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Native Commandments (Jasper Saunkeah, Kiowa)

Native Commandments (Jasper Saunkeah, Kiowa)

There are debates about this writing's origin and its writer's heritage, but the words and values are powerful. Jasper Saunkeah was an important figure in the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.


Native Commandments

Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.
Remain close to the Great Spirit.
Show great respect for your fellow beings.
Work together for the benefit of all Mankind.
Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.

Do what you know to be right.
Look after the well being of mind and body.
Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
Be truthful and honest at all times.
Take full responsibility for your actions.
Let us greet the dawn of a new day
when all can live as one with nature
and peace reigns everywhere.

Oh Great Spirit, bring to our brothers
the wisdom of Nature and the knowledge
that if her laws are obeyed
this land will again flourish
and grasses and trees will grow as before.

Guide those that through their councils
seek to spread the wisdom of their leaders to all people.
Heal the raw wounds of the earth
and restore to our soul the richness
which strengthens men's bodies
and makes them wise in their councils.

Bring to all the knowledge that great cities
live only through the bounty
of the good earth beyond their paved streets
and towers of stone and steel.

 

 Mr. & Mrs. Saunkeah 

Mr. & Mrs. Saunkeah 

  Jasper Saunkeah  in Oklahoma, 1930s. See a photo gallery from Saunkeah's time in Oklahoma  here .

Jasper Saunkeah in Oklahoma, 1930s. See a photo gallery from Saunkeah's time in Oklahoma here.


Cites attributing this writing to Jasper Saunkeah: 

Wikipedia on the Kiowa people
Wikipedia on the breakthrough Indian Reorganization Act of 1934
 

--ChrisS

Hildegard von Bingen on "the Earth"

Hildegard von Bingen on "the Earth"

Jewish Environmental Perspectives (Manfred Gerstenfeld)

Jewish Environmental Perspectives (Manfred Gerstenfeld)