Cree prophecy

Warriors of the Rainbow: The Birth of an Environmental Mythology

The German branch of Greenpeace announced itself to the world in June 1981 when two activists climbed a smokestack in Hamburg and festooned it with a banner which read:

Erst wenn der letzte Baum gefällt, der letzte Fluss vergiftet und der letzte Fisch gefangen ist, werdet ihr merken, dass man Geld nicht essen kann. (In English: “When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten, and the last stream poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money.”)
—attributed to Cree Indian tribe

The activists attributed this warning to the Cree Indian tribe of North America, although like many such proverbs its provenance is dubious. Nevertheless, it fit well with Greenpeace’s conception of itself as the “Warriors of the Rainbow,” a phrase signifying solidarity with native peoples whose cultures were seen as much more environmentally responsible than those of industrialized nations.

The original “Rainbow Warriors” visit Kwakiutl Indians in their longhouse (1971)

The original “Rainbow Warriors” visit Kwakiutl Indians in their longhouse (1971)

All rights reserved © 1971 Greenpeace/Robert Keziere

The copyright holder reserves, or holds for their own use, all the rights provided by copyright law, such as distribution, performance, and creation of derivative works.

How did Greenpeace develop this affinity with Native Americans? The story begins in 1971 when the organization was embarking on its first campaign, an attempt to sail a boat from Vancouver into a restricted US nuclear testing area on Amchitka Island in the North Pacific. Bob Hunter, a countercultural journalist and one of the most influential early members of Greenpeace, brought with him a book called Warriors of the Rainbow, a compilation of native American prophecies and myths collected and interpreted by Vinson Brown, a prolific nature writer with a strong interest in native American culture, and William Willoya, an Alaskan Indian who visited dozens of tribes throughout the northwest in order to gather material for the book. A typical piece of sixties esoterica, the book added to the growing image of the wise “ecological Indian” that became such a powerful symbol of 1970s environmentalism, a construct that blended romanticized primitivism with moralistic environmentalism.

One of the central prophecies in Warriors of the Rainbow was the story of an old Indian grandmother named Eyes of Fire. When Eyes of Fire’s grandson asked why the “Grandfather in the sky” had allowed “the White Men to take our lands,” Eyes of Fire explained that it was all part of a greater cosmic plan. Initially, the Indians would be defeated and humbled by the white colonizers. In the long term, however, this would prove to be beneficial, for it was only through “the White Man’s conquest” that the Indians would be “cleansed of all selfish pride” and made ready for the “great awakening.” Then a spectacular rainbow would signify the arrival of a tribe of Rainbow Warriors that would “[spread] love and joy to others” and work toward “a new, spiritual civilization … [which] will create beauty by its very breath, turning the waters of rivers clear, building forests and parks where there are now deserts and slums, and bringing back the flowers to the hillsides.”

Greenpeace members are invited by the Kwakiutl tribe of British Columbia to a special tribal initiation ceremony

Greenpeace members are invited by the Kwakiutl tribe of British Columbia to a special tribal initiation ceremony

All rights reserved © 1971 Greenpeace/Robert Keziere

The copyright holder reserves, or holds for their own use, all the rights provided by copyright law, such as distribution, performance, and creation of derivative works.

Whether Willoya and Brown’s rendering of these legends was faithful to their original spirit is perhaps open to question. What is beyond doubt, however, is that much of Greenpeace’s association with Indian mythology came from Hunter’s reading of this book, an association that was strengthened when the Kwakiutl tribe of British Columbia invited Greenpeace members to participate in a tribal initiation ceremony, a privilege rarely granted to outsiders. While some of the older members of Greenpeace were skeptical, to Hunter and the other hippies the message was clear: Greenpeace was fated to be the messenger between the destructive White Man and the ecological Indians; it was, in short, the first tribe of Rainbow Warriors.


Legend of the Rainbow Warriors

Story from a 1962 religious tract

This article is about the legend and the book. For other uses, see Rainbow Warrior.

Since the early 1970s, a legend of Rainbow Warriors has inspired some environmentalists and hippies with a belief that their movement is the fulfillment of a Native American prophecy. Usually the "prophecy" is claimed to be Hopi or Cree. However, this "prophecy" is not Native American at all, but rather from a 1962 Evangelical Christianreligious tract, titled Warriors of the Rainbow by William Willoya and Vinson Brown from Naturegraph Publishers.[1] Brown is the founder and owner of Naturegraph Publishers.[1][2][3]

The roots of that myth go back to a book called Warriors of the Rainbow. It was basically an evangelical Christian tract which was published in 1962. If anything, it was an attack on Native culture. It was an attempt to evangelize within the Native American community.[1]


The modern story has been misrepresented as ancient prophecy. While this falsification may have been done consciously by the creators of the story, those who pass the story on may sincerely believe the story is authentic. This phenomenon is an example of what scholar Michael I. Niman calls "fakelore."[1]

