This We Know

Jeffers, Ron
Jeffers, Ron
text attributed to Chief Seattle
Chief Seattle was nearly 70 years old in the Spring of 1855 when he signed the Point Elliot Treaty, a document which stripped his people of their ancestral home in the Puget Sound area of the northwest Pacific Coast. His tribe, the Duwamish, were a peaceful people with a rich culture tied closely to the plants and animals, air water and land that surrounded them. He said that day, "My people flee the white man as morning mist flees the rising sun. It matters little where we pass the rest of our days, they will not be many. Our night promises to be dark...a few more moons...a few more winters." After putting his name to the document, Chief Seattle rose to address the crowd. His simple, eloquent statement about the interdependence ofa ll life includes the text, This we know. (notes by Catherine Roma).