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updated January 22, 2006

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Chief Seattle on Internet.

By Per-Olof Johansson

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Is this CHIEF SEATTLE'S SPEECH ?? Why miss it?
Who made Web of life?
National Museum of the American Indian
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Per-Olof Johansson, DK

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Anti hate speech

If hate is God
God hates you.
Hate is a poison,
It kills you, your family,
Your goal its self.
Hate create hate,
Makes hate your God.
If hate is God
God hates you.

c Per-Olof Johansson


Who knows, who owes the Chief Seattle photo?
Photo 1865 by E.M.Sammis.
Orignial at University of Washington Special Collection #NA 1511

This photo is brought to you from The Suquamish tribe

Even the one known photograph of him has been doctored repeatedly. In the original, his eyes were closed. Subsequent version were retouched so that his eyes looked open. In some versions, he carries a cane, but not always. And in the most revisionist makeover, his head has been grafted onto the body of another man.

Newsweek May 4, 1992 p 68 [subject] the Arts "Just Too Good to Be True: another reason to beware of false eco-prophets" by Malcolm Jones Jr. with Ray Sawhill

Internet represents the abundance of the information society. But it is to me a big question, whether or not it gives a more directly path to the truth. An old proverp in Danish says that no one listen to truth - and maybe it is the truth today too?
Quite a lot is still left to the reader.
Her comes an example: the speech of the Suquamish chief Seattle from about 1854.

Seattle has given his name to the town, but perhaps it should be spelled Seea-ath. He lived from around 1786/1787 until 1866. He gave in connection with negociations with USA 1854 a speech, which Dr. Henry Smith, who were on the spot, reproduced in Seattle Sunday Star many years later in fact 1887, based on his own notes.
In the 1970´s the speech became very famous in enviroments circles for its profetic sayings on the white mans destroying of nature, a fame which is only increased. UN spread it the world all over, its word is quoted on everything, from eucolocigal tea-packs to T-shirts. In Denmark too it came as book.

Unfortunately, the famous speech is not what was reproduced by Dr. Henry A. Smith i 1887.
This is the truth, and then why not admit, that we had been seduced.
Why not then throw the wrong text aside and concentrate the interest on the text by Smith? The Danish translaters words maybe represents the common excuse: I knew very well, that the speech could be a falsification, but I saw no problems in that. It is reasonable things, you read in that speech, and some people maybe should be a little more gentle in their hearts reading them, he said.

The fictious version of the speech was written about 1970 by Ted Perry as manuscript for an eviroment movie, which was to be made by Southern Baptist Convention.

He was at that time teaching at the University of Texas. He had no fraudulent intentions, but had simply been inspired by the speech of Seattle, which he although only used let us say to 10 %. In several parts he let chief Seattle say just the opposite of, what Henry A. Smith wrote.
The originator to the movie dropped however Ted Perrys name as an author, to give the speech a touch of autheticity.
And it is this fraud which is still alive, and now on Internet. Although it is well proofed, that Ted Perrys version has very little to do with what Seattle said and could have said!

This have been accessible knowledge at last in 15 years, but only the last few years has it gone so far, that the real speech show up together with the fiction!
This is, what you find on www too. You can at a few adresses find a reminiscense of the debate, but mostly the debate of the autenticity is brushed aside as unimportant. As you can understand, I do not agree!

Is this CHIEF SEATTLE'S SPEECH ?? Why miss it?

Web of life

The problems with the Ted Perry version is solved, but it is still in use as a reference. It is read as the opinion of a aboriginal people on the white man and on the white mans exploitation of resources of the world.
This lines in special:

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.

They do not belong to those 10 % as Ted Perry took from the Henry Smith version. Perhaps he made them himself? I do not think so. To me they sound like a quotation. Many people think the phrase “web of life” is made by Chief Seattle -- - alias Ted Perry. But it is not so. In The Dictionary of Phrase & Fables, from 1894 but reprinted 1993 by Wordsworth Edition you read:

What is important here is the reference to Antiquity. The consequences are, that this phrase “web of life” potentially could be found in a lot of European (and American) poetry. Therefore the lines by Ted Perry maybe are product of his own, based on trace of tradition. But to say that this words is special for the American Indian is apparently wrong.

If anyone should try to find out which lines inspired Ted Perry, I think you have to remember the lines ahead:

All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the earth,
befalls the sons and daughters of the earth.
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.

Beautiful lines, indeed, but remember: not by Chief Seattle.

Is this CHIEF SEATTLE'S SPEECH ?? Why miss it?

  Lost Words

I found a commentary by David Mc Laren under this title at http://www.alternativesjournal.ca/issues/291/291mclaren.pdf
in which he in special argues, that if chief Seattle never said the famous words:

This we know. 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.

then he could have said them.

We know, that Ted Perry wrote this words. You do not find them in the original article by Henry Smith on the speech of chief Seattle. What I discuss here is whether Perry him self put those words together, made at citation or was inspired of some old saying and which.

David McLare wrote:

Some say Chief Seathl never said it;
others say he did. But for Keeshig-Tobias
it doesn't matter, as long as the statement
accurately conveys the Native idea of
creation, and the place of human beings
in it.

Well, it is no crime to make a novel of the history of chief Seattle saying: 'It could have been like this, because I my self know, what the old people said and thought'. That's ok. But if you use fiction as fact and use the fiction as proof you are wrong, simply. And this is not a 'Eurocentric' point of view.
Well, I then would ask Ted Perry, what inspired you to those lines?
If the answer was some old European poetry, I admit, that this is not the same as to say, that natives in America could not share the same thought. But did Ted Perry use such a source, or did he only by accident have the right opinion of what could be said of a native mind?



Arbor Heights Elementary School in Seattle, Washington,

CHIEF SEATTLE'S 1854 ORATION On my request they now use as version 1 the text from Seattle Sunday Star . Internet Works! And now I see they have new links to the debate!


Lycos, Inc. Home Page you found in 1995 at least 10 places on www on the speech by chief Seattle.To day much more! But...use Google...

Here is some other links to use, with links to links to links.....:

Chief Seattle Bibliography

Links to Chief Seattle I

Links to Chief Seattle II

Metacrawler POJ search 1995 !

The NativeWeb Homepage:


A HISTORY OF THE NORTHWEST COAST - without any mention of chief Seattle, so far I can see. Please notice me, if you find it!

Earlier I found this via Native Web, but it disappeared, so here it comes:






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