The decaying totems of Haida Gwaii, documented in William Reid and Adelaide de Menil’s 1971 book Out of the Silence, were living monuments to a form of communication about the values of a civilization in decline. The 2007 formation of the United League of Indigenous Nations, as well as the Coast Salish Gathering, are testimonials to the resurgence of Haida Gwaii and related autochthonous civilizations.
As the rest of us struggle to survive the decline of our own civilizations, perhaps we will likewise find our voices and create our own forms of communication. By discussing the values we wish to protect, we might even find ways of freeing ourselves by uniting with the indigenous resurgence.
At the very least, hosting discussions free of market exclusion, government censure, and media influence, will allow us opportunities to also come out of the silence.
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