language programs

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Native Language: Pathway to Traditions, Self-Identity

Native Language: Pathway to Traditions, Self-Identity

Stacey Burns says a transformation has taken place within the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony from something as old as the Washoe, Paiute and Shoshone tribes themselves: their native languages...

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Challenges and Solutions to Keeping the Lakota Language Alive

Challenges and Solutions to Keeping the Lakota Language Alive

“There is more to an immersion school than simply bringing in elders and having them teach the chidren,” said Sunshine Carlow, education manager of Lakȟól’iyapi Wahóȟpifor, the Lakota Nest Immersion School on the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota...

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Fluent Osage Speakers are a Priority for Osage Nation

Fluent Osage Speakers are a Priority for Osage Nation

The state of Osage language preservation has reached a critical point and Osage Nation Chief, Geoffrey Standing Bear, just months after his inauguration, is making Osage language immersion a priority. The Chief’s plans include the continued collaboration of the Osage Nation Language Program with…

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Teaching the Whole Child: Language Immersion and Student Achievement

Teaching the Whole Child: Language Immersion and Student Achievement

As Congress considers two bills to support Native American language immersion, including the Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act, it is time to take stock. What does research say about the impact of Native-language immersion on Native students’ academic achievement? We now have 30…

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Sleeping Language Waking Up Thanks to Wampanoag Reclamation Project

Sleeping Language Waking Up Thanks to Wampanoag Reclamation Project

It’s been more than 300 years since Wampanoag was the primary spoken language in Cape Cod. But, if Wampanoag tribal members keep their current pace, that may not be true for much longer. Tribal members have been signing up for classes with the Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project while families…

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Comanche Nation College Tries to Rescue a Lost Tribal Language

Comanche Nation College Tries to Rescue a Lost Tribal Language

A two-year tribal college in Lawton, Okla., is using technology to reinvigorate the Comanche language before it dies out. Two faculty members from Comanche Nation College and Texas Tech University worked with tribal elders to create a digital archive of what's left of the language. Only about 25…

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Harbor Springs restaurant becomes first to embrace Odawa tribal language

Harbor Springs restaurant becomes first to embrace Odawa tribal language

Aanii Biindigen. Miigwech baamaapii. Hello, come in. Thank you, until later. Those traditional greetings in Anishinaabemowin, the language of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, were lettered on the front door Tuesday at Out to Lunch, a breakfast and lunch restaurant on State Street in…

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Speaking a culture: How efforts to revitalize a language can have a ripple effect

Speaking a culture: How efforts to revitalize a language can have a ripple effect

Carla Osawamick stands in front of a class of students with a wide range of life experiences, from one still in high school to a great-grandmother. The students all have one thing in common: they are dedicated to learning and speaking Anishinaabemowin, the language spoken by many Native Americans…

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Marie Wilcox, the last fluent speaker of the Wukchumni language.

Who Speaks Wukchumni?

Throughout the United States, many Native American languages are struggling to survive. According to Unesco, more than 130 of these languages are currently at risk, with 74 languages considered “critically endangered.” These languages preserve priceless cultural heritage, and some hold unexpected…

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Entering Seneca Nation Territory sign: o : nõtowa' ke : onõ' ohiyo : nõ' (Seneca language)

Huge Push to Save Endangered Seneca Language

The Seneca Nation of Indians have a deep rooted history in Western New York. Stories of their ancestors are here and their culture from ceremonies to traditions is still very much alive. But the language, a huge part of their culture, is dying. That's why there is a big push to preserve the…

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Reviving Yurok: Saving one of California's 90 languages

Reviving Yurok: Saving one of California's 90 languages

California is home to the greatest diversity of Native American tribes in the US, and even today, 90 identifiable languages are still spoken there. Many are dying out as the last fluent speakers pass away and English dominates. But one tribe is having success reviving the Yurok language, which was…