45 Notable Chief Sitting Bull Quotes

Sitting Bull is one of the most well known Native American leaders, especially known most for his outspoken nature toward the U.S. government. Yet, very few know that he did so in honor of his beloved Hunkpapa Lakota tribe and their personal freedom! That is until Sitting Bull’s’ unfortunate demise at the hands of Indian agency police.

Though his legendary title “Sitting Bull” stuck throughout the years, this brave leader was first known as “Jumping Badger. After the massacre of commander Custer at Little Big Horn, Sitting Bull fled into the Canadian wilderness. Where he and his tribe endured never-ending hardships for over 4 years. Oftentimes, they had limited food sources, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of men, women, and children.

Regardless of what befell Sitting Bull, he always persevered and tread forever forward. This wise and noble medicine man Passed along words of wisdom that helped to inspire these 45 Notable Chief Sitting Bull Quotes!

Chief Sitting Bull Quotes

1. “They say I murdered Custer. But it was a lie. He was a fool who rode to his death.” — Sitting Bull

2. “If we must die, we die defending our rights.” — Sitting Bull

3. “The white man knows how to make everything, but he does not know how to distribute it.” — Sitting Bull

4. “He put in your heart certain wishes and plans; in my heart, he put other different desires.” — Sitting Bull

5. “I am not going. Do with me what you like. I am not going. Come on! Come on! Take action! Let’s go!” — Sitting Bull

6. “Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” — Sitting Bull

7. “I hate all the white people. You are thieves and liars. You have taken away our land and made us outcasts.” — Sitting Bull

8. “I would rather live in a tepee and go without meat when the game is scarce than give up my privileges as a free Indian, even though I could have all that white men have.” — Sitting Bull

9. “Healthy feet can hear the very heart of holy Earth.” — Sitting Bull

10. “You think I am a fool, but you are a greater fool than I am.” — Sitting Bull

11. “What white man has ever seen me drunk? Who has ever come to me hungry and left me unfed?” — Sitting Bull

12. “The earth has received the embrace of the sun and we shall see the results of that love.” — Sitting Bull

13. “I am a red man. If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. He put in your heart certain wishes and plans, in my heart he put other and different desires. Each man is good in his sight. It is not necessary for Eagles to be Crows.” — Sitting Bull

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14. “Behold, my friends, the spring comes; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” — Sitting Bull

15. “The whites provoked the war; their injustices, their indignities to our families, the cruel, unheard of, and the wholly unprovoked massacre at Fort Lyon…shook all the veins which bind and support me.” — Sitting Bull

16. “Each man is good in the sight of the Great Spirit.” — Sitting Bull

17. “The land under my feet is mine again. I never sold it, I never gave it to anyone.” — Sitting Bull

18. “Strangely enough, they have a mind to till the soil, and the love of possessions is a disease in them.” — Sitting Bull

19. “Only seven years ago we made a treaty by which we were assured that the Buffalo Country should be left to us forever. Now they threaten to take that from us also.” — Sitting Bull

20. “Now that we are poor, we are free. No white man controls our footsteps.” — Sitting Bull

21. “Indians! There are no Indians left but me.” — Sitting Bull

22. “It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being, and we, therefore, yield to our neighbors, even to our animal neighbors, the same right as ourselves to inhabit this vast land.” — Sitting Bull

23. “They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away from her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse.” — Sitting Bull

24. “They want us to give up another chunk of our tribal land. This is not the first time or the last time. They will again try to gain possession of the last piece of ground we possess.” — Sitting Bull

25. “Therefore, I do not wish to consider any proposition to cede any portion of our tribal holdings to the Great Father.” — Sitting Bull

26. “What white woman, however lonely, was ever captive or insulted by me? Yet they say I am a bad Indian.” — Sitting Bull

27. “Is it wrong for me to love my own? Is it wicked for me because my skin is red? Because I am Sioux? Because I was born where my father lived? Because I would die for my people and my country?” — Sitting Bull

28. “I have killed, robbed, and injured too many white men to believe in a good peace. They are medicine, and I would eventually die a lingering death. I had rather die on the field of battle.“ — Sitting Bull

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29. “The white men had many things we wanted, but we could see that they did not have the one thing we liked best – freedom.” — Sitting Bull

30. “I want to tell you that if the Great Spirit had chosen anyone to be the chief of this country, it is myself.” — Sitting Bull

31. “Look at me, see if I am poor, or my people either. The whites may get me at last, as you say, but I will have good times till then. You are fools to make yourselves slaves to a piece of fat bacon, some hard-tack, and a little sugar and coffee.“ — Sitting Bull

32. “The love of possessions is a disease in them. These people have made many rules that the rich may break, but the poor may not! They have a religion in which the poor worship, but the rich will not! They even take tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule. They claim this mother of ours, the earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbor away. … If America had been twice the size it is, there still would not have been enough.“ — Sitting Bull

33. “I have advised my people thus: when you find anything good in the white man’s road, pick it up; but when you find something bad, or that turns out bad, drop it, leave it alone.” — Sitting Bull

34. “When I was a boy, the Sioux owned the world. The sun rose and set on their land; they sent ten thousand men to battle. Where are the warriors today? Who slews them? Where are our lands? Who owns them?” — Sitting Bull

35. “There are two types of poor people, those who are poor together and those who are poor alone. The first are the true poor, the others are rich people out of luck.“ — Sitting Bull

36. “We have now to deal with another race – small and feeble when our fathers first met them, but now great and overbearing. ” — Sitting Bull

37. “Every seed is awakened, and all animal life.” — Sitting Bull

38. “For us, warriors are not what you think of as warriors. The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another life. The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who can not provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity.” — Sitting Bull

39. “These people have made many rules that the rich may break but the poor may not.” — Sitting Bull

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40. “This nation is like a spring freshet; it overruns its banks and destroys all who are in its path.” — Sitting Bull

41. “Each man is good in His sight. It is not necessary for eagles to be crows.” — Sitting Bull

42. “Our religion seems foolish to you, but so does yours to me. The Baptists and Methodists and Presbyterians and the Catholics all have a different God. Why cannot we have one of our own?” — Sitting Bull

43. “In my early days, I was eager to learn and to do things, and therefore I learned quickly.” — Sitting Bull

44. “Healthy feet can feel the very heart of Mother Earth.” — Sitting Bull

45. “What treaty that the whites have kept has the red man broken? Not one.” — Sitting Bull

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Video: Chief Sitting Bull’s 1883 “Rise Up” Speech

This is worth a watch if you want to learn more about Chief Sitting Bull’s impact on history. This speech is a combination of his words with clips from his September 8th 1883 speech to government officials, railroad barons, and the U.S. military in honor of the completion of the Northern Pacific Railway. And on this one occasion, after a long and bloody attempt to defend his people and their lands from White invaders, Sitting Bull seized the chance to express his opinion of those he had opposed for so long against tremendous odds.


Out of the many Sitting Bull quotes, I would have to say, my personal favorite is “Inside of me, there are two dogs. One is mean and evil and the other is good and they fight each other all the time. When asked which one wins I answer, the one I feed the most.”!

This quote teaches about self-discipline and overcoming the ego. In other words, keeping a positive mindset no matter what the circumstance. When you read the above quotes, take to heart their hidden messages, taking note of those that strike a chord. And could be of use for your future life endeavors!

Featured Image Credit:

David F. Barry, Photographer, Bismarck, Dakota Territory, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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