.
The earth is our mother. She should not be disturbed by hoe or plough. We want only to subsist on what she freely gives us.
The Indian race is waiting and praying.
We damaged all the big guns we could, and carried away the powder and the lead.
From where the sun now stands I will fight no more.
I hope that no more groans of wounded men and women will ever go to the ear of the Great Spirit Chief above, and that all people may be one people.
Some of you think an Indian is like a wild animal. This is a great mistake.
A chief called Lawyer, because he was a great talker, took the lead in the council, and sold nearly all the Nez Perce country.
All people should be treated the same way on earth.
I did not want my people killed. I did not want bloodshed.
I labored hard to avoid trouble and bloodshed.
I saw clearly that war was upon us when I learned that my young men had been secretly buying ammunition.
If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian he can live in peace.