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First People :: Words of Wisdom Index :: Simon Pokagon

Simon Pokagon - Potawatomi Chief

In early life, I was deeply hurt as I witnessed the grand old forests of Michigan, under whose shades my forefathers lived and died, falling before the cyclone of civilization as before a prairie fire.

In those days, I traveled thousands of miles along our winding trails, through the unbroken solitudes of the wild forest, listening to the songs of the woodland birds as they poured forth their melodies from the thick foliage above and about me.

Very seldom now do I catch one familiar note from those early warblers of the woods. They have all passed away ...

I now listen to the songs of other birds that have come with the advance of civilization ... and, like the wild wood birds our fathers used to hold their breath to hear, they sing in concert, without pride, without envy, without jealously - alike in forest and field, alike before wigwam or castle, alike before savage or sage, alike chief or king.

Simon Pokagon - Potawatomi Chief

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