Chief Seattle / Seathl
From the speech of Chief Seathl / Ted Perry1854
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 sap which courses through the trees carries the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man.
The white man’s dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful Earth, for it is the mother of the red man. 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 in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and the man, all belong to the same family.
All things are connected, like the blood that unites our family. If we kill the sakes, the field mice will multiply and destroy our corn. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does it to himself.
From the version of Ted Perry that recreated the speech of Chief Seattle (Seathl), 1854. It has been published in several versions since the 1970s, when it became wildely known, and translated in many languages.
The Chief Seathl spoke in lushootseed, a language that has been about to be extinguished. His words had to be translated into Chinook and then into English. The chinook was a language known to Colonel Benjamin H. Shaw, interpreter of Governor Stevens, to who the speech was addressed, as the representative of the ‘Grand Chief of Washington’