How does Seattle justify his religion as opposed to what the white men had said about it?
Chief Seattle also responds to the charge of “godlessness” circulated by the conquerors by comparing his religion with Christianity. He exclaims, ‘Your God is not our God! Your God loves your people and hates mine! … If we have a common Heavenly Father He must be partial, for He came to His paleface children. We never saw Him. He gave you laws but had no word for His red children.’
These statements highlight the absurdity of expecting the American Indians, having been isolated from the Europeans for thousands of years, to have adopted the same religion. In place of Christianity, Seattle introduces the religion of his people: “Our religion is the tradition of our ancestors… ” . He points out several areas in which his religion is superior to Christianity. He says, “Your religion was written upon tablets of stone… so that you could not forget… Our religion… is written in the hearts of our people”. Similarly, “Your dead cease to love you… Our dead never forget this beautiful world thai gave them being”. These comparisons pose a direct challenge to the earlier portrayals of the Indians as godless and devil-worshiping. Furthermore. Chief Seattle also responds to the Euro-American belief that the Indians had no claim to the land by expressing their profound attachment to it. He declares, “The very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to [our] footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors.” In direct opposition with Euro-American representations, Seattle demonstrates that the Natives, like the Europeans, have a complex religion and culture.