"The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy
our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? 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 meadow,
every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of
We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood
that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is
part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer,
the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the dew
in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man all belong to the
The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just
water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you
must remember that it is sacred. Each glossy reflection in the clear
waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my
people. The water's murmur is the voice of my father's father.
The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our
canoes and feed our children. So you must give the rivers the kindness
that you would give any brother.
If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us,
that the air shares its spirit with all the life that it supports.
The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received
his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life.
So if we sell our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place
where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow
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.
Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo
are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when
the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many
men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted with talking wires?
Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And
what is to say goodbye to the swift pony and then hunt? The end of
living and the beginning of survival.
When the last red man has vanished with this wilderness, and his
memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will
these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit
of my people left?
We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother's heartbeat. So,
if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it,
as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land
as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children,
and love it, as God loves us.
As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth
is precious to us. It is also precious to you.
One thing we know - there is only one God. No man, be he Red man
or White man, can be apart. We are all brothers after all."