This Indian Chief Seattle in 1854

Great Chief in Washington announces that he wishes to buy our land. Great Chief also sends us a message of friendship and goodwill. He is very kind, for we know that our friendship — too small price to pay for its location. However, we think over your proposal, because they understand that if you do not sell the land, paleface come with guns and take away its power. How can you buy a sky or ground heat? This idea is not clear to us. If we did not manage the freshness of the air and splashes of water, how can you buy them from us? [Cut] For my people every inch of this land is sacred. Every shining pine cone, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark patch of woods, every clearing and humming every midge — they are sacred to the memory and feelings of my people. Juice flowing into the trunks of trees, bears the memory of the Redskins. Having embarked on the path of the stars, the dead white man forget his country of birth. Our deceased never forget this beautiful earth, for it is — the mother of the Redskins. We — a part of the land, and it is part of us. Fragrant flowers — our sisters, the deer, the horse, a large eagle — our brothers. Mountain peaks, lush meadows, warm body Mustang and a man — all one family. When the great leader of Washington says it wants to buy our land, he requires of us too much. The great leader announces that he will leave us a place for us to live in comfort. It will be our father and we will be his children. But things are not so simple, because for us this land — sacred. This sparkling water flowing in streams and rivers — not just water but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you land, you must remember that it is sacred. You must teach your children that it is sacred, and any ghostly reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of the affairs of life and memory of my people. Water feature — it is the voice of my father’s people. Rivers — our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes and feed our children. If we sell you land, you must remember and teach your children that the rivers — our brothers and your brothers, and you should continue to treat the river with the same kindness with which belong to his brother. Redhead is always retreated before the white man going forward, as the mountain mist recedes before the morning sun. But the ashes of our fathers, holy. Their graves — the sacred places, and so these hills, trees and plots of land for us to become holy. We know that the white man does not accept our thoughts. For him, a piece of land is no different from the other, for he is — a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he wants. For him, the land is not taken, and the enemy, and he goes forward, conquering it. He leaves behind the graves of the fathers, but that he does not care. He forgets about the graves of the fathers and the rights of their children. He treats his mother, the earth, and his brother, the sky as things that you can buy, sell and rob as sheep or bright beads. His greed devour the earth and leave behind a desert. I do not understand: Our thoughts are different from your own. The sight of your cities — a pain for the eyes of a Redskin. It is possible that this happens because the Indians — savages, and they do not understand much. In the cities there is no white man’s silence. They do not have a place where you can listen to as spring buds as the rustle of insects wings. Maybe I’m just a savage and do not understand much. It seems to me that the noise only insults the hearing. Is this life if a man can not hear the lonely cry of a night-o’or dispute frogs in the pond? I — redhead, I do not understand much. Indians prefer the soft sound of wind over the waters of the pond, the smell of the wind, bathed in afternoon rain and scented pine tar. For a Redskin air — a treasure for one (they) all living breathing: the beast, the tree, and the person breathing the same breath. Paleface not notice the air he breathes. He does not feel the stench, like a man who is dying for many days. But if we sell you our land, you must remember that for us, the air — a treasure that the air shares its spirit with all life. Wind that breathed the breath of our ancestors, take their last breath. And so the wind will fill the spirit of life of our children. If we sell you our land, you must keep away from it and treat it as sacred, as to the place where even the white man will be able to come to taste the wind, from the sweet meadow flowers. We think over your offer to buy our land. If we decide to accept it, I put one condition: the white man must treat the animals of this land as his brothers. I — savage, I can not think otherwise. I’ve seen thousands of dead buffalo on the prairie — left them Paleface, who shot from a passing train. I — savage, and I can not understand how the smoking iron horse can be more important than the buffalo that we kill only once on the brink of destruction. What will happen to a man if you do not become animals? If all the animals will die, people will die from the utter loneliness of the spirit. Whatever happens with the animals, it happens to the man. Everything is interconnected. You must teach your children that the earth at their feet — the ashes of our ancestors. Then they will be ground to rest, lie the life of our family. Teach your children about what we teach our children and tell them that the earth — our mother. Whatever happened to the land, and this happens to her children. When a man spits on the ground, he spits in itself. Here’s what we know: the earth does not belong to man, but man belongs to the earth, that’s what we know: everyone in the world is interconnected, like the blood that unites the whole race. Everything is interconnected. Whatever is happening to the earth, it happens to her children. Not a man spins a web of life, he is only one $ strand in it. If he does something with the web, and it does it himself. Yet we think over your proposal to go to that reservation, you have prepared for my people. We will live apart from you, we will live in peace. Not that it matters, where we will spend the rest of his days. Our children have seen their fathers humbled in defeat. Our warriors have felt shame. After the defeat of their lives turned into idleness, and they are ruining their bodies with sweet food and strong drinks. Not that it matters, where we will spend the rest of their days, their is not much. Only a few hours, just a few winters, and there will be no son of the great tribes that once so loved the land and who now roam the small groups in the forest. No one will be able to mourn the people who had once been as powerful and hopeful as yours. Why should I mourn the death of his people? Tribe — it’s just people, nothing more. People come and go like waves of the sea. Even the white man, whose God is near and spoke to him as a friend, can not escape the general fate. In the end, perhaps to avoid the universal destiny. In the end, perhaps, we have become brothers — we’ll see. But we know something that paleface will ever know: we have with you is one God. Now you think that you own your God just as you want to master our land, but it is not. He — the God of all people and is compassionate and redhead and white man. For him, this land — a gem and harm the earth is to lift a hand on her Creator. Blednolitsye also gone, though perhaps later than the rest of the tribes. Continue to soil your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste. But at his death, you will burn brightly, embraced by the tribe the power of God, who brought you rule over this land and over the redskins. For us, such a fate — a mystery, because we do not understand why you need to kill bison, wild horses tame why, why break the mysterious forest Duma heavy smell of the crowds, why spotting the hillsides talking wires. Where thicket? They are not. Where is the eagle? It’s gone. Why do I need to say goodbye to fas
t ponies and hunting? This is — the end of life and the beginning of survival. We think over your offer to buy our land. If we agree, then we will secure your reservation promised. There we will be able to live the rest of his short days as we want. When will disappear from this earth last red man, and the memory of it will be only a shadow of the clouds hovering over the prairie, these shores and forests still remain the spirit of my people, because he loves this earth as a newborn loves its mother’s heartbeat. If we sell you the land, love it as much as we love it. Take care of her the way we liked it. Take care of her the way we took care of her. Save it to your memory view of the land, as it was when you took it. And with all his strength, all my thoughts, all my heart conserving it for their children — and love it like this: God loves us all. We know one thing: we have with you is one God. For him, this land — a treasure. Even the white man did not escape the general fate. In the end, we can still be brothers. We’ll see.

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