My children have spent the last eight weeks studying the Native American tribes of the woodland and coastal regions of the eastern U.S. This, and the coming Thanksgiving holiday, got me interested in finding Native American prayers that could be read at our table before the traditional grace. I’m thinking of asking my kids to each read one of the following prayers. They are from tribes that lived farther out West, but I think they work nicely, not so much as prayers of gratitude, but as requests for peace and spiritual direction.

“I hope the Great Heavenly Father, who will look down upon us, will give all the tribes His blessing, that we may go forth in peace, and live in peace all our days, and that He will look down upon our children and finally lift us far above the earth; and that our Heavenly Father will look upon our children as His children, that all the tribes may be His children, and as we shake hands to-day upon this broad plain, we may forever live in peace.”
–Red Cloud (Marpiya-Luta), Oglala Sioux chief

Here’s a Cherokee prayer I love for its message and simplicity:
“Oh Great Spirit, who made all
Races, look kindly upon the
Whole human family and take
Away the arrogance and hatred
Which separates us from our brothers.”

You’ll find other Native American blessings and prayers at

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