Chief Joseph Quote

“I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more. I will tell you in my way how the Indian sees things. The white man has more words to tell you how they look to him, but it does not require many words to speak the truth. If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian... we can live in peace. There need be no trouble. Treat all men alike.... give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who is born a free man should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. We only ask an even chance to live as other men live. We ask to be recognized as men. Let me be a free to travel... free to to to choose my own to follow the religion of my to think and talk and act for myself.”

~ Chief Joseph

Ratings and Comments

Me Again
  • 5
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    Me Again    6/2/08

    The Indian Chief speaks for all humanity when he spoke these words.

    jim k, austin

    If these folk who want to tell you where you live, what you can eat, what you can drive, what you can do with your land, etc, ever get control, you can forget about your freedom. They are close, very close and it's under the guise of "fighting global warming ".We must wake up to this hoax before the whackos get total control.

    Anonymous, Reston, VA US

    I think the key words are: "Treat all men alike.... give them all the same law." And that seems to be what is missing today in America with our social systems that are highly biased to the rich ruling class.

    E Archer, NYC

    Wise words. I see Waffler gave 5 stars without comment -- last week he said, "Anyone who thinks children, native Americans, hunter gatherer types know about the existence of knowledge is lost." Somehow, Chief Joseph managed to become wise without public schooling -- no matter, the US gov of the day ignored Chief Joseph, too. It has always been about power and control, never about 'educating poor savages.'

    Mike, Norwalk

    "it does not require many words to speak the truth" demonstrating that there is even less freedom today than then.

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    RobertSRQ    6/2/08

    It's not that the truth is not spoken, it's that the truth is not recognized.

    Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

    Archer I did not say that noble "savages", native Americans (who were really a stone age society) or hunter gatherers, or children are lost. They were and are all smart and noble. But somehow they had not progressed to the state of European culture. They just like children did not have the knowledge of science, etcetera of what we call the western world. You think the idea to "learn" a child about astronomy is to give him a telescope. With your antipathy to teaching I would assume you intend to leave him alone to figure it all out on his own. No books or encyclopedia's for that is the same thing as having a teacher. Native Americans taught their children what they could but your phiolosophy seems to disparage knowledge as amassed in institutions or collectives in your warped terminology. I think you are a nihilist."a political doctrine that the existing structure of society should be destroyed".

    E Archer, NYC

    My critique of Waffler's comments have to do with compelled compliance, not whether one can learn something from a book. I agree, that knowledge abounds, but I do not believe the only place to get it is by being forced to attend government schools. Many native American tribes and their families were broken up and forced to attend government schools to break them of their culture. Before Europeans came to America, the native populations here were not 'stone age' peoples -- they were agrarian societies with a wealth of knowledge -- if it weren't for that knowledge, early Pilgrims would likely have starved to death (anyone remember Thanksgiving?). The Mayans knew more about the solar system than Europeans did at the time -- and without telescopes. The catholics burned most of their scientific codexes. The native tribes of the East Coast had treaties with each other, understood the concepts of freedom and sovereignty better than most white men today, women elected chiefs, they had a wealth of knowledge about health, healing, and natural medicines. And what did the federal government choose to do with these natural born sovereigns on their own land? Wipe 'em out. And that is the ignorance of Waffler's comments and people like him -- genocide is OK as long as it is for their own good, compelled schooling is necessary to keep people in check. Such a philosophy makes me sick. Yes, you did say what I quoted you as saying, Waffler, and no amount of squirming is going to let you off. I can only be grateful that you are merely a tool, rather than someone with real power to implement your good intentions -- yikes! Indeed, you speak with forked tongue.

    JT Ready, Mesa, AZ

    Ha! I would just love to "free" the indians of all the burdens of the evil White man. Clothing, housing, subsidy checks, education, automobiles, roads, computers, medicine, glass, glasses, shoes, printed press, radios, television, ATV's, horses, appliances, books, dentistry, and on and on and on... We will take it all back. Let these smelly Mongol-faced savages go back to sitting around with their balls in the dirt, raping their own children, and brutally scalping their fellow neighbors like they did for three hundred thousand years. They do all this and more on the "Rez" now as it is. Don't let hollyweird jews fool you into beliving in the noble warriors of nature myth. Hahaha! I know better. I have had enough of this White Guilt crap being pushed down our collective throats already. If you think their "culture" is so great, go live with these dirt dwelling Asiatic hordes. I already have. All you will get is head lice and some cheap indian "art". An empty whiskey bottle with some colored chicken feathers glued to the outside! What a fine culture. No thanks. Gag.

    Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

    Yes the their is truth or half truths in every thing. Except with Archer it is all bull. I was only trying to imply that their is such a thing as knowledge, scientific method etcetera. I have been to Casa Grande in central Az where th big house was built to align with celestial events, I know of Mayan culture blah blah blah. I agree Archer that the schools for the Native Americans were government schools because the indians had no voice in them. Our schools today which I will guess educates upwards of 60 or 70 percent of Americans and probably similar institutions in every country around the world are not "govenment" schools but community schools. I hate your logic and facetiousness to say in effect knowledge does not exist. And children and indians and all of us have to be introduced to bodies of knowledge, things as simple as hygiene understanding bacteria and disease etcetear.It is just your Pol Pot nihilist gold standard personality I hate Archer thus I am glad to be your enemy. "Give a kid a telescope and he will figure it all out." You are certifiable Archer. Next you will tell us that all you need do to is give a kid a series of steel balls on strings and show him how they bounce back and forth and he will then be a physicist. You are certifiable Archer.

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      RobertSRQ    6/3/08

      American people should hold their heads in shame - we killed American Indians for land, we drove them out of their territories (Trail of Tears), we lied to them, we gave them diseases; we shoved them into camps like cattle. In Jamestown it started nicely until we got greedy - the usual story I'm afraid. So don't give me all that crap about how nice it is that they have welfare - what baloney... And now we tell them it's OK to build Casinos so that the white man can take what's left of their heritage. Good reply Archer

      warren, olathe

      When a culture collides with a more "advanced" culture it will always loose in the long run. If necessary it will be crushed to make way for the culture with higher technology. This does not mean that the 'knowledge" of the crushed is any less than that of the "advanced", it is just different. When I was a boy I was an expert at making and using home made sling shots. I was lethal with them. Then came the BB gun. The sling shot went away. The BB gun was "advanced" in comparison to the sling shot but it took little knowledge or expertise to operate. My hunting for small prey was more productive with the BB gun but the knowledge and expertise I had with the sling shot left me. With all our science and technology I doubt very much any of us could go into a desert with nothing but the clothes on our back and survive for long. The 'backward" Anasazi of the desert 200 years ago could do this quite well. Our advanced technology made this knowledge less important, unless of course you are stranded in the desert with nothing but the clothes on your back.

      Ghost, Toronto

      JT Ready your vicious diatribe says volumes more about you than anyone else. May you someday clean yourself of the venom that resides within you.


      "It does not require many words to speak the truth."This is very true. It takes longer to lie than to tell the truth. Instead of lying to get out of trouble just tell the truth, you'll get into less trouble if you do. A lot more people will trust you too.

      Kadie, America

      I shout this!!! We are losing our freedoms!!! Please know that my soul will never be content to be caged by Socialism or Communism!!! Freedom runs through my blood and it does through all people that have truly lived and loved this land!!! People that live here are MEANT to be FREE!!!

      Robert, Somewhere in the USA

      Remember, it's the Wolf you feed that wins - an old Indian proverb. I think also your soul should be free from fascism and corporatism.

      Robert, Somewhere in the USA

      Let's get it straight: All this talk about what is the best educational system for your child is second to how you are brought up. There are children with very little education that have more integrity in their little finger than many who have attended private or public schools. My experience has been those who are from the country and from the fields of life have honor and integrity more so than my friends from Universities - you are remembered by your deeds and not your words.....

      Ronw13, Oregon

      Natural law , moral responsibility , a circumspect walk among neighbors . Enshrined within the Declaration of Indepndence.

      E Archer, NYC

      I am happy to have struck a nerve, Waffler. You hate me and are glad to be my enemy? In response to agreeing with a Native American? You may as well have wiped them out yourself with such an attitude. I do not hate you, Waffler, far from it -- in fact I do look forward to your posts, maybe more than anyone else's. ;-) It is your ideas that I have a problem with -- illogical and fallacious, and the perfect parroting of the party line. Like a fish that does not know its in water.

      Understand something: the Americans BROKE from European 'culture' by declaring their freedom from Crowns, Popes and Dictators -- treason! Americans introduced a republican form of government, based partly upon the League of the Iroquois. You will not find such a Declaration anywhere in Europe.

      However, the USA has always been under attack by European forces, military, economic and political. The US government gradually morphed into a de facto super State upon which all the sovereign States became dependent for the issuance of 'credit' to survive. The statist-European mindset made a resurgence, and conquering lands and people became popular again. This is NOT Americanism! Chief Joseph is merely pointing out the hypocrisy of Americans.

      "Let me be a free to travel... free to stop... free to work... free to choose my own teachers... free to follow the religion of my Fathers... free to think and talk and act for myself."

      That IS the American way!

      Ronw13, Oregon

      Thank you Archer A human Being. SIMPLE SINGLE A MORE PERFECT UNION.

      Ronw13, Oregon

      Grace is a Required taste Among All Civilized Peoples. !!!

      Mike M, New Mexico

      All of the things we are NOT free to do today.

      Mary - MI
      • Reply
      Mary - MI    5/18/17

      Tender, deep and very touching statement from the very renowned Chief Joseph. FREEDOM!!!

      mike, Halifax

      Remember we the people have PRIME LAW, it is about living free and being happy. That is the job of the Government, to protect the people so they can live a happy life
      The problem we have now is we don't have a Country. We now have a private CORPORATION masking as our Country, referring to humans as PERSONS which is a corporate idenity. The whole thing is FRAUD, a scam.

      Doug, Toledo

      And THEY were called savages.


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