It is true I am a Shawnee.

My forefathers were warriors. Their son is a warrior.

From them I take only my existence; from my tribe I take nothing. I am the maker of my own fortune; and oh! that I could make that of my red people, and of my country, as great as the conceptions of my mind, when I think of the Spirit that rules the universe. I would not then come to Governor Harrison to ask him to tear the treaty and to obliterate the landmark; but I would say to him: “Sir, you have liberty to return to your own country.”


Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mochican, the Pocanet, and other powerful tribes of our people?

They have vanished before the avarice and oppression of the white man …

Sleep not longer, O Choctaws and Chickasaws …

Will not the bones of our dead be plowed up, and their graves turned into plowed fields?

—    Tekoomsē (Chief Tecumseh) 1768 – 1813


One Response to It is true I am a Shawnee.

  1. Deb Crowe says:

    Les, thank you for this post today. I am referring to the quote I see in my email and was surprised to come here online to see a different quote. It doesn’t matter why they are different they are both sending an important message to us from our ancestral past.

    The quote I am most grateful for today is this one;


    Live Your Life

    So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.

    Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and bow to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

    When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again iIn a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

    — Tekoomsē (Chief Tecumseh) 1768 – 1813

    Deb Crowe


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