Don’t Squatch Bindernagel

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on May 30th, 2014

Dr. John Bindernagel has come out against the use of the terms Squatch and Squatching…

I would be remiss if I did not register my disappointment at the recent and increasingly widespread use of the terms “squatch,” and “squatching,” which denigrates the Halcolmelm (Coast Salish) name Sasq‘ets, anglicized many years ago as “sasquatch,” and which has been more-or-less accepted by the relevant Aboriginal people.

Along with many of my Aboriginal friends, co-workers, and colleagues—and more than a few non-native investigators—I am saddened and disappointed by the lack of sensitivity displayed by the increasing use of the term “squatch” to describe a being of cultural importance to North American Aboriginal people. As if, by so doing so, we have appropriated it as our own.

It is similar disappointing to hear dedicated research into this subject by both serious amateurs and professional investigators denigrated as a trivial or recreational activity, increasingly referred to as “squatching.”

I understand that many people using these terms are unaware of the cultural importance—even sacredness—of the sasquatch to many Aboriginal people, and have no ill intent. They may acknowledge, as I do, that as non-native investigators, we are mere upstarts, adding only a little to the centuries-old knowledge that Aboriginal people have acquired regarding this mammal. Consequently, I suggest that we make greater efforts to respect Aboriginal knowledge, even if it is embodied in myth and legend beyond our easy understanding. The fact that Aboriginal sasquatch knowledge has been misunderstood, even by cultural anthropologists, as fictional, does not excuse a careless or disrespectful approach to someone else’s language on our part.

I have addressed the “easy” interpretation of sasquatch as myth (in the narrow sense of fictional in chapter 15 of The Discovery of the Sasquatch: Reconciling Culture, History, and Science in the Discovery Process of the Sasquatch: Sasquatch as Myth (in Part 5: Reconsidering Prevailing Knowledge)

I pointed out how cultural anthropologists have, in the past, similarly denigrated Aboriginal reports of sasquatches, when they dismissed them as supernatural beings.

When the discovery of the sasquatch as an extant North American mammal is finally acknowledged, we will owe a huge debt to Aboriginal people for their willingness to explain the sasquatch to disbelieving anthropologists. We must affirm and applaud their efforts to educate us, to bring us onside, so to speak, just as we investigators seek the attention of relevant scientists within the scientific community to scrutinize the evidence we present for their considered (but still withheld) attention.Dr. John Bindernagel ~ May 16, 2014

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

One Response to “Don’t Squatch Bindernagel”

  1. Becho responds:

    I really don’t think the use of Squatch is derogatory or implies that I don’t understand the significance of Native American myth. On the contrary, I am very intrigued by tribal knowledge and do respect their contribution to the subject.

    I have called a G.I. a G.I. even though the real meaning of the word is Government Issue. Which, if the term is used literally, is referring to a soldier as a thing instead of a being. Does that diminish my veneration for the soldier. I don’t think it does. I’m a Vietnam Vet. I have no problem with it. G.I. is just a handy term.

    I do share Dr. Bindernagel’s concern over the slow morph of Bigfoot research into some sort of recreational activity.

    However, language is always in flux. I don’t use the term, Sasquatch, lightly. Just like I don’t use the term G.I. lightly. I respect both of them.

    It is true that the word morphed. That is what language is constantly doing. I wouldn’t mind at all using the original pronunciation if people knew what I was talking about. But I doubt we can turn the clock back and change the common term.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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