Chief Seattle was the chief of ‘Dkhw’Duw’Absh’ and ‘Suquamish’ tribes of Native Americans, who lived from 1786 to 1866 and is widely regarded as one of the most important figures among Native Americans for his efforts to accommodate the white settlers in the United States. On the other hand, Chief Seattle had also been a lifelong advocate of the need to respect the land rights of the Native Americans. Although, much of what he had said might have been diluted due to errors of translation, his words resonate among Native Americans to this day. His name lives to this day through the city Seattle, which was named after him. Among the many Native American chiefs, he is particularly revered for ensuring that the ‘Dkhw’Duw’Absh’ and ‘Suquamish’ tribes did not get into any skirmishes among themselves. He was also instrumental in keeping them from participating in the 1856 Battle of Seattle. One of the most famous artefacts in relation to Chief Seattle is the speech or letter in which he set down the rights of Native Americans and environmental responsibilities of the powers that be. As a chief and speaker on Native American rights, Chief Seattle delivered a number of quotes by way of his speeches and letters. Let us browse through the famous quotes and thoughts by Chief Seattle.
Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth. This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. One thing we know: our god is also your god. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.
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. So hold in your mind the memory on the land as it is when you take it. And, with all your strength, with all your mind, and with all your heart...
The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth.
How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? Every part of the Earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clear and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.The perfumed flowers are our sisters, the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and the man, all belong to the same family.
Earth does not belong to us; we belong to earth. Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.
Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless. Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the White Man ... cannot be exempt from the common destiny.
You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.
We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumes flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle: these are our brothers. All things are connected like the blood which unites one's family.
There is no quiet place in the white man's cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring, or the rustle of an insect's wings. But perhaps it is because I am a savage and do not understand. The clatter only seems to insult the ears.
We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is 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 when he has conquered it, he moves on.
All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth, befalls the children of the Earth.