|This charming photo is from|
Linda’s Web site
But the good news is that you can still watch it online here. It is deeply informative, both for what Linda has to say (always interesting to listen to a far-seeing person) and for the sometimes odd and revealing questions from both the interviewer and the call-in audience.
Here’s an example. A caller, who teaches Navajo children, said she found it fascinating that Navajo children had difficulties with writing “correct English” because they couldn’t translate concepts from their own language into English. She asked if Linda’s language (Chickasaw) had any words that “should be in the English dictionary.”
Linda’s answer eventually returned to the dictionary question (the concepts such words articulate, she said, probably “wouldn’t fit” into an English dictionary), but on the way she had this to say about the Navajo language:
The Navajo language is the most complex language, I think, in the world. […] You have more verbs in Navajo than we have in the entire English language. And so the concepts aren’t translatable because they’re more complex. So, when I think about that, I think about how the mind works with that much more language in it. When you have different concepts that you cannot translate, you can’t possibly … that’s why it’s so hard to get the Western thought system and indigenous thought systems to meet, because the way of thought is so different.
Most white Americans would probably bristle at this suggestion, if only because we view our categories of thought as objective and “true” in some fundamental way. We can get into fistfights over theism vs. atheism, for example, when these categories almost certainly have nothing to do with any external reality. My impression is that Western thought, by comparison with indigenous thought, is rigid and detached—or maybe “detaching” is a better way to say it, because it divides individuals so firmly from Nature and from their own natures…..
Anyway, the interview is consistently thought-provoking, and I highly recommend it!