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Native American Indian Traditional Code of Ethics
Inter-Tribal Times, October 1994
  
  1.  Each morning upon rising, and each evening before sleeping, give thanks  for the life within you and for all life, for the good things the Creator has  given you and for the opportunity to grow a little more each day. Consider  your thoughts and actions of the past day and seek for the courage and  strength to be a better person. Seek for the things that will benefit others   (everyone).
  
  2.  Respect. Respect means "To feel or show honor or esteem for someone or  something; to consider the well being of , or to treat someone or something  with deference or courtesy".   Showing respect is a basic law of life.
  
a.  Treat every person from the tiniest child to the oldest elder with respect at all times.
  
b.  Special respect should be given to Elders, Parents, Teachers, and   Community Leaders.
  
c.  No person should be made to feel "put down" by you; avoid hurting  other hearts as you would avoid a deadly poison.
  
d.  Touch nothing that belongs to someone else (especially sacred  Objects) without permission, or an understanding between you.
  
e.  Respect the privacy of every person, never intrude on a person's  quiet moment or personal space.
  
f.  Never walk between people that are conversing.
  
g.  Never interrupt people who are conversing.
  
h.  Speak in a soft voice, especially when you are in the presence of  Elders, strangers or others to whom special respect is due.
  
i.   Do not speak unless invited to do so at gatherings where Elders are  present (except to ask what is expected of you, should you be in doubt).
  
j.  Never speak about others in a negative way, whether they are present   or not.
  
k.  Treat the earth and all of her aspects as your mother. Show deep  respect for the mineral world, the plant world, and the animal world.  Do nothing to pollute our Mother, rise up with wisdom to defend her.
  
l.   Show deep respect for the beliefs and religion of others.
  
m.  Listen with courtesy to what others say, even if you feel that what  they are saying is worthless. Listen with your heart.
  
n.  Respect the wisdom of the people in council. Once you give an idea  to a council meeting it no longer belongs to you. It belongs to the people.
  
Respect demands that you listen intently to the ideas of others in council  and that you do not insist that your idea prevail. Indeed you should freely  support the ideas of others if they are true and good, even if those ideas  are quite different from the ones you have contributed.  The clash of ideas  brings forth the Spark of Truth.
  
3.  Once a council has decided something in unity, respect demands that no  one speak secretly against what has been decided. If the council has made an  error, that error will become apparent to everyone in its own time.
  
4.  Be truthful at all times, and under all conditions.
  
5.  Always treat your guests with honor and consideration. Give of your best  food, your best blankets, the best part of your house, and your best service to your guests.   

6. The hurt of one is the hurt of all, the honor of one is the honor of all
   
7.  Receive strangers and outsiders with a loving heart and as members of the human family.
  
8.  All the races and tribes in the world are like the different colored flowers of one meadow. All are beautiful. As children of the Creator they  must all be respected.
  
9.  To serve others, to be of some use to family, community, nation, and the  world is one of the main purposes for which human beings have been created.  Do not fill yourself with your own affairs and forget your most important  tasks. True happiness comes only to those who dedicate their lives to the service of others.
  
10.  Observe moderation and balance in all things.
  
11.  Know those things that lead to your well-being, and those things that  lead to your destruction.
  
12.  Listen to and follow the guidance given to your heart. Expect guidance  to come in many forms; in prayer, in dreams, in times of quiet solitude, and in  the words and deeds of wise Elders and friends.
 
 
Chief Seattle (c.1784-1866) in a letter to U.S. President Franklin Pierce in 1854. In January of 1855, Chief Seattle ceded his lands in Washington State to the United States government by the Treaty of Point Elliott; as quoted in Michelle Lovric, ed., The World's Greatest Letters: From Ancient Greece to the Twentieth Century, (2002), pp.146-147.

" ... this land is sacred to us. This shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water but the blood of our ancestors.

If we sell you land, you must remember that it is sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people.

The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.
         
The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry canoes, and feed our children. If we sell you our land, you must remember, and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers, and yours, and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.

We know that the white man does not understand our ways.  One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs.

The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on.....

His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert.

I do not know. Our ways are different from your ways...

This we know: the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know."
 

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