How can you buy and sell the sky

The following is a story published in Rainbow Anthology Spring 1991 On page 74 on a page related to the 1973 Wyoming Rainbow Gathering. I found there are some good stories in these old papers so I would like to get some of them out in a format that people can enjoy it. I have transcribed this and have made my best effort to make sure that it was copied word for word from how it is printed in the book.

How can you buy and sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
If we do not own th efreshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, can can you buy them?
Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man.
The white man’s dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for its their mother of the red man. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony and man _ all belong to the same family.
So, when the Great Chief in Washington sends word he will to buy our land, he asks much of us. The Great Chief sends word reserve us a place so that we can live comfortably to ourselves. He will be our father and we will be his children. So we will consider your offer to buy our land. But it will not be easy. For this land is sacred to us.
This shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just the water but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you land, you must remember that it is sacred and you must teach your children that each ghostly reflection. In the clear water of the lakes tels of events and memories in the life of my people. The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father.
The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes, and feed our children. If we sell you our land you must remember, and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers, and yours and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would giver any brother.
We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of the land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves this fathers graves behind, and he does not care. He kid naps the earth from his children and he does not care. His fathers grave and his children’s birth are forgotten. He treats his mother, the earth, and his brother the sky as things to be bought, plundered sold like sheep or bright beads.His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert.
I do not know Our ways are different from your ways. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the red man. But perhaps It is because the red man is a davage and does not understand. There is no quiet place in the white mans’s cities. No place to hear the unfurtling of leaves in spring, or the rustle of the insects wings. But perhaps it is because I am a savage and do not understand, the clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whippoowill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night? I am a red man and do not understand. The indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of a pond, and the smell of the wind itself.
{In the original print someone hand wrote into the document “Section Missing” at this pont}

beasts of this land as his brothers.
I am a savage and I do not understand any other way. I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prarie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and I do not understand ho the smoking Iron horse can be more Important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.
What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a passing train> I am a savage and I do not understand how the smoking Iron horse can be more Important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.
What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great lonliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts soon happens to man. All things are connected.
You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught or children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.
This we know the earth does not belong to man. man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend cannot be exempt from the common destiny, We may be brothers after all We shall see. One thing we know wheich the white man may one day discover. Our God is the same God. You man think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land; but you cannot. He is the God of man, and His compassion is equal for the red man and the white man
. The earth is precious to Him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt to its Creator. The white too shall pass perhaps sooner than all other tribes. Contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.
But in your presisting you will shine brightly, fired by the strength of the God who brought you to this land and for some special purpose gave you dominion over this dand and over the red man. That destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffalo are slaughtered the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of the many men and the view of the ripe hills blotted by tapping wires. Where is the thicket? Gone Where is the eagle? Gone. The end of living and being is survival.

October 1st, 2016 by