I listened to elders and medicine people from over a dozen tribes give testimony to Forest Service Supervisor Nora Rasure, explaining to her why snowmaking with treated wastewater was blasphemy (HCN, 9/17/07). I watched middle-aged men bow their heads as tears streaked their faces. None of that seemed to move Ms. Rasure. She told the Indigenous Peoples' summit meeting that she needed to protect the rights of recreationists.

Later I offered - twice - to talk with her about what I had learned about intercultural communication with indigenous peoples. She never took me up on it; and, a few months later, told an interviewer that she couldn't remember the name of the Florida tribe she had worked with two years earlier in her former Forest Service position. It is a gift that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has a deeper understanding of respect than Ms. Rasure does.

Mary Sojourner
Flagstaff, Arizona
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