Foundation for Endangered Languages

Home | Manifesto | Membership details | Proceedings | Grant Applications | Newsletter | Links | Bibliography


10. Two Obituaries

Alan Heusaff 23 July 1921 - 3 Nov 1999

Alan Heusaff, founding member of the Celtic League and its Secretary-General for twenty years, has died in Galway (Ireland) on 3 November.

Born in 1921 in Brittany, Alan had pursued political and cultural activities in local autonomy movements until 1938, when he joined the PNB (Parti National Breton). Because of the surge of xenophobia promoted by the government against minorities in the period after the first world war, Heusaff had left France to settle in Ireland. After taking a degree he had found job in the Irish Metereological Service, where it has worked until retirement. In 1961 Alan had been among the founders of the Celtic League, a transnational association with the objective of creating a common platform for the peoples of the Celtic region (Bretons, Cornishmen, Welshmen, Irishmen, Manxmen, Scots). Active and tireless, he had also founded and edited Carn, the four-monthly journal of the Celtic League published to this day. He had built up a network of contacts with European minorities and various associations, among them Associazione per i Popoli Minacciati, which he had joined in 1995 as a Trustee,

He had been deeply committed to the Celtic languages, against nuclear tests, for autonomy and the rights of political prisoners, clearly opposed to sectarianism and violence. In him we lose an activist who has made a fundamental contribution to the political and cultural struggles of the European minorities. We remember him without rhetoric, but with the esteem and the affection owed to him for all he has done and for the sincere friendship he showed to our association.
Alessandro Michelucci
Associazione per i Popoli Minacciati

Contact the Celtic League c/o:
Bernard Moffatt

Good Eagle - Dean P. Fox

Alesia Maltz ,who co-presented with Dean at Maynooth, wrote on 14 December with this chilling news:

Dean P., Good Eagle, Fox, who gave a presentation at the FEL meeting this last September, was in an automobile accident on Thanksgiving Day and died. His nephew Dennis, who did the artwork for the buffalo cartoon, was driving. Dennis broke his neck, but miraculously had no nerve damage. Dean did not suffer. He was buried on his family land in Mandaree, North Dakota. At his funeral, two eagles flew overhead.

Dean had a tremendous appetite for life. He lived every moment fully and challenged all who knew him to do the same. He moved between two worlds, bringing his music, dance, joy, laughter and seriousness to both. He loved and cherished his traditions as much as he loved and cherished children. He lived courageously and always from the heart. Deans life has given us much to celebrate.


When Dean and I talked in Ireland in September, I had laryngitis, which was teaching me that when one voice goes, there are others standing behind to carry on. The most important thing now is prayer. If you would like to participate further, we will be having a memorial for him at Antioch in the spring, and the family will be having one as well.

In the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara traditions, blankets are given away at memorials. I am collecting and weaving children’s blankets, as well as any good words or thoughts. I can be reached at P.O. Box 63/ Colebrook, Conn 06021 USA, or by e-mail (amaltz(at) A scholarship fund has been established in New Town, North Dakota in Good Eagle account #14-003-8. That address is: Lakeside State Bank/ Good Eagle Account/ New Town, North Dakota 58763, USA.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Alesia Maltz

I replied briefly:

Dear Alesia

Thank you for sharing this shaking news, which is still running shivers up and down my spine. v To think he has gone so suddenly...

Meeting Dean was one of the great unexpected joys of Maynooth. Such a twinkle in his eye at the summit of his massive frame: you could see why he would be so emphatic about the need for the Trickster to rebuild confidence in smaller languages. (Odd, but appropriate, that his family name should be that of the Europe's proverbially tricky animal.) Those Irishmen at Rathcairn who said they had always wanted to meet an American Indian were in luck when they met Dean, even if they never meet another.

When we were at Bective Abbey, he suddenly took it into his head to sing an Arikara chant: it rang out all through the building, although he was well out of sight, in another chamber; but he said he sang it because he just felt that those old stones probably hadn't heard such a song before.

The space where he was will leave a great gap in your own life, and the whole community of Fort Berthold. I shall certainly remember him in prayers, just as I thank him even now for the inspiration and self-confidence that he brought over to us in Ireland and Europe all the way from the Dakotas.

Yours ever


Foundation for Endangered Languages