The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka(the great spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.
The Great Spirit is everywhere; he hears whatever is in our minds and our hearts, and it is not necessary to speak to Him in a loud voice.
The power of a thing or an act is in the meaning and the understanding.
Perhaps you have noticed that even in the slightest breeze you can hear the voice of the cottonwood tree; this we understand is its prayer to the Great Spirit, for not only men, but all things and all beings pray to Him continually in different ways.~Black Elk
When the first Europeans came to North America, they found that American Indians pray animals, plants, rivers, lakes, sun, moon, wind, light, thunder, and even birds. They called Indians heathens and savages. For some strange reason, they developed the idea that the Indians do not believe in God, even though in many different tribal languages were indications of the Great Spirit, the Great Creator, the Creator, the Great Mystery, or the Great Invisible Secret. It is true not only in the fact that American Indians worshiped God, but they also respected and communicated with the fact that God has created.
Despite the forced assimilation, traditional American Indians and holy men and women understand the sacredness of nature. They see the life giving force of great spiritual prosperity through all things in the universe. Due to ancient beliefs, teachings and spiritual practices, they feel and operate a direct relationship of all creatures. In traditional Native American belief system is the source of all power, and, therefore, all creatures deserve respect.
Traditional Native Americans believe that every existing thing in nature has its own spirit, which is part of the Great Mystery. That’s why they pray and thank the sun, moon, stars, rain, wind, water, and everything that walks, crawls, flies and floats, all that is seen and unseen. We understand that we can not survive or live without our relationships. We also understand that they can not live without us, which is why there are these relationships.