Yellow Bird: Preserving culture through language
Monday, August 25, 2003

"My uncle, a prominent medicine man, died about 14 years ago. When he died, he took his knowledge of an important Sahnish or Arikara ceremony with him. He told several young men, who were trainees, that for him to teach them this ceremony, they needed to know the Sahnish language. They knew only "words" and not the speaking language.

The medicine man's refusal to teach his ceremony to these young men because they weren't fluent in the language resulted in his way of the ceremony being lost."

DORREEN YELLOW BIRD COLUMN: Saving culture depends on saving languages (The Grand Forks Herald 8/23)

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