November 2007


 

“To say or to do? I think that’s the question at hand.”

~ Hippo86, Comment 25

the sordid process of nation creation and occupation

 

In mad raving? I take the first-year students to task on this very point.

 

most of them reiterated (as noted by junior likeboldcolors, Comment 17) the WHAT or WHY of the assignment rather than experimenting with the HOW. I believe that they understand what comes next in a real conversation (instead of this artificial one in the educational frame of simply answering the teacher’s obvious (?) and boring (?) question), but the actual shift from accustomed form (give the teacher what she wants) to active engagement (independent, individual thought about the content, in this case, the internationally recognized national independence of Hawai’i) has not yet occurred.

 

Likewise, most of the juniors responded to the assignment with some assumption (apparently) of writing whatever they wanted. Well – yes and no. There were three specific elements, the successful completion of which required a certain labor of reading, thoughtfulness, and construction of a coherent response. Most comments follow a similar theme (without naming that they are doing so, leaving me to wonder about their level of conscious attention). Only one student provided the requested “map” of the conversation among the (approximately) thirty-five participants in the conversation. About half the juniors “added” something, although the relevance of the addition is questionable: mere opinion? Random firing of neurons in a thought that felt smart? What are the relevant criteria? kmb04 appreciates learning although is convinced none of our course activities have anything to do with writing (Comment 27).

 

These are tricky matters.

 

elr6 dispenses with the formal task completely and addresses redbeardthewriter (Comment 10) directly:

I like how you have distilled conversations, rhetoric, and ideas. I think you’re right on the money when it comes to “ideas […] do not [end]”. I also appreciate the distinction between old ideas and new ideas. My own thoughts on this subject have turned toward a more fluid process of idea generation and evolution. It’s not always about new ideas overcoming old ideas in revolution. Sometimes (if not always), progressive ideas are just products of old ideas. I suppose we agree that it is the conflict between ideas that allows for a “new idea” to be created. Cause and effect is very relevant here. We would never get anything done if we all agreed. But we really don’t need to worry about that ever happening, eh? (Comment 26)

Now, I have to take elr6 to task because he has “done” (instead of “said”) so well (!) that the conversation is practically private. Who else can enter? Any of us can – I hope some of you will! – but joining has been made difficult by the lack of explanation, absence of context, and void of application of the theoretical to the practical. There is a subject at hand! At least two: nation creation/occupation, and writing effectively.

 

Relevance: The context is never absent: are you “in” and aware of it, writing “to” (within or against) its boundaries?

 

Saying as doing: I am not going to pounce on Hippo’s classic error too hard: language is action, speech or writing no less a force than the crass and brutal forms of murder or setting oneself on fire. The distinction is in effect, and the effects are determined more by those who listen (or ignore) than those who say. Want evidence?

I found the intertwining of all these quotes comforting to see. As volatile as Hawaiin Occupation/independence be, the topic can without a doubt lead to some hot discussion as well as debate. Who really occupied who? Who’s at fault? Who the hell cares? It was very intriguing to see how all these opinions/statements can blend into one conversation and make it out alive. It’s a shame so many politcal debates about US occupation don’t end up the same way (Rocketsredflair, Comment 23).

Meanwhile, some comments function as teasers or incomplete tangents. likeboldcolors mentioned “a penetrating effect on our classes” of “research presented in the film [The Larsen Case]” (Comment 17) but did not elaborate… I am left wondering, with my mind grasping to make connections. Is this related to the “it” in anon136’s statement: “It also says something about the power of information and the power of information leading to change” (Comment 18). What is the “something” that is said? What is the distinction between “power of information” and “power of information leading to change”? I very much want to know. 🙂 Can connections be drawn – made! – among these notions (penetration, effect, power, information, change) and the comfort of synthesis? Can connections be made with redbeardthewriter and elr6’s conversation about old and new ideas, cause/effect, fluidity, conflict, progress?

 

Finally, ciaobella says “we will never escape Babel!!” (Comment 20). Why not? 🙂

For some reason, this post along with shininginthewind’s resonse of, “…she [Steph] shows the conversation between her two classes on the same topic. She brings together two groups of people who have never met and show how people have learned from each other,” remind me of Babel.

