Your Letters: Native Languages, Liane's Tattoo

Host Liane Hansen reads listeners' letters about the effort to keep alive native languages, and about Liane's revelation that she has a tattoo.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

LIANE HANSEN, Host:

To your letters now. And we received several notes of appreciation for a pair of stories last week about the decline of Native American languages and an increase in the number of tribal radio stations.

HANSEN: A major goal of our government's various Indian policies, including boarding schools and urban relocation, was aimed at eliminating the use of native. Unfortunately, these policies were quite effective and now in most tribes the pool of fluent speakers has been reduced to a handful of elders. Hopefully it is not too late to rescue many of our sacred languages.

My interview last week with Michael Kostelnik, assistant commissioner for marine and air operations at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, on the use of unmanned surveillance drones over the Canadian border focused in part on drug interdiction. Mr. Kostelnik's characterization of a strain of marijuana known as BC Bud drew howls of protests from some listeners.

BC B: Michael Kostelnik described BC Bud as a very lethal type of hydroponically-grown marijuana. It has been conclusively demonstrated that, unlike alcohol, there is no lethal dose of any variety of marijuana. Now, that's not to say that marijuana use is without risks, but the Customs Department should get their facts straight rather than spreading misinformation.

And finally, I spoke last week with author Jancee Dunn about her new book, "Why is My Mother Getting a Tattoo?" The interview prompted many of you to send in your own stories about getting inked. I mentioned that I had a rose tattoo inked on my ankle when I turned 50. Turns out I have that in common with Kathleen Grady(ph) of Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, though her placement was a bit more risque than mine.

HANSEN: Liane, I just wanted to tell you that I too got my first tattoo when I turned 50. It is a rose on my breast. It's something I wanted all my life. And I guess when you turn 50, you feel that your life is going by so fast that you better do things that you want before it is too late. By the way, a friend of mine decided to get a red leaf tattoo for her 40th birthday after seeing my rose tattoo.

We welcome your letters and comments. Go out our Web site NPR.org and click on the Contact Us link. Please tell us where you live, how to pronounce your name. We're also on Twitter. My new username is NPRLiane - that's N-P-R-L-I-A-N-E - or you can write to the entire WEEKEND EDITION staff at NPRWeekend.

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