Monday, June 29, 2009

Indian View on Owning Land

This is a link to a letter sent by the native american, Chief Seattle, to the president of the United States in response to an offer to purchase his land. It addresses the idea of property and the native american view that land cannot be owned (we briefly touched on this during discussion today). The famous quote, "How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land?" comes from this letter...


Jim Tantillo said...

Unfortunately there is evidence that Chief Seattle never gave this speech, but rather that it was written in 1971 by a screenwriter named Ted Perry. See for example the entry at

Another possible example of ecological Indian myth-making? This would be another great term paper topic to explore.

Jacob K said...

yeah, i think that this letter was supposedly a "liberal" translation...i found other copies of the same letter which sounded much different and were harder to understand