Well well well. How so? 🙂

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“A good conversation,” says redbeardthewriter, “has new ideas and old ideas working together” (Comment 10, the sordid process of nation creation and occupation).  I had hoped that more of the first-year students would take what they realize is the next step and “add to a conversation and expand not only the audience’s view but also ours” (Comment 3, Unknown 29), yet most of them reiterated (as noted by junior likeboldcolors, Comment 17) the WHAT or WHY of the assignment rather than experimenting with the HOW.  I believe that they understand what comes next in a real conversation (instead of this artificial one in the educational frame of simply answering the teacher’s obvious (?) and boring (?) question), but the actual shift from accustomed form (give the teacher what she wants) to active engagement (independent, individual thought about the content, in this case, the internationally recognized national independence of Hawai’i) has not yet occurred.

“The next step could possibly be bringing up opinions on more politicized issues, to really get the pot stirring,” suggests balderdash1 (Comment 7).  A few students did venture – briefly – into this territory.  Ajch admits, ““I personally don’t know how to reply to this blog. I still don’t fully understand the conflict between the Hawaiian Nationals and the United States” (comment 5).  An option for continuing the conversation would have been to express the points of confusion, explaining what is difficult or as yet unclear. This would accomplish what treschouette suggests:  “To make people understand where we come from we must relate to their ideas and explain our own in terms that they are comfortable with” (Comment 8).  Telling us about the experience of “confusion” only gives us information, while identifying the source or point(s) of confusion invites continued talking.

Winglsammi went further along the path of a next step: “The United States tries to hide up the negative history, in order to let the United States citizens be proud of their coutries, be patriot” (comment 13).  This is new in the development of our conversation to date because winglsammi attributes intention (“tries to hide”), a value (“negative”), and motive “(to let…citizens be proud”).  What is old in our conversation fits the definition given by redbeardthewriter: “…If people only say the same things over and over to the same audience, it becomes commonplace, annoying…” (Comment 10).  Imagine my position (“the same audience”), reading essentially the same answer over, and over – even from previous blogpost assignments to this one!  I am not upset, because I understand the conditioned response to teacher-assigns-homework-to-students, but I am a bit dismayed at the depth of indoctrination.  I even wrote – to prompt you in the direction of taking next steps:

Now what? Does the conversation end with the articulation of varying points-of-view, different capacities for hope, and limits to imagination? Or do we find a way to carry on talking a new kind of talk based on learning the diversity of opinion and complexity of obstacles? Shall we go through the motions, saying all the things that have already been said over-and-over again, or shall we find ways to say things that have not yet been uttered – and keep saying them until they lead to change?

Pylee’s comment combines elements of ajch’s not-knowing-how and winglsammi’s evaluation:  “The history between the Hawaii and America, was a mysterious to us since we do not know which side is right and which side is wrong.However, through the reference and the historical effects, we can see that how it works, how the system works and how the people feel in the issue” (Comment 14).  If you do not experience a sense of mystery when you read about new things, then you may want to inquire about your own sense of curiousity: when, where, and how does it arise?  Conversely, when, how, and why does your mind go numb?  Redbeardthewriter (Comment 10) is on to something important with the distinction between old and new ideas, the element of time (as in longevity), and the attachments that develop. Sorting out areas of agreement and disagreement for change and preservation is the task of dialogue, a task that grows more complicated with entrenchment (longevity) and variety of viewpoints.

Of course, as balderdash1 appears to critique, continuing to take next steps “would generate a ridiculous amount of conversation” (Comment 7).  Hmmmm.  Ridiculous?  What if I say mjollnir89 is right?  I am “indicating that even our words can be used as a source, are important enough to use, valuable enough to form an argument around” (Comment 11).  Why would I believe this and aim to convince you to recognize the value and power of your own words?  Many of you realize that I am teaching skills that are useful beyond researching an academic paper.  Why? PbandJelly21’s idea gets at part of the reason: “Either you will conversate until it leads to change, or you conversate and nothing comes of it but getting your opinion out there, which is a win win situation” (Comment 15).  Another part is the connection itself – as long as we are talking we are in some kind of relationship with each other.  A third part is that talking or not talking about a particular thing establishes value in relation to that thing.  From this perspective, there is no such thing as “a distant issue that has no real impact on our lives” (Comment 11, mjollnir89).  Although mjollnir’s notion that I may “just be summarizing our mad raving” is food for thought.  ☺

“Both sides suffer.”

