In considering literacy, we take a step back to ask: literacy in which language? And what is the purpose and measure of achievement? Although not in disagreement with the Bialostok and Whitman article in this issue, we place English literacy as a part of the continuing drive to colonize and assimilate indigenous peoples. Local indigenous control of literacy efforts must largely conform to state educational standards, and thus are not completely liberatory. Further, the literacy efforts lauded by Bialostok and Whitman demonstrate a high potential for social disruption through individualization of learners and alienation of local authority. Although there are no simple solutions, seeing the complexity of working in indigenous communities through a postmodern lens of shifting meanings and identities within their specific historical, social, and economic circumstances can be a helpful starting point.