While there are variations on the theme, especially as it has become popularized in Internet memes, the common thread in all versions of the story is that a time of crisis will come to the Earth, that people of many races will come together to save the planet, and it is always erroneously credited as being a Native American or First Nations prophecy: "It is said there will be a time when the trees are dying, blah, blah, blah. There will be a tribe of people who come and save the Earth and they will be called the Rainbows."[1] Some modern versions of the fictitious story specifically state that this new "tribe" will inherit the ways of the Native Americans, or that Native ways will die out to be replaced by the new ways of the "Rainbow" people.[4]

The legend said [the Native Americans] would also be joined by many of their light-skinned brothers and sisters, who would in fact be the reincarnate souls of the Indians who were killed or enslaved by the first light-skinned settlers. It was said that the dead souls of these first people would return in bodies of all different colours: red, white, yellow and black. Together and unified, like the colours of the rainbow, these people would teach all of the peoples of the world how to have love and reverence for Mother Earth, of whose very stuff we human beings are also made.[4]

Warriors of the Rainbow relates these fictitious "Indian" prophecies to the Second Coming of Christ and has been described as purveying "a covert anti-Semitism throughout, while evangelizing against traditional Native American spirituality."[2]

The book The Greenpeace Story, states that Greenpeace co-founder Bob Hunter was given a copy of Warriors of the Rainbow by a wandering dulcimer maker in 1969 and he passed it around on the first expedition of the Don't Make a Wave Committee, the precursor of Greenpeace.[5] The legend inspired the name of three Greenpeace ships, Rainbow Warrior,[citation needed] used in environmental protection protests as well as the name of the hippie group, the Rainbow Family.[citation needed]

Native American author and poet Sherman Alexie has addressed this belief in the "inner Indian" and the ways "American whites have co-opted Indian culture,"[6] notably in his poem, "How to Write the Great American Indian Novel":

White people must carry an Indian deep inside themselves.
If the interior Indian is male
then he must be a warrior, especially if he is inside a white man.
In the Great American Indian novel, when it is finally written,
all of the white people will be Indians and all of the Indians will be ghosts.[7]


In 2015, a group of Native American academics and writers issued a statement against the Rainbow Family members who are "appropriating and practicing faux Native ceremonies and beliefs. These actions, although Rainbows may not realize, dehumanize us as an indigenous Nation because they imply our culture and humanity, like our land, is anyone's for the taking." The signatories specifically named this misappropriation as "cultural exploitation."[8]

[A] group that cites a fictitious "Native American prophecy" as informing their self-identification as "warriors of the rainbow" and willfully appropriates Native cultural practices, is not only adventurist and dangerous, but offensive to many of us who advance and continue to defend the spiritual, the cultural, the sacred, and, most importantly, the political vitality and vision of the Oceti Sakowin.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ abcdeInterview with Michael Niman
  2. ^ abNiman, Michael (1997). People of the Rainbow: Nomadic Utopia. University of Tennessee Press. pp. 136–137. ISBN .
  3. ^About Naturegraph
  4. ^ ab Morton, Chris and Thomas, Ceri Louise (1998) The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls: A Real Life Detective Story of the Ancient World. Vermont, Bear & CompanyISBN 978-1879181540.
  5. ^Brown, Michael (1989). The Greenpeace Story. Dorling Kindersley. pp. 12–13. ISBN .
  6. ^Aull, Felice (2009-05-26). "(Notes on) How to Write the Great American Indian Novel". New York University, Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database. Archived from the original on 2015-08-26. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  7. ^Alexie, Sherman (1996) "How to Write the Great American Indian Novel" from The Summer of Black Widows. Hanging Loose Press.
  8. ^ abEstes, Nick; et al. (14 July 2015). "Protect He Sapa, Stop Cultural Exploitation". Indian Country Today Media Network. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2017-11-29.


  • Willoya, William, and Vinson Brown. Warriors of the Rainbow: Strange and Prophetic Indian Dreams. Healdsburg, California: Naturegraph, 1962.
  • Dahl, Arthur. "Brown, Vinson." In Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, edited by Bron Taylor, 227. London & New York: Continuum International, 2005.
  • Deloria, Philip J.. Playing Indian. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998.
  • Niman, Michael I. People of the Rainbow: A Nomadic Utopia. Nashville: University of Tennessee Press, 1997.

External links[edit]

  1. Pusheen video games
  2. 8 letter words with d
  3. Scenery definition
  4. Songs about living in harmony
  5. Average salary for project coordinator

Alanis Obomsawin? Prophecy of the Cree Indians? Osage saying? Sakokwenonkwas?  Greenpeace? Anonymous? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: I recently came across the following stirring proverb on the internet:

When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.

