Red Cloud
Makhpiya-Luta
Oglala Sioux Chief (1822-1909)
 
 
 
I am poor and naked but I am the chief of the nation. We do not want riches but we do want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love.

I hope the Great Heavenly Father, who will look down upon us, will give all the tribes His blessing, that we may go forth in peace, and live in peace all our days, and that He will look down upon our children and finally lift us far above this earth; and that our Heavenly Father will look upon our children as His children, that all the tribes may be His children, and as we shake hands today upon this broad plain, we may forever live in peace.

 
 
"When we first made treaties with the Government, this was our position: Our old life and our old customs were about to end; the game upon which we lived was disappearing; the whites were closing around us, and nothing remained for us but to adopt their ways and have the same rights with them if we wished to save ourselves."
 
 
 
This is his farewell address to the Lakota people on July 4, 1903

      "My sun is set.  My day is done.  Darkness is stealing over me.
     Before I lie down to rise no more, I will speak to my people.

     "Hear me, my friends, for it is not the time for me to tell you a lie.
The Great Spirit made us, the Indians, and gave us this land we live in.
He gave us the buffalo, the antelope, and the deer for food and clothing.
We moved our hunting grounds from the Minnesota to the Platte and
     from the Mississippi to the great mountains.  No one put bounds on us.
We were free as the winds, and like the eagle, heard no man's commands.
         "I was born a Lakota and I shall die a Lakota.  Before the white man
     came to our country, the Lakotas were a free people.  They made their own
     laws and governed themselves as it seemed good to them.  The priests and
     ministers tell us that we lived wickedly when we lived before the white man
     came among us. Whose fault was this?  We lived right as we were taught it
     was right.  Shall we be punished for this?  I am not sure that what these
     people tell me is true.

     As a child I was taught the Taku Wakan (Supernatural Powers) were
powerful and could do strange things.  This was taught me by the wise men
and the shamans.  They taught me that I could gain their favor by being
kind to my people and brave before my enemies; by telling the truth
and living straight; by fighting for my people and their hunting grounds.

      "When the Lakotas believed these things they were happy and they
     died satisfied.  What more than this can that which the white man offers us give?

      "Taku Shanskan is familiar with my spirit and when I die I will go
     with him.  Then I will be with my forefathers.  If this is not in the heaven
     of the white man I shall be satisfied.  He is my father.  The Wakan Tanka of
     the white man has overcome him.  But I shall remain true to him.

      "Shadows are long and dark before me.  I shall soon lie down to rise
     no more.  While my spirit is with my body the smoke of my breath shall be
     towards the Sun for he knows all things and knows that I am still true to him."

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