“When the green hills are covered with talking wires and the wolves no longer sing, what good will the money you paid for our land be then”
“If all the beasts were gone,
men would die
from a great loneliness of spirit,
for whatever happens to the beasts
also happens to the man.
All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the Earth
befalls the sons of the Earth.”
Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as the swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.
How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?
There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring, or the rustle of an insect’s wings.
You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground they spit upon themselves. This we know. The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to earth. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. 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.
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