Aya Aya! teepahki iishiteehiaanki keewiihkawilotawiaanki
(Hello! We are glad you have come to visit us.)
I am an Elder of the Miami Nation of Indiana.
I am a 100% disabled Viet Nam Veteran.
The family is the heartbeat of strength of the culture. The grandfathers and grandmothers taught their children; they in turn hadchildren who taught their children. If the family isn't taught theculture, then the children become adults, and the adults become thegrandfathers and grandmothers, and the result is the culture becomeslost. This is how language is lost; this is how dances are lost; this ishow knowledge is lost. We need to listen to our Elders, today, beforeit's too late.Upon rising each morning and before retiring each night, give thanks to theCreator for the life within you and all life. Thank the Creator for thegood things and for the opportunity to grow a little more each day.Consider your thoughts and actions of the past day and seek the courageand strength to be a better person. Seek for the things that willbenefit others (everyone). Showing respect is a basic law of life.Always treat every person from the tiniest child to the oldest elderwith respect. Give special respect to elders, parents, teachers, andcommunity leaders. Avoid hurting others physically, mentally andemotionally by words and actions. Respect the privacy of others.
Never intrude on a person's quiet moment or personal space.
Never walk between or interrupt people who are talking.
Speak in a soft voice, especially when you are in the presence of elders, strangers or others to whom special respect is due.
Never speak about others in a negative way, whether they are present or not.
Gossip is a snake in the lodge of our people - do not fall prey to it.
Treat the earth and all her aspects as your mother.
Show respect for animals, stone people and plant world.
Do not pollute Mother Earth, rise up in wisdom and defend her.
Respect all life - especially the animal kingdom.
The Creator did not give humans dominion over animals, but rather the animals teach and guide humans.
Show deep respect for the beliefs and religion of others.
Touch nothing that belongs to someone else without permission.
Always treat your guests with honor and consideration.
Give of your best food, best blankets, best part of your house, and the best service to your guests.
Receive strangers and outsiders with a loving heart and as members of the human family.
All the races and tribes are different colored flowers of one meadow.
All are beautiful.
Respect all of the Creator's children.
Humans are created to serve others, to their family, community, nation and the world.
Do not fill yourself with your own affairs.
True happiness comes only to those who dedicate their lives to the service of others.
Know those things good for your well-being and those things that lead to your destruction.
Listen to and follow the guidance given to your heart.
Expectguidance to come in many forms; in prayer, in dreams, in times of quietsolitude, and in the words and deeds of wise elders and friends.
Observe moderation and balance in all things.
Eat well but not excessively.
Eat 'natural' foods given by Mother Earth - for it is what you are made from.
Do not eat what man manufactures for it is full of poison chemicals and unnatural elements.
During Meetings and Gatherings.
Listen with your heart in courtesy to what others say.
Respect the wisdom of the people in council.
Once you give an idea in council, it no longer belongs to you.
It belongs to the people.
Listen intently to the ideas of others in council and that you do not insist that your idea prevail.
Indeed, freely support the ideas of others if they are true and good, even if they are quite different from yours.
The clash of ideas brings forth the spark of truth.
Once a council has decided an issue in unity, do not speak secretly against what has been decided.
If the council has errored, the error will be apparent to everyone in its own time.
Be truthful at all times, under all conditions.
The hurt of one is the hurt of all, the honor of one is the honor of all.
Bring problems with others to the Elder Council.
Do not circulate these problems among the membership.
Harsh words against others only serve to inflame a problem.
If you plan to speak with an Elder or honored guest, it is suggested you offer a small gift as a sign of respect.
When the blanket is laid on the ground near the entry into the circle, please lay down a gift.