Native American Heritage Stories

 mitákuye oyás’iŋ, which translates literally as “all my relatives.”
This  Lakota phrase reflects the belief that we, as human beings, are related to everything and everyone—from huge cottonwood trees to the cool wind, and from barking prairie dogs to the fertile soil.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush declared November as “Native American Heritage Month”. I think it is very appropriate we ought to learn and celebrate Native Americans in the month we celebrate Thanksgiving. The Native American wisdom that has been hidden from textbooks and public viewing ever since, is now beginning to shine and become popular, to which I say: It’s never too late!

Native Americans contribution to science.

The Native Americans that lived in the United States, learned to adapt to different climates, and landscapes, from arid to fertile, from plains to mountainous. And it was the landscape that challenged them to develop unique cultures, languages, similar but different, what I mean is that Eskimos have a different set of rituals than the Hopi, or Cheyenne, yet their respect for their natural world is a common thread among them.  

In Food

In most cases fishing,  hunting buffalo, deer, turkeys, and even whales became a more stable source for food than farming. Nevertheless, when possible, they were successful at planting  “The Three Sisters” Corn-Beans-Squash, chills, and blueberries, cranberries, peanuts, sunflowers, to mention a few. It was their observation of their surroundings that allowed them to adapt themselves to nature rather than change it.  


In Medicine

They used chills, or tobacco as an insect repellent, they could  identify toxic plants and berries, and knew the medicinal properties of indigenous herbs, and how to use them in cooking, peppermint, echinacea, i.e.
The aspirin is a synthetic form of natural components found in willow bark, which was widely used by Indians in teas brewed to treat fever and painAccording to Dr. Nicole (Fisher) Roberts they used the capsicum in Chillis as Pain relivers, Syringes, Sun Screen, Baby Bottles, Mouth Wash, Suppositories.


How do you explain this?

On the left you see a star quilt. The eight-pointed star is an incredibly sacred symbol to many tribes of the Great Plains. It symbolizes life and longevity. This particular color pattern is known is a “sunburst” or “starburst” pattern. Elders say that a Dakota woman created it more than a century ago. The woman claimed that she went to sleep one night and had a dream that she was standing on the inside of the sun, and the sun was giving her power and healing. When she woke, she made this quilt to symbolize what she saw on the inside on the sun. The photograph on the right is a NASA photograph of the interior of the sun.

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