Feed Your Spirit: 19 Words of Wisdom By Chief Dan George
Chief Dan George, OC (July 24, 1899 – September 23, 1981) was a chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, a Coast Salish band whose Indian reserve is located on Burrard Inlet in the southeast area of the District of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
He was also an author, poet and actor. His best-known written work was “My Heart Soars”.
1- May the stars carry your sadness away, may the flowers fill your heart with beauty, may hope forever wipe away your tears.
2- One thing to remember is to talk to the animals. If you do, they will talk back to you. But if you don’t talk to the animals, they won’t talk back to you, then you won’t understand, and when you don’t understand you will fear, and when you fear you will destroy the animals, and if you destroy the animals, you will destroy yourself.
3- The beauty of the trees, the softness of the air, the fragrance of the grass, they speak to me. The summit of the mountain, the thunder of the sky, the rhythm of the sea, speaks to me. The faintness of the stars, the freshness of the morning, the dewdrop on the flower, speaks to me. The strength of the fire, the taste of the salmon, the trail of the sun, and the life that never goes away, they speak to me. And my heart soars.
4- Love is something you and I must have. We must have it because our spirit feeds upon it. We must have it because without it we become weak and faint. Without love our self-esteem weakens. Without it our courage fails. Without love we can no longer look out confidently at the world.
5- If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys.
6- Where no one intrudes, many can live in harmony.
7- There is a longing among all people and creatures to have a sense of purpose and worth. To satisfy that common longing in all of us we must respect each other.
8- Of all the teachings we receive, this one is most important: Nothing belongs to you of what there is, of what you take, you must share.
9- We have taken so much from your culture, I wish you had taken something from ours…For there were some beautiful and good things within it. Perhaps now that the time has come, We are fearful that what you take will be lost…. I shall grab the instruments of the white man’s success: His education, his skills, and society.
10- First we had the land and they had the Bibles, now we have the Bibles and they have the land
11- The time will soon be here when my grandchild will long for the cry of a loon, the flash of a salmon, the whisper of spruce needles, or the screech of an eagle. But he will not make friends with any of these creatures and when his heart aches with longing, he will curse me.
Have I done all to keep the air fresh? Have I cared enough about the water? Have I left the eagle to soar in freedom? Have I done everything I could to earn my grandchild’s fondness?
12- The heart never knows the colour of the skin
13- If the legends fall silent, who will teach the children of our ways?
14- My friends, how desperately we need to be loved and to love. With it we are creative. With it we march tirelessly. With it, and with it alone, we are able to sacrifice for others.
15- Love is something we must have. We must have it because our spirits feed upon it.
16- The faintness of the stars, the freshness of the morning, the dewdrop on the flower, speaks to me.
17- Can we talk of integration until there is integration of hearts and minds? Unless you have this, you only have a physical presence, and the walls between us are as high as the mountain range.
18- If the very old will remember, the very young will listen.
19- We are as much alive as we keep the Earth alive.