I do not recall, now, who said this to me during the Dialogue under Occupation conference that ended yesterday at Al Quds university in the West Bank. She was referring to Palestinians and Israelis. The same could be said of any situation involving violence, whether systematic in nature (by policy) or apparently random (individual emotion). Violence is evidence of encounters between institutionalized limits and human (in)capacities.

A month ago, during midterm examinations, there was a bomb scare at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I (temporarily) teach writing to first-year students of all majors and third-year students majoring in Communication. Both classes have regular assignments to write in weblogs, either their own or responding to something I or other students have written. I am trying to shape the skills of starting and continuing important conversations through modeling and practice.

“People need to adapt to cultures and changes in society because the future will not slow down for anyone. Our discussion, like no other class I have ever been in, is not discussed face-to-face but literally through wires and appears in a blog where I can see fellow classmates input, written and not spoken” (ConfusionisEasy, Comment 10).

The contrast between the threat of violence at a university in the U.S.and the threat of violence anywhere in Israel/Palestine could hardly be greater. A series of assignments has led to a question challenging students in the junior class on Writing as Communication to integrate three apparently different “texts”: the film Babel, our curricular engagement with the concepts of “writing as communication” and “communication as culture,” and what first-year students wrote about their experience of the bomb scare. Approximately one third of the students in the first-year writing course mentioned the bomb scare as a figurative event in their day; the remaining two-thirds did not. This ratio is information, but I do not know what the statistic means – if it means anything at all.

The juniors have done a great job with this assignment. 🙂 I am proud.  Students had the most to write about the film in comparison with the ritual concept of communication (as culture) and the new information in the post, serendipity: we have spent more time thinking and writing about the film. “We’re learning to ask questions at the right times and right places, and our discussion shows it” (metalcircus, Comment 11).

Rocketsredflair conveys a certain mood, “After being in Steph’s class for what, 20 years?…” (Comment 6), concerning the labor of learning. 🙂 Ciaobella draws out rocket’s implication of the passage of time:

“In regards to Babel, I believe that this course was carefully planned out around it. The movie haunts us; we watch it one day, then a month later, what do you know, it’s back on again! Finally, another good chunk of time later, we finish it. Watching Babel in increments illustrates the way in which the writing process works. You take steps, ask questions, target an audience, everything is done through phases, just as the movie was” (Babelbabelbabel…BLAH).

Hippo86 suggests, “By not seeing the entire film at once, every time we go back to it we have no choice but to ask questions” (Comment 9). “[W]atching this movie has taught us about looking for clues when they are not so visible and clear cut. Anything can be read for social, cultural, and communication cues” (anon136, Comment 1). Not only this, but “…the signs that do exist in the world of babel, are often misunderstood by someone” (elr6, Comment 8). Metalcircus says Babel is “a valuable film to view…as it threw at us communication in every way possible: day to day dialogue, global communication, even communication without words” (Comment 11).

Elarsix elaborates, “Why does babel keep coming up?…because babel presents gigantic miscommunications on a global scale (Comment 8). “[A]n important thing to focus on in relations to the movie Babel and our curriculum’s need for semiotics,” writes hippo86, “is the general human need to be understood; to get their meaning across” (Comment 9).

“The discussion between … topics is based on what links them” (Carmella7, Comment 2). The skill of asking about and recognizing the linkages is improving (hopefully right in time, hehe, for the final papers!) “[Now],” writes shininginthewind, “many people actually undersatnd the meaning between writing, communication, and culture” (Comment 3). As for the bomb scare, “”…there was alot of un answered questions the day of the “bomb scare” in herter….all our reactions to this scare where different and the Eng112 class are learning to ask these underlying questions where as our class is helping in defining them” (Carmella7, Comment 2). Shining continues, “Writing is a form of communication and communication is differet based on the culture it comes from. At the same time however, Communication can also change a culture” (Comment 3). As I emphasize repeatedly (!), writing itself – the expression of thoughts or feelings – is not enough: “Without the feedback from others my writing is nothing (kmb04, Comment 4).

All feedback is information. As with any information, the feedback itself means nothing until we interact with it: “I’ll be completely honest. I do not see a discussion within ‘Babel for COM375.’ What I see is people blogging very similar things, but not participating in the understanding of the topic as a community” (elr6, Comment 8). I agree completely. Assignments are just that, tasks to satisfy the teacher that learning is actually happening. There is an analysis of the word “discuss” in a book called Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together. The author, William Isaacs, diagrams the concussive nature of words said (or written) that bounce off of each other like billiard balls on a pool table. He probably got this idea originally from quantum physicist, David Bohm.

