February 07, 2008

Children who sound Native?

Native Americans--Now We Have a “Sound to Our Voice?”A National Radio Ad Campaign is coming your way, but there’s a major catch. You, no, let me hit the point where it really hurts, CHILDREN have to “sound Native” for the radio ad!!! CHILDREN! For free, Native Children somehow have to “sound Native.” What does that mean? We have 562 Federally Recognized Native American Tribes and Nations in the US, not including all those who’ve been waiting for decades or literally a century or more for “Federal Recognition,” etc.

All of us, and now in 2008 our children have to “sound Native?!”

I have your answer...90 plus percent of Native Americans live off of our reservations and Nation lands. Do you want to know what a Native American child sounds like in 2008? Whatever their environment has exposed them to. If their parents or whomever is raising them speaks Spanish and English, chances are, so do they. Same goes for any language. Here’s an obvious one for you, my tribes, Chickasaw and Choctaw, if you call my Nations they sound like any other “Sooners,” Southern Oklahoma accent!
Comment:  I believe the percentage of Indian who live off-rez is 60- or 70-something, not 90-something. But the point remains valid regardless.


dmarks said...

I've heard a very subtle difference that I call a "Native accent" in a few that I have talked to or seen in movies. I've just never heard any whites with this accent. However, I think this accent, if it is that, is not very common, even among Natives. I've just noticed it a few times.

Rob said...

I think Indians have a slight "Native accent" on some reservations. But most Indians (perhaps 2/3) live off the rez in an urban environment. So the only accent they'd have is the general accent for their area.

The original author thinks the casting agency wanted children who speak slowly. Her response:

Let me stop anyone in their tracks before writing that the "slow speech" of a Native speaking English in the early days of learning it is what "sounding Native" means. That's what everyone who first learns a language, especially an overly verbose language in comparison to the one they are used to speaking, sounds like.