The Wisdom of the Native Americans

by Kent Nerburn

Many Native Americans “shared a common belief that the earth is a spiritual presence that must be honored, not mastered.” Europeans, who settled in the Americas, had a contrary belief, a philosophy that emphasized competition and dominance. As a result, “we have gotten out of balance with our earth, and the very future of our planet depends on our capacity to restore the balance.”┬áKent Nerburn, Wisdom’s editor, proclaims “we are crying out for help, for a grounding in the truth of nature, for words of wisdom. That wisdom is here, contained in the words of the native peoples of the Americas.”

Wisdom of the Native Americans

Nerburn put this deeply insightful book together, The Wisdom of the Native Americans, but the real authors were some very wise Native American leaders and speakers, including Chiefs Seattle, Joseph, Sitting Bull, and Luther Standing Bear, along with Ohiyesa (Charles Eastman) and other Native Americans. In reading their words, it’s clear that these leaders had deep respect for Mother Nature, the Great Spirit, and their fellow man. They found great joy in the beauty of nature and the companionship of friends. A good life required few material possessions, and what they did have was shared.

If we had listened, when these leaders’ words were first spoken, our world could be a much better place. Maybe now is the time to find what these great chiefs had to say.

“Let us put our minds together and see what kind of life we can make for our children.” ~Chief Sitting Bull

This book review was written by Curt Remington