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First People :: Words of Wisdom Index :: George Copway
 

George Copway (Kahgegagahbowh) - Ojibwe

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I was born in Nature's wide domain ! The trees were all that sheltered my infant limbs, the blue heavens all that covered me. I am one of Nature's children. I have always admired her. She shall be my glory: her features, her robes, and the wreath about her brow, the seasons, her stately oaks, and the evergreen - her hair, ringlets of earth - all contribute to my enduring love of her.

And wherever I see her, emotions of pleasure roll in my breast, and swell and burst like waves on the shores of the ocean, in prayer and praise to Him who has placed me in her hand, It is thought great to be born in palaces, surrounded with wealth - but to be born in Nature's wide domain is greater still !

I would much more glory in this birthplace, with the broad canopy of heaven above me, and the giant arms of the forest trees for my shelter, than to be born in palaces of marble, studded with pillars of gold ! Nature will be Nature still, while palaces shall decay and fall in ruins.

Yes, Niagara will be Niagara a thousand years hence ! The rainbow, a wreath over her brow, shall continue as long as the sun, and the flowering of the river - while the work of art, however carefully protected and preserved, shall fade and crumble into dust !

George Copway (Kahgegagahbowh) - Ojibwe

Among the Indians there have been no written laws. Customs handed down from generation to generation have been the only laws to guide them. Every one might act different from what was considered right did he choose to do so, but such acts would bring upon him the censure of the Nation.... This fear of the Nation's censure acted as a mighty band, binding all in one social, honorable compact.

George Copway (Kahgegagahbowh) - Ojibwe

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