My opinion about this subject is very simple to understand. Globalization is inevitable and it is apon us. Over the last hundred years we have seen the biggest division of super powers become political and economic allies; essentially closing the last great gaps there were in the world. Now we are simply dealing with economic disparities in the world and the last remaining threats to humanity– as a whole. Now we can argue what that looks like and who that directly concerns until the cows come home. But the basic truth is we are all in tied together whether you as a citizen are in agreement with that sentiment or not.
As Americans, the next generation MUST (with no exceptions) learn to speak Spanish; and if they were economically savvy, they will learn Mandarin. Most of the population in the coming generation is projected to speak Spanish as a first language and the main economic drivers of the coming generation will speak Mandarin as a native language as well. We need to get on board or get left behind.
Now, learning a language or understanding how the world is moving or how it operates, in my opinion, is not a symptom of losing one’s self. Quite the contrary, I believe it is expanding one’s self; one’s breadth of knowledge, point of view and represents in no way a violation of one’s culture. I actually believe being closed to other’s culture is insulting to the my culture as an integrated and biracial American.
So when this article preaches about how native way and culture is being demolished by the Anglo-perspective, the Anglo-experts providing Anglo-services and living Anglo-standard lives in rural communities than demoralizes the native population they serve and forces them to grow more dependent on said services– is frankly irritating. This article does not provide any answers, any counter-cultural examples of productive native education. Berg, the author, just simply asserts at the very end of the article that we need to “step into the 21st century, and recognize the importance of preserving Alaska’s rich Native heritage.” It suggests we allow them to educate themselves with the Inupiaq Leaning Framework. What I do not understand is Hispanics still manage to keep their culture and also get educated as minorities without outrage of cultural eradication (barring an socioeconomic issues). Similarly, Asian-Americans so not toot that the Anglo-centric model is disproportionate.
Our model provides freedom in bounds of security and safe expression. However (two for you, Ben) globalization is here and we as a global community must have a consensus; standards in education, in economic relationships and in cultural communications. Whether I think its fair or not is irrelevant, the world is moving. Rise to meet it.