Now, Colorado University Joins To Perpetuate Native American Culture

Many American Universities have shown their honour for the celebrated Native Americans by christening their various University annexes and wings with names of leaders of those native people. A few examples of such rechristening acts are the British Columbia University Xwi7xwa Library, Massachusetts University at Amherst’s Kanonhsesne Residential Program, and Stanford’s Muwekma –Tah-Ruk Native American Theme House.

By the same breath, now Colorado University also contemplates redesignating two dormitories on it’s Boulder campus in the Arapaho dialect of the Native Americans. Though known for its peculiar and complicated pronunciations, the plan is to go through as a way of honouring and perpetuating their culture, according to Andrew Cowell, Head of Colorado University’s Linguistics department and other school staff members.

They argued that the so called mispronunciation is not an issue; in support they quoted numerous instances saying that many names exist in Spanish and French despite their involving mispronunciations and that respelling such names in other languages is really unwarranted.

Further strengthening this theory, staff of the CU Native Studies department presented a letter to the Board of Regents elucidating that, for example, using Nivot in the place of Nowoo3 should be equivalent of the reading of the name ‘Charles de Gaulle’ as Sharl duh Gahl, and that if said so, it would be cultural fanaticism in the Native American scenario.

As per The Daily Camera’s suggestion, the Kittredge West dorm could be redesignated Nowoo3 Hall after Chief Nivot, also using an Arapaho character looking like the numeral 3, while Kittredge Central is proposed as Houusoo Hall after Chief Little Raven.

What the CU plans:

In addition to rechristening the dormitories as above, the CU proposes plaques bearing details of the extraordinary achievements of the personalities, and launching academic packages to throw more light on the nuances of these Aparaho syllables. Of course, all these are waiting for approval by the Body of Regents; and tentatively, the renaming function is scheduled for April next.

About the personalities:

In the mid -1800s, Nowoo3 was a very popular and powerful leader of the Arapaho clan who effectively pleaded and adopted conciliatory approach at a time when the US broke its pacts with the native nations. And, Houusoo was also another popular chief of Arapaho community, who eschewed violence while reconciling the fragmented native nations.

Considering their far-sightedness and maturity in administration and politics even in those
primitive days, recalling and perpetuating their deeds through these names is really worth and redeeming as done by the University of Colorado and others.