After struggling for some time to create teaching materials aimed at growing the number of users of the Omaha language, the Umóⁿhoⁿ (Omaha) Nation Public School, the Walthill Public School and the Omaha Tribal Education Department in Nebraska now have an important language revitalization tool in the works.
Now underway in Macy, Neb., the project will lead to the creation of an introductory level textbook and accompanying audio CD that will be distributed for free to the participating Omaha reservation schools. A teacher training course will be held and language pre-tests and post-tests for students will be developed and conducted.
“With textbooks and audio CDs created in part from interviews and recordings with the tribe’s remaining Elders we will have additional resources to teach, grow and increase daily use of our Omaha language,” said Vida Stabler, director of the Umóⁿhon (Omaha) Nation Public School Indian Education Program. “We’re trying to rescue far more than our endangered language, but our unique culture which also is a significant piece of American history and culture.”
The work between TLC and the Omaha Tribe is being facilitated by a $100,000 grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.