Your religion was written on tablets of stone, by the iron finger of your God, lest you forget it. The red men could never remember it or comprehend it. Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors, the dreams of our old men, given them by the Great Spirit, and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.

Seattle (c. 1780-1866) Native American leader, statesman [Si'ahl, Sealth, Seathle, Seathl, See-ahth]
Treaty Oration, Seattle, Washington (11 Mar 1854)

A speech on a US Government offer to purchase the remaining Salish lands. This is from the version of the oration first recorded in a column by Dr. Henry A. Smith, Seattle Sunday Star (29 Oct 1887). Other versions of the speech exist, and there is some question as to whether the speech happened at all (see the linked source and here).

Added on 10-Jan-14 | Last updated 10-Jan-14
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