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Nancy:

The only reason that the todays modern Navajo tribe has not physically
eliminated the Hopi tribe and its Language is the physical force inherent in
the US Government.  And I do  mean physical elimination and physical force.
The Hopi are a Puebloan people whose reservation is inside the Navajo
reservation.  As far as the Navajo are concerned the Hopi are trespassers
and  pests and should be gone, permently gone,  along with their language
culture and identity.  I assume that you consider it proper for "We" to act
and prevent this forceful elimination of language.

You seem to think that a language can exist for long outside of its culture.
As you stated in your post you want identity, language, culture,  retention
but no cradle boards, fleas  and I suppose raiding on Puebloans.  As the
young people of the Navajo absorb more and more of the greater culture less
and less of them speak Navajo.   It might even be said that a world view
that celebrates the individual (liberal) is antithetical to the value
structure that supports a tribal language. Today a Navajo's only need for
his/her language is within the context of the tribe and the reservation.  As
they absorb more and more of the greater culture they feel more and more
uncomfortable within the traditional roles the tribe expects of them.  As
the individuals drift further and further away so does the language.   I do
find the politically correct set speech one hears concerning the Native
American annoying.  The problem is extremely complex and made even more so
by the platitudes of the people who are willing to understand only within
certain contexts.  I am sure that the rationals of the English imposition of
language were as complex as the rationals for the eradication of all Native
people of Newfoundland  by those Scots and Irish imigrants and the forced
migration of my ancestors by those same imigrants into New England and
Louisiana.  And as complex as the foreign relations of the Navajo and Hopi
tribes.

Rick Seddon
McIntosh, NM, USA
-----Original Message-----
From: Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thursday, March 22, 2001 11:24 AM
Subject: Re: Dans le Restaurant and the Commedia


Dear Rick,

You keep writing as if I had ever suggested that "we" should impose the
retention of ancient culture often, as you note and of course I know,
derived
from previous conquerors.  I never said anything like that.  I spoke against
the forcible and brutal imposition of one language to displace another and
the genocide of one group by another.  I stand by what I wrote.  Since none
of what you say has anything to do with that, and since I have never
suggested what you are arguing against, I don't know what you want me to
understand or acknowledge.  For one thing, it is not "we" who have any
right to decide, whoever "we" are.
Nancy