After performing multiple searches for the phrase I finally found it listed in The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (2009) which simply stated that it was a “Native American saying”. The earliest example given in the reference was dated 1983 and appeared in the book “America Born and Reborn” by H. Wasserman, who labeled it an “Osage saying”. I was hoping that these provocative words of wisdom were older. Could you try to trace this saying further back in time?

Quote Investigator: The earliest instance located by QI was in a collection of essays published in 1972 titled “Who is the Chairman of This Meeting?” A chapter called “Conversations with North American Indians” contained comments made by Alanis Obomsawin who was described as “an Abenaki from the Odanak reserve, seventy odd miles northeast of Montreal.” (The book uses the spelling Obomosawin.) Obomsawin employed a version of the saying while speaking with the chapter author Ted Poole. [AOTP]:

Canada, the most affluent of countries, operates on a depletion economy which leaves destruction in its wake. Your people are driven by a terrible sense of deficiency. When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.

In later years Obomsawin became famous as an award-winning documentary filmmaker based in Canada.

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading When the Last Tree Is Cut Down, the Last Fish Eaten, and the Last Stream Poisoned, You Will Realize That You Cannot Eat Money


Apocalypse Prophecies: Native End of the World Teachings

“In the Hopi teachings,” he began, “we are told that toward the end of the world, Spider Woman will come back and she will weave her web across the landscape. Everywhere you will see her web. That’s how we will know that we are coming to the end of this world, when we see her web everywhere. I believe I have just seen her web.”

That was Thomas Banyacya’s reaction to seeing the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, which sends electricity from the Niagara Falls generating plant throughout Western New York. Banyacya is a Hopi traditionalist interpreter and that passage is from Thinking In Indian: A John Mohawk Reader (Fulcrum 2010).

The world was crying Mayan apocalypse on December 21, 2012, so it seemed prudent to explore other end of the world teachings. Even though the Mayans weren’t actually predicting the end of the world, we'd play along anyway. Some of those teachings are just as relevant in 2017 as they were in 2012.

Other Hopi teachings refer to the nine signs. The first sign said the white-skinned men would come, the second said: “Our lands will see the coming of spinning wheels filled with voices. In his youth, my father saw this prophecy come true with his eyes—the white men bringing their families in wagons across the prairies.”


The rest of the signs are typically listed as follows:

“This is the Third Sign: A strange beast like a buffalo but with great long horns, will overrun the land in large numbers. These White Feather saw with his eyes—the coming of the white men’s cattle.

“This is the Fourth Sign: The land will be crossed by snakes of iron.

“This is the Fifth Sign: The land shall be criss-crossed by a giant spider’s web.

“This is the Sixth Sign: The land shall be criss-crossed with rivers of stone that make pictures in the sun.

“This is the Seventh Sign: You will hear of the sea turning black, and many living things dying because of it.

“This is the Eighth Sign: You will see many youth, who wear their hair long like my people, come and join the tribal nations, to learn their ways and wisdom.

“And this is the Ninth and Last Sign: You will hear of a dwelling-place in the heavens, above the earth, that shall fall with a great crash. It will appear as a blue star. Very soon after this, the ceremonies of my people will cease."

The Hopi aren’t alone when it comes to prophecies about how the world will end either.

Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac pointed to Handsome Lake, a 19th century Seneca prophet whose predictions are presented by anthropologist Arthur Parker in The Code of Handsome Lake, the Seneca Prophet, published in 1913. Handsome Lake predicted the world would end by fire in the year 2100.

“Now we think that when the end comes the earth will be destroyed by fire and not one upon it will escape for all the earth will be enveloped in flames and all those who refuse to believe in Gai’wiio’ will be in it,” reads section 77 from The Code of Handsome Lake.

He also predicted the destruction of the environment, famines and war. One of his predictions, in section 93 of Parker’s book, even seems to predict the destruction of the ozone layer:

So then they proceeded on their journey but had not gone far when they stopped.

Then the messengers said, ‘Watch,’ and pointed to a certain spot toward the setting sun.

So he watched and saw a large object revolving. It was white and moving slowly.

Then said the four messengers, ‘What did you see?’

He answered, ‘I saw a large object revolving. It was white and moving slowly.’

Then said the messengers, ‘It is true. The thing is that which regulates the air over the earth. It is that which we call the Odä’eo (the veil over all). It is said that it would bring great calamity should it revolve too fast. Should it turn faster it would injure mankind. Now we are the regulators and watchers of the veil over all.’

“Among our Abenaki nations it is often said that after Gluskonba (or Gluskabe or Glooskap) left the people and went to an island far out in the Big Water,” Bruchac told ICMN. “There he sits in his wigwam, making arrowheads. And when his lodge is filled with them, he will return and make use of them to destroy the enemies of the Native people.”

