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‘Earth People’ and the

‘Earth People Philosophy’


Chief Seattle’s Speech of 1852

Chief Seattle’s Speech of 1852 - video

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Editor’s Notes on
‘Earth People’ Magazine

Contained in the pages of ‘Earth People’, is much information on a wide variety of themes, subjects, and philosophies. I stress that information must be understood to become "knowledge"1. Therefore I encourage readers to please contact me and discuss any uncertainties, and to PLEASE do not “Lock-on”2 to any beliefs or perceptions, but to stay open to other possibilities.

As one stays open to all possibilities, the actual possibilities within one’s own life and life’s circumstances will open up with much more choices in one’s life. Therefore one must be more responsible and respectful in making one’s choices, and in considering our responsibility and respect to “All Our Relations”3. And this can only be achieved by being “Aware”4, or open to all other possible meanings of any experience or information.

However, once information has become knowledge, the knowledge must then be applied to one’s “Living In Action”5, or day-to-day living, to become wisdom. And that is something that we all need to try to live up to, to teach by example!

My only hope, as editor, publisher, founder, visionary of ‘Earth People’ the magazine, not the philosophy, is that the information found in it will help you, who has been guided to read this, in all manner of health, help and growth.

HO! ‘MITAKUYE OYASIN’. (‘For All Our Relations’, or ‘We are All Related’).


1. See also ‘Earth People’ Volume 3 Number 2, ‘Learning and the Enemies of a Man or Woman of Knowledge’.

2. ‘Earth People’ Volume 4 Number 6 (Last Issue; not posted yet!) ‘Sitting Owl’s Editorial’. See article: 'Beliefs, Baggage, and Cellular Memory'.

3. See 'Mitakuye Oyasin' (All Our Relations).

4. One of the attributes of an Earth Person (below). ‘Earth People’ Volume 2 Number 3 ‘Sitting Owl’s Editorial. 

5. Basically Sitting Owl’s term for living your wisdom, something very hard to do, but worthwhile doing. In fact it is what we all need to be able to do, to bring real, genuine, innocent, and vibrant life into any and all of our life’s experiences, “so that we feel the rapture of being alive”. (See ‘Earth People’ Volume 1 Number 1 ‘Quotation from Joseph Campbell inside front cover’.)

‘Earth People’ and the

‘Earth People Philosophy’

Wallace Black Elk, in ‘Black Elk – The Sacred Ways of a Lakota’ by Wallace Black Elk and William S. Lyon, says:

"But we are the Earth People. We are steadfast and honest. We are true to our commitment, and we stay right in there. So the spirit comes to us.

"So with me it’s entirely different. Grandmother, she gave us this fire, and she gave us this rock, and she gave us this water, the rivers, lakes, and oceans, and she gave us all the green. She gave us a birth and a life. She put enough food here on this table [land], and she even put food inside the water. So those people that live in the water, they own that water. So they have the right to live there and eat the green. They breathe also…

"When this Earth Man goes to a bubbling brook, he just sits there and drinks and admires. He listens to that wind whistling through the green and talks about the beautiful philosophy of the Earth People. But if a scientist goes to that same place, the first thing he will think of is how to make that “damn” water work for him. He’ll want to put a dam there and a high-turbine generator. But the Earth Man will just sit there and listen to that bubbling brook and the wind. So that is our philosophy.

"The basis of the knowledge is the fire, rock, water, and green. But when that power was given to man, he used it to twist his own mind. Tunkashila gave man just one drop of that wisdom. But when you look up and see the power of Tunkashila, it’s huge. It’s immense. He wears a blue robe, and it’s a huge robe. In the centre of the heart of Tunkashila is that sun sitting up there. It’s sacred. It’s holy. We know he’s the director of the universe of universes, and everything is a circle. So we know that everything was a circle from the beginning… We also know that the power was placed here for man, but man twisted his mind and took that [fire/nuclear] power into his own hands. That was like a naughty kid, so Tunkashila is going to spank him for that.

"So man was given one drop of wisdom, one drop of knowledge, one drop of power, and one drop of gift or love (or talent). Tunkashila is the wisdom in itself. The knowledge is a woman, and we call it the Earth. We call it fire, rock, water, and green. So the basis of the knowledge is the fire. In our language we speak of the peta wicoicage – the “fire generation.” All the shapes and forms of life originate from the fire. In your scientific language you call it the atom. The rock we call Maka. Maka is the Earth. So we have Grandfather who is the wisdom and Grandmother who is the knowledge. But the wisdom and the knowledge are really one." (P. 36-37.)

From the Glossary:

Earth People. Black Elk’s term for all human beings who live the fundamental, spirit/nature-based philosophy (his “Earth People philosophy”) exemplified in earlier Native American cultures. Black Elk refers to himself as an “Earth Man”.

Wisdom, knowledge, power, and gift. In the Earth People philosophy, the successive operational levels of cosmic forces that give rise to all that exists. For example, the “rules of nature” would be included here as well as the “ways of the Creator.” Black Elk also uses the words love and talent as synonyms for gift. (As humans, we receive only one drop of each.)”

Courage, patience, endurance, and alertness. In the Earth People philosophy, the four main personal virtues one must have in order to be able to handle the Chanunpa.

Fire, rock, water, and green. In the Earth People philosophy, the four basic constituents that go to form everything in existence.

Inipi. The Lakota sweat-lodge (or stone-people-lodge) ceremony.

Stone-people-lodge. Black Elk’s preferred term for the Lakota sweat-lodge purification ceremony."

 Chief Seattle’s Speech of 1852

“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 this 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 my people.

“We know the sap which courses through 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 juices in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man, all belong to the same family.

“The shinning water that moves in the streams and the 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 ghostly 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 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 life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. So if we sell you 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 flowers.

“Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother. What befalls the earth befalls the sons of 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 it 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 sent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted by talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will the eagle be? Gone! And what is it to say good-bye to the swift pony and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

“When the last Red Man has vanished with his 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 all.

“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 brother after all."


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to here the shortened version of

Chief Seattle's Speech

spoken by Joseph Campbell


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