How can you buy or sell the sky-the warmth of the land? The idea isstrange to us. We do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle ofthe water. How can you buy them from us? We will decide in our time.Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pineneedle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every humminginsect is holy in the memory and experience of my people."
"We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portionof the land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger whocomes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earthis not his brother, but his enemy and when he has conquered it, hemoves on. He leaves his father's graves behind and he does not care.He kidnaps the earth from his children. He does not care, hisfather's graves and his children's birthright is forgotten. Hisappetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the redman. But perhaps it isbecause the redman is a savage and does not understand."
"Our children have seen their fathers humbled in defeat. Our warriorshave felt shame. And after defeat they turn their days to idleness andcontaminate their bodies with sweet, food and drink. It matters littlewhere we pass the rest of our days-they are not many. A few more hours,a few more winters and none of the children of the great tribes thatonce lived on the earth, or that roamed in small bands in the woods,will be left to mourn the graves of a people once as powerful andhopeful as yours."
"Continue to contaminate your bed you will one night suffocate inyour own waste. When the buffaloes are all slaughtered, the wild horsesall tamed, the sacred concern of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires, where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone. And what is it tosay good bye to the swift and the haunt-the end of living and beginningof survival. We might understand if we know what it was that the whiteman dreams. What hopes he describes to his children on long winternights, what visions he burns into their minds, so that they all wishfor tomorrow."
The letter is a reflection of how the old men already knew what the white man was upto except that the definition of the white man has probably changed.