What matters, pedagogically, is “…the aknowledgement of different forms of communication and how they can all be fitted nicely together despite their differences” (rocketsredflair, Comment 6). Babel illustrates this, as “…people from different areas of the world effect eachothers lives by only two peoples interaction when an exchange of a rifel as a gift of thanks changes fifteen others lives” (confusioniseasy, Comment 10). The meaningfulness of such chaotic interactions is up to us to decide. “There are no Jobs. I know more and more people who graduate and end up working in coffee shops and restaurant kitchens. Seriously, WTF? Not only is America going nowhere, it’s getting flushed down the tubes” (elr6, Comment 8). The problems loom large; what are we going to do about them?

Notes:

The “comments” cited throughout are all to the single post, serendipity? capturing a moment.

The title of this post, “connected by a single gun,” is a quote from hippo86 (Comment 9) paraphrasing Aisforastronaut (Context is Key in Babel).

In the comments that follow, students from a major U.S. university reflect on writing about the situation in Israel/Palestine.

As you know by now, language matters. The words you choose and the tone you convey impress your audience in particular ways. Some of these effects can be learned and anticipated – to be used on purpose (logos, pathos, ethos) – and others will occur accidentally, unintended as “meaning” but meaningful nonetheless.

mrcapatiiller wrote about being quoted poorly, “I think my response was taken out of context or not very well used as I was just expressing my frustration” (random act of kindness, “we are all researching to fight for something” Comment 18).

It was one of those (damn!) unspecified pronouns that got us (me as writer, you as audience, and mrcapatiller as source) in trouble. The direct, exact, quote included an unspecified pronoun, which I ‘filled in’ with the referents that the context seemed to indicate. Some students read an equation of ‘legalization of marijuana’ being somehow ‘equal’ with ‘Hawaiian independence.’ I read the original statement as frustration and thought that the context of the paragraph in which I wrote clearly indicated the comparison I was making between those feeling optimism (social change is possible), those experiencing disbelief (Hawai’i is not a state of the U.S.?!), and the few who admitted a sense of helplessness.

One of the decisions you need to make as a writer is whether you want to want to understand the role of your words in a larger conversation. mrcapatiller’s statement by itself, in the bit published in response to an assignment, became important through its contrast with other statements.

Now, here is the original quote in its entirety. Do you see the context? and the problem in quoting it?

Laws and Lawyers and Legislation and stuff like that make me want to go live in the woods, much like how my project is making me feel. There is just so much red tape to everything these days u cant just kill someone with a bigger stick and say tough shit its my way now. I mean I’m not very big but I still think I’d be happier with our legal system if it worked that way. I feel bad for the Hawaiian nationalists that want to free Hawaii from America just like I feel bad for myself for wanting to legalize pot because it wont ever happen even though it is so obviously the right thing to do. maybe I’ll just go get a big stick and tell the Hawaiians to join me.

~ mrcapatiller, November 6, 2007

And, my citation in context:

unknown29 wrote “research is a really important step in writing…if we want to write something purposeful we have to do good research and apply the rhetorical situation to it” (comment #5). pbandjelly noted, “Everything that was presented with evidence…The speakers knew their case very well and any question that was asked of them they had a quick comeback and good support for waht they had to say” (comment #2).

mrcapatiller, though, is bumming: “Laws and Lawyers and Legislation and stuff like that make me want to go live in the woods….because it [Hawaiian independence, legalization of marijuana) wont ever happen even though it is so obviously the right thing to do” (comment #6). -( Why is mrcapatiller’s response so different than mjolliner89, who claims: “It was a relief to see the success of their hard work and solid belief. This case gives me … the knowledge that with earnest and quality research, lives can be changed (comment #12).

Stephanie Jo Kent, November 6, 2007

So now, what options? Could I have written it differently?  Could you (readers) have read what I wrote differently?  Could the original author have written differently?  Of course any of these changes “could” have been, but they weren’t, and so – in that situation – what do we do next?  What do we (you!) learn from this that you can share as advice or observation for me and each other?

 

There are literal and metaphorical walls. First-year writing students respond to watching Pink Floyd’s The Wall, answering these questions:

  1. Why watch the rest of this movie now?
  2. What sense can you make of a movie made in the 1960s about WWII having some relevance (or not) for us forty years later?

“It is very upsetting to think that the Hawaiians must be unsure of their national identity” (w26s1, Comment 2).

