Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Over a hundred years ago, the great Indian Chief, Seattle, was faced with the loss of his tribe’s land. He responded out of his love and respect for the land with utter honesty, and heart breaking eloquence:

“We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters, the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices of the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man all belongs to the same family.

So when the Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land, he asks much of us. If we decided to accept, I will make one condition: the white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers. I am a savage and do not understand any other way. I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and I do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.

Where is man without beasts? If the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts soon happens to the man. All things are connected, this we know. The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unite one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does it to himself.”

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