In his "Environmental Statement", Chief Seattle describes the vastly different
way his people see nature from the way that the white men see it. He warns that
the white men attempting to buy the land his people live on do not know the
importance of what they ask for. He explains that God, the land, the water, the
plants, the animals, and man are a close-knit family with a relationship
requiring more respect and reverence than the white men give. The white men's
offer of purchase is considered, but only after Seattle drops a few warnings and
suggestions. He suggests that the white men treat the land and water as they
would a close relative. He warns them not to take the land for granted lest they
leave it unusable. He begs them to appreciate the clean air and the life it
supports. He encourages them to love Mother Nature as much as his people do. He
tells them not to treat the earth as if they own it, for the opposite is true.
Moreover, he states, they can't go on living as if they own God. The result of
such actions, he fears, will be the end of being a part of nature and it's
wonders and the beginning of merely being.