LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Chief Sealth's speech exposed as 'utter fiction'

[Regarding “Words that Haunt,” Oct. 23:] Several years ago, The Seattle Times exposed the most famous version of Chief Sealth’s speech as utter fiction and made a very strong case that Dr. [Henry] Smith embellished to the point of romantic nonsense what Sealth really said. 

As a Cowlitz Indian and former tribal councilman, I strongly support federal recognition for the Duwamish, but I cringe every time a well-meaning person drags out the mostly fictional text of Sealth’s speech. He deserves to be remembered as the man he was, not as a caricature of the “noble savage.”

Rod Van Mechelen

Olympia, Wash

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