A Better Scottish Diaspora is Possible

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Published by Michael Newton

Michael Newton was awarded a B.A. in Computer Science from the University of California (San Diego) in 1990 and a Ph.D. in Celtic Studies from the University of Edinburgh in 1998. He is a leading authority on the literature and cultural legacy of Scottish Highland immigrant communities in America. He has written several books and numerous articles on many aspects of Highland tradition and history, and has given lectures at venues such as the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, Slighe nan Gaidheal in Seattle, and the Toronto Scottish Gaelic Learners' Association. He has also been creating digital content since the early 1980s in the form of computer games (having been on the FTL Games team that produced Dungeon Master in 1987), hypermedia (creating the Celtic History Museum in HyperCard in 1991), and on-line digital collaboratories (creating Finding the Celtic in 2008).

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  1. Excellent article and one whose ideas I fully support, not least as I battle much of the same issues.

    My concern is putting Clan Gunn history on an academic basis, not the lazy mythology supported by the Clan Gunn Societies. In terms of this article it means recognising that Clan Gunn origin is that of a non-kindred Pictish tribe – and hence Gaelic – who were the original inhabitants of Strathnaver / Caithness / Sutherland. See http://clangunn.weebly.com/real-origin-of-the-clan-gunn.html

    Clan Gunn origin is not Orkney / Viking – see http://clangunn.weebly.com/clan-gunn-has-no-orkney-origin.html

  2. What can I do to help?
    I’m one of those Americans who fits into many of the slots you all touched on.
    1)Read and watched Outlander.
    2) Researched and wrote a 50+ page opus on the History of Scots in my corner of the world – West Central Minnesota (I work in a county Historical Society with access to a wonderful archives).
    3)Began presenting my findings to large groups of Scots descendants who seem to have been hiding but now want to celebrate and learn more about their heritage (we paddle along in a sea of Scandinavians who co-opted the history of this area).
    4) Renewed interest in my Scottish and ScotsIrish genealogy.
    5) Went to Scotland and was told, “You’re ancestors who lived here spoke Gaelic.”
    6) Started a beginners class with Atlantic Gaelic Academy in Novia Scotia in September.
    I am just a very new beginner but I would love to introduce others to Scots Gaelic. Would love to have materials to hand out at an upcoming historical society celebration.
    Thank you for this great posting, very informative and thought provoking!

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