Activists Turn ILAT: Indigenous Languages and Technology Mailing List into Their Political Soapbox

The mission statement of I.L.A.T. the Indigenous Languages and Technology mailing list is stated on their website as follows:

Indigenous Languages and Technology (ILAT) discussion list is an open forum for community language specialists, linguists, scholars, and students to discuss issues relating to the uses of technology in language revitalization efforts.

Recently, however, a couple renegade scholars have been trying to shift emphasis away from ILAT’s mission and toward semi-relevant or largely irrelevant political issues, often with hateful undertones. For instance, on July 26th, 2011, Richard Zane Smith (Wyandotte) supported vandalizing the sign of a headshop that named itself Miigwetch, which is the Ojibwe word for thank you or that is enough, referring to satiety.

ahh! don’t we understand? we’re so slow!…the owners of the store where
“honoring” Anishanaabe!

I wonder what that sign would look like shot full of arrows?
it could be a way “to honor” the store owners

Richard Zane Smith
Wyandotte Oklahoma

Most recently, today, September 21, 2011, Rolland Nadjiwon (Blackfoot), sent out an article about the recent occupation of Wall Street, referring to U.S. citizens who are not of Native descent as ‘immigrants’.

Wonder what took so long…waiting for earth quakes and hurricanes maybe…eh… Some really great photo shots. I think they’re all immigrants since I couldn’t definitely identify any so called Native Americans…

rolland nadjiwon

This was just after he forwarded a plead to answer ‘no’ to a CityTV (Toronto) poll that asks if Muslims should have the right to pray in public schools, using it as an excuse to rant on religion.

Such issues have little to do with Native languages and their revitalization via technology in particular and thus distract focus from that goal.

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