Language is the Soul of a Nation
"Languages are a part of the Sovereignty Bundle and must be protected and cared for as tribes care for our rivers, land, sacred places, and our
inalienable rights to govern ourselves"
Gloria Emerson, Navajo
"Okay, you children listen. If he won't tell you, then I must. You must know your language first. Yes, we must know the white man language
to survive in this world. But we must know our language to survive forever."
Darryl Babe Wilson
Of the original 300 plus distinct languages of North America, only 155 survive today. It is possible that by the year 2000, fewer than 45 of those
original languages will exist and with the passing of each elder, the loss of this precious knowledge and wisdom is comparable to the burning of a library.
..."I think that an important human purpose is
the fullest use of the mind in creating intellectual wealth or products of intellectual labor An enabling condition for this is linguistic and cultural diversity, since it is that condition above all
others that permits the exploration of the widest range of paths of creation. A mere glance around the world tells us this is so. Thus, the loss of a language is a certain tragedy for the human purpose, not just locally, but the human purpose in general. And the loss of language, if it can be prevented, must be prevented..."