Our First Community Members: Native Americans today

They were and are vital residents of Oregon and the Northwest. But many of us know almost nothing—unless you count worn-out cardboard stereotypes–about Native Americans and their culture today. Who are they, and what possibilities would come out of greater mutual understanding and appreciation?

Native Americans Today: Vital Community Members

Wisdom of the Elders.

In this episode, we highlight an important component of many communities that doesn’t get enough accurate and clarifying light. Some minority cultures whose struggles are magnified by the larger cultures biases, misreadings of history and simple ignorance. Many of us forget about these people altogether, about 3 million people nationwide, until some cultural flash point burns hot enough to grab our attention. Something like the mascot of a professional football team.

“Proud, forgotten, Indian. Navajo, Black foot, Innit and Sue; survivor, spiritualist, patriot; Sitting Bull and Jim Thorpe. Mother, father, son, daughter, chief, Apache, Pueblo, Chippewa and Crow. Underserved, struggling, resilient; Crazy Horse, rancher, teacher, doctor, soldier. Will Rogers and Geronimo, unyielding, strong, indomitable, native Americans call themselves many things, the one thing they don’t..”

If you like this video, you might like this…

10 Quotes From a Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society

By Wisdom Pills

Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of life of the Indigenous people of the Great Plains before, and during, the arrival and subsequent spread of the European pioneers. Raised in the traditions of his people until the age of eleven, he was then educated at the Carlisle Indian Industrial Boarding School of Pennsylvania, where he learned the English language and way of life. (Though a National Historical Landmark, Carlisle remains a place of controversy in Native circles.)

Like his above mentioned contemporaries, however, his native roots were deep, leaving him in the unique position of being a conduit between cultures. Though his movement through the white man’s world was not without “success” — he had numerous movie roles in Hollywood — his enduring legacy was the protection of the way of life of his people.

By the time of his death he had published 4 books and had become a leader at the forefront of the progressive movement aimed at preserving Native American heritage and sovereignty, coming to be known as a strong voice in the education of the white man as to the Native American way of life. Here, then, are 10 quotes from the great Sioux Indian Chief known as Standing Bear that will be sure to disturb much of what you think you know about “modern” culture.


1) Praise, flattery, exaggerated manners and fine, high-sounding words were no part of Lakota politeness. Excessive manners were put down as insincere, and the constant talker was considered rude and thoughtless. Conversation was never begun at once, or in a hurried manner.

2) Children were taught that true politeness was to be defined in actions rather than in words. They were never allowed to pass between the fire and the older person or a visitor, to speak while others were speaking, or to make fun of a crippled or disfigured person. If a child thoughtlessly tried to do so, a parent, in a quiet voice, immediately set him right.

Continue reading about the 10 quotes on Films for Actions by Wisdom Pills

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