O Great Spirit,
whose breath gives life to the world,
and whose voice is heard in the soft breeze:
We need your strength and wisdom.
Cause us to walk in beauty. Give us eyes
ever to behold the red and purple sunset.
Make us wise so that we may understand
what you have taught us.
Help us learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.
Make us always ready to come to you
with clean hands and steady eyes,
so when life fades, like the fading sunset,
our spirits may come to you without shame.
Traditional Native American Prayer
The United Methodist Hymnal, 329
Praying Our History
Seattle was chief of the Suquamish and Duwamish Indians of the Puget Sound area. He converted to Christianity as a youth. When more whites moved to the Northwest and conflict between them and the Native Americans increased, Chief Seattle was the first to accept movement to the Port Madison Reservation.
Chief Seattle was a peace-seeker and a friend to white people during periods of intense hostility and conflict. Most likely, he was wise enough to foresee the fate of his people under oppression and occupation and wanted to spare them unnecessary disruption and death.
In one account of a speech to Governor Stevens, Seattle said, "I will not dwell on, nor mourn over, our untimely decay. It matters little where we pass the remnants of our days. They will not be many. Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him as friend with friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny."
Chief Seattle died on June 7, 1866.
Creator of all tribes, people and colors, journey with us now into the wider world. Scatter us to the four directions that we might live and love as your children. Let us be a blessing to every path we may cross, and bring us back together when the time is right. Amen