“I never knew the history of the United State’s occupation of Hawaii and now that I do, I am somewhat bothered” (keithjagger, Comment 11).

Checkbox (quoted in the title, Comment 9) concisely summarizes an historical dynamic. Pedagogically, I am trying to operate on several levels, simultaneously modeling practical writing skills, laying groundwork for (a chance of) spontaneous dialogue, and enacting both a lived/living (organic) relationship among students and teacher (who is also a learner), and between the university setting’s “container” and the public sphere (i.e., the rest of the real world).

Aisforastronaut describes the learning activity:

“We are all researching to fight for something,” is an interesting and powerful post if you know the context. We learned about Hawaiian Independence in class through a film, and the freshman writing students had to post comments about it. Our job (the juniors) is to figure out what else Steph’s post might mean. There is a lot that can be taken out of this. Right now, Steph’s two writing classes are working on research papers. Through this post Steph showed how to take other people’s words and using them to develop an argument and present information by using citations (by crediting them). Steph just took words and ideas (research) from students’ comments to make a meaningful post that ties many possibilities together (Comment 5).”

Relevance of Good Research

At the practical level, balderdash found it “interesting how the post created a conversation with student blog posts instead of factual documents upon which usual arguments are based” (Comment 27). Students noticed specific skills and conditions necessary for writing a good research paper:

“To write a good research paper we also need a lot of resources,“ says pylee (Comment 31), a sentiment echoed in the vernacular by treschouette as the “need to do ‘hella’ research” (Comment 21). This means “you need to know the facts!” (anon136, Comment 1), “[recap] everyone’s opinions” (ajch, Comment 26), and be selective by “pick[ing]the best line” (unknown29, Comment 19). E388 summarizes: “With every argument, there are different sides, and with that comes the different reasonings why we each favor one side over the other” (Comment 22). “In this type of a situation, an informative argument,” explains mjollnir89, “…conciseness and accuracy are the most important aspects. The arguing party is in charge of garnering massive amounts of information and sifting through it to obtain the useful facts and combining them into a logical train of thought” (Comment 29). The most pithy argument of the need for good research came from confusioniseasy:

“You need to understand information on all levels and sides,

so if something is thrown at you, you are

not squashed like a bug and look like a fool”

(Comment 15).

Adding to a Conversation

With respect to laying a foundation for further dialogue, students’ respond by summarizing and reflecting on the specific example of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s case to the World Court, displaying different points-of-view, as well as critique the case (debating the merits of the Hawaiian nationals’ argument) and the activity (its effectiveness as a teaching tool). Beginning with the critique of the pedagogical method:

“[The DVD] was hard for us to watch…because it was assumed that we had more information than we did” (redsoxfan218, Comment 23). Keithjagger presented a different side: “the DVD on Hawaii was good in the fact that it showed us there is something to be learned from the manner in which the Hawaiians argued their case” (Comment 11). From the dvd to the blog was another layer that evoked comment: yepp0628 admitted that the transition “slightly overwhelmed me. I had to read the blog two times to fully comprehend and see the connection in the arguments” (Comment 30), while redbeardthewriter expressed a starker reaction: “I don’t really understand if Steph is looking for something in particular or looking for me to dredge up another idea on the matter” (Comment 17).

It remains to be seen whether an actual dialogue about Hawaii’s status will develop from students’ responses, but the range of perspectives necessary to provoke new thinking is present. w26s1 describes the situation as a “catastrophe” (Comment 2) – from the context I do not know if w26s1 refers to the Hawaiian nationals’ successful case in The Hague or the US takeover of Hawai’i. ““50 states, after all,” says rocketsredflair, “is an even number that has fit nicely on the US flag” (Comment 4). Carmella confessed to a state of “turmoil as to the relevance to Hawaiian independence” (Comment 8).

Oddity33 observes: “its amazing how many people can have such different opinions and ideas of one text” (Comment 7).

“The fact that more than a hundred years have gone by and Hawai’i has not given up their kingdom (well not entirely) and that they have recieved international recognition as a Kingdom and not a state of the U.S. is incredible” (hippo86, Comment 13).

“[T]he Larsen’s team comes up, the people in the team try to fight back the United States. They become the first one to speak for Hawaii kingdom and people” (winglsammi, Comment 28).

