What does Chief Seattle mean by the statement that "day and night cannot dwell together"? speech on signing of the treaty of port elliot

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Please realize that this speech was only written down 30+ years after it was actually given so we have no way at all of knowing if the chief actually said these things...

What he means here is that the Indians and the whites cannot live together.  He is saying that the Indians are night and the whites are day.

By this, he means that the Indians are the people of the past.  He is saying that their time has gone and that now they have to get out of the way for the white people.  The white people are the people whose time is coming.

So he is essentially saying that the Indians are a people of the past and that the past and the future cannot live together.