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Nasa And Navajo Elder

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  • Nasa And Navajo Elder

    When NASA was preparing for the Apollo Project, it took the
    astronauts to a Navajo reservation in Arizona for training. One
    day, a Navajo elder and his son came across the space crew walking
    among the rocks. The elder, who spoke only Navajo, asked a question.
    His son translated for the NASA people: "What are these guys
    in the big suits doing?"

    One of the astronauts said that they were practicing for a trip
    to the moon. When his son relayed this comment the Navajo elder
    got all excited and asked if it would be possible to give to
    the astronauts a message to deliver to the moon.

    Recognizing a promotional opportunity when he saw one, a NASA
    official accompanying the astronauts said, "Why certainly!" and
    told an underling to get a tape recorder.

    The Navajo elder's comments into the microphone were brief.
    The NASA official asked the son if he would translate what his
    father had said. The son listened to the recording and laughed
    uproariously. But he refused to translate. So the NASA people
    took the tape to a nearby Navajo village and played it for other
    members of the tribe. They too laughed long and loudly but also
    refused to translate the elder's message to the moon.

    Finally, an official government translator was summoned. After
    he finally stopped laughing the translator relayed the message:

    "Watch out for these assholes. They have come to steal your
    land."
    "When the forest weeps, the Anishinabe who listens will look back at the years. In each generation of Ojibway there will be a person who will hear the si-si-gwa-d, who will listen and remember and pass it on to the children."

    "Night Flying Woman"

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