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
Native California

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..."

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