How can you buy and sell the sky, heat, the earth?
The idea is strange to iis. We do not own the freshness of the air or the reflection on the water; how then can you buy tlieni front us?
We know that the white man does not understand our ways.
The white man is a stranger who takes front the earth what he needs.
The earth is not his brother blit his enemy.
When he has conquered it he moves on. Yet the earth does not belong to man. Man belongs to the earth, and all things share the same breath: animals, men, and trees. The white man’s appetite will devour the earth and leave nothing but a desert.
From an 1854 letter from Chief Seattle to President Franklin Pierce, on the proposed sale of Indian lands