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Emerging from out of the Margins

Essays on Haida Language, Culture, and History


Fredericke White

This book provides an insider view of Haida language, history, and culture, and offers a perspective on Haida culture that comes not only from external research but also from intimate knowledge and experiences the author has had as a Haida Nation citizen. The book’s focus on language – past, present, and future – allows insight into the Haida language documentation and revitalization process that will benefit other cultures currently addressing similar issues with their language. Being able to write and discuss Haida culture as an insider affords the opportunity to instantiate the role of a First Nations scholar including the intricacies involved in having a voice about one’s own culture and history. A First Nations person publishing a book about his or her own culture is a rare opportunity. However, such publications will become more common as other indigenous scholars and writers emerge from other margins around the world.
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9. Revisiting Haida Cradle Song 67


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Revisiting Haida Cradle-Song 67


The significant development concerning traditional Native American literature and Native American cultural research has invoked attention to the intricacies of Native languages that previously had been ignored, if even considered at all (Basso 1984; Bringhurst 2002; Hymes 1981; Kroeber 1981; Kroskrity 1986; Swann 1992; Tedlock 1972). This attention has sparked a review of the volumes amassed during the early part of this century by the premier anthropologist Franz Boas and his protégés (1911, 1922). This return—to the texts gathered by Boasians as well as other collections—is replete with stories and songs of the tribes of North America.

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