“Our dead never forget the beautiful world that gave them being. They still love its winding rivers, its great mountains and its sequestered vales, and they ever yearn in tenderest affection over the lonely hearted living and often return to visit and comfort them.”

— Chief of Seattle, 1854..

The history of the United States is a bloody one; massacres, the genocide of the native Indians, racial subjugation of the blacks and forcing them into slavery are a few subjects to name. One particular chapter in American history that still has to be appropriately focused on is the study on the Native Americans. Were they like other lesser civilisations that knew no learning and culture? At least, this is how the official textbooks may tell us. But, as recent studies reveal, these people were not only cultured, but they had and still have a deep love for mother earth. Chief Seattle’s speech eloquently expressed the natives’ fondness for mother earth and nature in 1854. Seattle was a public leader, the Chief of the native American Suquamish and Duwamish tribes. His speech was a response to the American government’s land treaty to buy the native lands proposed by Isaac Stevens, Governor of Washington Territory. Every word of the Chief’s response to the government’s proposal is full of wisdom. It is this timeless wisdom of the natives that even today, this speech is the primary text that many environmental conservation groups use as their guide. Perhaps we all need to read the words of Chief to prepare ourselves better to fight the climate change.