The Northern Paiute had Wovoka, a religious leader who was born around 1856 and predicted the coming of a new world. He was also the leader of the Ghost Dance movement, which was danced to help prepare for the new world.

“We don’t know exactly how he imagined the new world would occur but it’s clear that he taught that it would occur through some kind of cataclysmic event…maybe through a kind of earthquake…some sources suggest a great snow,” said Jeffrey Ostler, a historian at the University of Oregon who has written about Wovoka’s prophecies, during a show on Back Story Radio. “It [cataclysmic event] would destroy or remove European Americans and then after that there would be a renewed world where game would return, ancestors who had died would return to life and Indian people would be able to live well again.”


Ostler explained on the show titled, Apocalypse Now & Then: A History of End-Times, how during the Ghost Dance people would lose consciousness and have visions of the new world.

“You can read some of these visions, they’re quite remarkable where somebody says ‘I died or I lost consciousness and I was on horseback and the world was green and not like this dead world that I’m now living in, then I rode up over a hill and saw a figure coming toward me and it was my sister who had died recently,’” Ostler said on the show. Part of the Ghost Dance movement was a belief that ancestors would return from the spirit world once the new world began.

The Cherokee also had their own prophecies, visions and Ghost Dance movement, which was written about in The American Indian Quarterly by Michelene E. Pesantubbee in 1993.

One of those visions occurred in 1811 when a group of Indians appeared to Charlie, who was half Cherokee, and two women near Rocky Mountain in northwest Georgia. The leader of the group said:

Don’t be afraid; we are your brothers and have been sent by God to speak with you. God is dissatisfied that you are receiving the white people in your land without any distinction. You yourselves see that your hunting is gone-you are planting the corn of the white people—go and sell that back to them and plant Indian corn and pound it in the manner of your forefathers; do away with the mills. The Mother of the Nation has forsaken you because all her bones are being broken through the grinding. She will return to you, however, if you put the white people out of the land and return to your former manner of life.

Some believed Charlie and the women, others did not.

According to Cherokee Ghost Dance: Essays on the Southeastern Indians, 1789-1861 by William G. McLoughlin, Moravian missionaries recorded the first prophecy about “imminent destruction” on February 23, 1812.

“Only a few details of this prophecy are given in the diary, but the missionaries said that the residents of one Cherokee town had heard a prediction that ‘hail stones the size of half bushels’ would fall ‘on a certain day,’ and when that day came they all fled to the nearby hills and hid themselves in caves or under stones,” McLoughlin, who was a historian at Brown University, wrote in his book of essays.

Another prophecy, recounted by McLoughlin, was recorded on March 8, 1812. This one told of an eclipse that would last for three days, “during which all the white people would be snatched away as well as all Indians who had any clothing or household articles of the white man’s kind, together with all their cattle.” When the prophecy would happen wasn’t mentioned, but the prophet did tell the Cherokee to “put aside everything that is similar to the white people and that which they had learned from them, so that in the darkness God might not mistake them and snatch them away with the former.”


Dave Courchene, Anishnaabe elder and the founder of Turtle Lodge, an institution that maintains the fires of traditional knowledge in Manitoba, Canada, says prophecies aren’t always negative. He told ICMN that prophecies, to his people, offer hope and direction.

“We were given instructions on how to live and how to behave and we’ve strayed away from those original instructions,” he said. “What we’re finding in the world today, through the signs that nature is offering us is that we need to reflect on our behavior—on how we’re treating life and how we’re treating each other as human beings. It’s really parallel to the Mayan calendar when they talk of the new cycle that’s coming and then you hear so much talk about the end of the world.”

But he doesn’t see the end of the world as an ending, Courchene sees it as a beginning.

“The end of the world can also be understood that we’re being given an opportunity to put an end to our negative behaviors,” he said, noting that this new cycle will mean a return to indigenous values.

“These changes are going to be somewhat difficult for those that have lived the materialistic life because this new life the elders are talking about is a return to laying down values and principles that whatever we create in our life must be grounded with those values,” he said. “The principles of our understanding, of the survival of the people have always been based on peace, harmony and respect for all of life.”

This story was originally published December 20, 2012.


Prophecy cree

But because of this order, she roared at her friend's shoulder, because of this order, she no longer really wants to fuck even. With her own boyfriend. Something is wrong in this order. But you can't change with several at once. A compromise must be found.

He himself went to the water park, where there was a decent bath complex, where you could take a good steam. Well, masculine as feminine texture is best manifested with a minimum of wet tight-fitting clothing. If an overabundance of female texture does not bother me much, each of them is good in its own way, then when I am in a different role, it.

Is important.

You will also be interested:

It happened that they dabbled with each other. In a large stream of students, we again accumulated, trying to squeeze through the turnstile into our hostel. Ilonka. What are we going to cook for lunch. - Yanka asked me and began to unbutton her jacket.

367 368 369 370 371