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Chief Seattle - This Earth is sacred

Friday 23 April 2010

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40th anniversary of Earth Day April 22

The response of Chief Seattle



(...) How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the earth? It is for us a strange idea.

If no one can own the freshness of the wind or the glare of the water, how is it possible that you intend to buy?

Each piece of this earth is sacred to my people. Every pine needle, every handful of sand from beaches, like the darkness of the deep jungle, every ray of light and humming insect is holy in the memory and life of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the history of the red earth: Canku Luta Wakan.

The white man’s dead forget their homeland when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for she is the mother of the red man. We are part of the land and it belongs to us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters, the deer, the horse, the great eagle are our brothers. The rocky ridges, valleys, grasslands, the heat of the pony and man all belong to the same family. (...)

We know that the white man does not understand our way of life. For him, a plot of land has the same meaning as anything else, a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother but his enemy, and after he conquered, he left her. You leave behind the graves of your ancestors and you forget them. You steal the Earth to your children; selfishly. There is no quiet place in the cities of the white man. Not a place where you can hear the rustle of leaves in spring or the flapping wings of an insect. But perhaps because I am a savage does not understand why this noise seems even insult your ears.

How to continue to live, if a man can not hear the song of a bird or night the croaking of frogs around a pond? I am a red man and I do not understand. The Red Man prefers the murmur of the wind that ruffles the surface of the lake and the wind one day of rain that exudes the perfume of fragrant pines

This we know: the earth does not belong to man. Man belongs to earth. This we know: All things are connected like the blood which unites one family: all things are holding together..


Excerpt from the response of Chief Seattle, the tribe Suwamish on an offer to buy their land by the government in Washington. The speech took place in 1855, and although there is doubt about the authenticity of this text (known only 30 years later by Dr. Henry A.Smith in the Seattle Sunday Star), the beauty of his words and the strength of his advocacy for nature, have become a symbol of the environmental movement
Personally, as a sister Hunka Chief Archie Fire Lame Deer, I would say that no leader speaks differently and always now

View online : The response of Chief Seattle

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