Quotes | K03

“The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too. “

– Luther Standing Bear

Oglala Lakota Chief Luther Standing Bear is notable in American history as one of the first Native American authors, educators, philosophers and actors of the 20th century. Standing Bear fought to preserve Lakota heritage and sovereignty and was at the forefront of a Progressive movement to change government policy towards Native Americans. Standing Bear was one of a small group of Lakota leaders of his generation, such as Black Elk, Gertrude Bonnin and Charles Eastman, who were born and raised in the oral traditions of their culture, educated in white culture and wrote significant historic accounts of their people and history in English. Luther’s experiences in early life, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Wild Westing with Buffalo Bill and life on government reservations present a unique view of a Native American during of the Progressive Era in American history. Standing Bear’s commentaries on Native American culture and wisdom educated the American public, deepened public awareness and created popular support to change government policies toward Native American peoples. Luther Standing Bear helped create the popular 20th century image that Native American culture is holistic and respectful of nature. Luther Standing Bear’s classic commentaries appear on college reading lists in anthropology, literature, history and philosophy, and leave a legacy and treasure of Native American wisdom.

Sourced from Indigenous People

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