Noah Seattle, Chief
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Photograph of Noah Seattle

Noah Seattle was born about 1790 near Puget Sound, in the northwest corner of the contiguous United States. He was chief of his tribe and of the alliance of tribes in his area. Faced with the incursion of white settlers, he chose peace rather than war, and offered the settlers friendship and assistance. He became a Christian, and instituted in his tribe a practice of communal prayers morning and evening, a practice continued after his death. In 1855 (being then about 65 years old), he signed a treaty ceding most of his tribe's ancestral lands to the settlers and moving his people north. On that occasion, he gave an eloquent and poignant speech in his native tongue on justice, and on love of and respect for the land. Portions of the speech are often quoted by environmentalists, though the translations vary and some of them may have been embroidered.

Another biography is at

written by James Kiefer


Almighty God, who in giving us dominion over things on earth have made us fellow workers in your creation: Grant us such wisdom and reverence toward you that, following the counsel and example of your servants Noah Seattle and Black Elk, we may so use the resources of nature that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.