Iplayball muses, “i am still unclear as to the exact stages of “occupation” that the us is in hawaii. The question that comes to mind is “did the u.s somehow take control of hawaii without permission? and if so isnt it ironic that america fights other countries for doing this exact thing?”” (Comment 20). Adc92388 echoes iplayball’s concern: “The whole ordeal makes us as students consider the role of the government in our daily lives, and how we want to be treated as citizens” (Comment 16). Providing a contrary view, checkbox argues, “The fact that the US was repeatedly invited to participate in these proceedings and chose not to do so is not a confession of guilt but an announcement of indifference” (Comment 9). RandomActofKindness went further, “I’d rather go fishing” (Comment 18).

Metalcircus expresses doubt, if not disbelief, asking, “Is there really any chance….[the U.S. will concede Hawaiian sovereignty]?” (Comment 12) Pragmatically, kmb04 outlines a common dilemma: “even with a deep research your argument can still fail. Sometimes it is not what is being said but who is saying it…. This does not mean that those with no power should just give up, what they say still sticks out in some people’s minds and even if they can’t change the actions of an entire country, they can change the actions on a person to person basis” (Comment 6).

Beyond the University: From Academia to the Real World

“I want to believe that for lasting change to occur, intelligent thoughtful action must be taken.” Likeboldcolors continues, “But it’s so slow. It can be really frustrating to wait and have the patience to stick with the processes necessary” (Comment 14). Like research, actually talking through the differences and making compromises in order to shift out of conflict is painstaking work. I had asked if it is possible for people/s in conflict to “argue peaceably.” Oddity22 suggests such an idea is “an oxymoron. I always believed that a disagreement was one thing and an argument was a completely different thing, an argument was a disagreement gone crazy. Peaceably arguing? i dont know” (Comment 7). Aligirl22 defines a critical factor:

“…both parties have to want to argue in a peaceful manner.

Its much easier to fight with force and anger and hatred…” (Comment 3).

Ciaobella adds a layer of interpretation, speculating as to why and how the activity is useful to me (as teacher/learner):

“Steph uses quotes from blogs that her students have posted in regards to the U.S and Hawaii. She uses these quotes possibly to advance her own knowledge of the current situation and asks us, being her students, to post our opinion creating new thoughts and ideas” (Comment 10).

Yes, my own knowledge is advanced on two levels: in terms of content (the struggle Hawaiian nationals face in gaining US recognition of their claim), and at the contextual (abstract) level of distinguishing discourse (habitual, patterned ways of speaking certain set knowledges) from dialogue – Ciaobella’s generation of “new thoughts and ideas.” Of course, these are some of the ultimate goals of quality research: not only summarizing the perspectives on a particular issue (topic) but also actually adding an observation or recommendation or angle that allows new or different understandings to develop. The process of assigning students from different classes to read each other’s work does seem to inspire a high(er?) quality of interaction: “I can totally see my fellow classmates minds at work. One believes this conflict [between Hawaiian nationals and the U.S. Government] to be peaceful, while another believes that there is no chance for the problem to be solved” (pinkpanther89, Comment 25).

Two updates: The University of Hawai’i campus at Kapiolani will offer “Introduction to the Hawaiian Kingdom,” a 200-level course in Hawaiian Studies, this spring. David Keanu – who presented the slide show in The Hague during the Proceedings of the International Tribunal – has just had an article accepted to be published in the Journal of Law and Social Challenges (San Francisco School of Law), vol. 10, Fall ’08. The article, “A SLIPPERY PATH TOWARDS HAWAIIAN INDIGENEITY: An Analysis and comparison between Hawaiian State Sovereignty and Hawaiian Indigeneity and its use and practice in Hawai`i today,” (available for download as a pdf) distinguishes between the tribal sovereignty granted by the US government to (some) Native American tribes and the independent sovereignty recognized by Great Britain and France (1842) and the U.S. (1849) and reaffirmed by the 1999 international arbitration proceedings at The Hague of the Larsen Case.

A question lingers:

Now what? Does the conversation end with the articulation of varying points-of-view, different capacities for hope, and limits to imagination? Or do we find a way to carry on talking a new kind of talk based on learning the diversity of opinion and complexity of obstacles? Shall we go through the motions, saying all the things that have already been said over-and-over again, or shall we find ways to say things that have not yet been uttered – and keep saying them until they lead to change?

. . . and keep saying them

keep saying them until

saying them until they

saying until they lead

until they lead to

they lead to change

lead to change

to change

change

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