Who is Chief Seattle
Chief Seattle was a Suquamish and Duwamish chief. A leading figure among his people, he pursued a path of accommodation to white settlers, forming a personal relationship with “Doc” Maynard. The city of Seattle, in the U.S. state of Washington, was named after him. A widely publicized speech arguing in favor of ecological responsibility and respect of Native Americans’ land rights had been attributed to him; however what he actually said has been lost through translation and rewriting.
The name Seattle is an Anglicization of the modern Duwamish conventional spelling Si’ahl, equivalent to the modern Lushootseed spelling siʔaɫ IPA: [ˈsiʔaːɬ]. He is also known as Sealth, Seattle, Seathl, or See-ahth.
Chief Seattle Quotes
1. All things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man… the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.
2. Youth is impulsive. When our young men grow angry at some real or imaginary wrong, and disfigure their faces with black paint, it denotes that their hearts are black, and that they are often cruel and relentless, and our old men and old women are unable to restrain them. Thus it has ever been.
3. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?
4. To us, the ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their resting place is hallowed ground.
5. When the last red man shall have perished from the earth and his memory among the white men shall have become a myth, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe. The white man will never be alone. Let him be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not powerless.
6. What is man without the beasts? For if all the beast were gone, man would die of a great loneliness of the spirit.
7. Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors – the dreams of our old men, given them in solemn hours of the night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.
8. Humans merely share the earth. We can only protect the land, not own it.
9. Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
10. My people are few. They resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain.
11. Revenge by young men is considered gain, even at the cost of their own lives, but old men who stay at home in times of war, and mothers who have sons to lose, know better.
12. Day and night cannot dwell together. The Red Man has ever fled the approach of the White Man, as the morning mist flees before the morning sun.
13. Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
14. Whatever Seattle says, the great chief at Washington can rely upon with as much certainty as he can upon the return of the sun or the seasons.
15. Our people are ebbing away like a rapidly receding tide that will never return. The white man’s God cannot love our people, or He would protect them.
16. Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless.