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screenwriter and educator who directed the Film Department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and has taught courses on film at several universities. He was the uncredited writer of a script about the environmental concerns of a fictitious Native American, for a film aired on ABC in 1972. Thus, he provided fictional words since known as Chief Seattle's speech.
Science Quotes by Ted Perry (1 quote)
The earth does not belong to us; we belong to the earth. All things are connected, like the blood which unites one family. Mankind did not weave the web of life. We are but one strand within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
— Ted Perry
Fictional speech from script for ABC TV movie, Home (1972). The words by the screenwriter were inspired from an Earth Day gathering in 1970, where Perry heard a historical account by physician Dr. Henry Smith. The doctor’s words were published in a Seattle newspaper, written up to 33 years after being present, when in Dec 1854 Chief Seattle made an impassioned speech, in the language of his own people, the Suquwamish. The Chief, with other tribal leaders, were meeting with the Territorial Governor who was trying to get them to sign away their lands and instead receive protection on a reservation. Dr. Smith may not have been fluent in the language of the Suquwamish, although he did make some notes at the time. But he wrote poetry, making embellishment or invention likely, so it is questionable whether his newspaper account is reliable in providing the Chief’s actual words. In turn, Perry has made clear that his script provided a fictional representation of the Chief. The televised quote, however became mythical, and is incorrectly passed along as attributed to Chief Seattle in 1854, but the truth is the words are contemporary, written by Perry, a screenwriter. Also seen as: “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”