Category → Chief Seattle
– Earth Democracy – by Vandana Shiva of India– (an excerpt)
Earth Democracy is both an ancient worldview and an emergent political movement for peace, justice, and sustainability. Earth Democracy connects the particular to the universal, the diverse to the common, and the local to the global. It incorporates what in India we refer to as (vasudhaiva kutumbkam (the earth family) — the community of all beings supported by the earth. Native American and indigenous cultures worldwide have understood and experienced life as a continuum between human and nonhuman species and between present, past, and future generations. A 1848 speech attributed to Chief Seattle of the Suquamish tribe captures the continuum. __________________________________________________________________________
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 the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?
Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man.
This we know; the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know, All things are connected like the blood which unites our family. All things are connected. — Chief Seattle, 1848
In my view of our “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” — the first and most basic step is to secure the sovereignty and therefore local, sustainable, indigenous management and control of our own food, air, and water supplies.