In early days we were close to nature. We judged time, weather conditions, and many things by the elements–the good earth, the blue sky, the flying of geese, and the changing winds. We looked to these for guidance and answers. Our prayers and thanksgiving were said to the four winds–to the East, from whence the new day was born; to the South, which sent the warm breeze which gave a feeling of comfort; to the West, which ended the day and brought rest; and to the North, the Mother of winter whose sharp air awakened a time of preparation for the long days ahead. We lived by God’s hand through nature and evaluated the changing winds to tell us or warn us of what was ahead. Today we are again evaluating the changing winds. May we be strong in spirit and equal to our Fathers of another day in reading the signs accurately and interpreting them wisely.
Unknown Speaker addressing the National Congress of American Indians