Believe it or not, 2014’s end is in sight! With new many new Indigenous Language Support Programs started this year and a documentary film getting ready for national broadcast, this has been an important year for the Language Conservancy.
TLC launched in 2005 and over the past 4 years our activities have powered up and multiplied with remarkable speed. Our Board has grown and we’ve been honored to give assistance to a new immersion school and five different languages. The most visible project is our documentary film, Rising Voices/ Hótȟaŋiŋpi, which is approaching completion.
At the same time that Rising Voices/ Hótȟaŋiŋpi has caught attention, the Conservancy has grown to partner with six Native American tribes to provide language infrastructure services and assistance.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
– Margaret Mead
We are proud to count you among that group of committed citizens!
Here’s a tour of TLC’s achievements in 2014.
The Crow Nation published its Level 1 textbook and Audio CD in 2014. In June, the Crow Summer Institute was held for the language teachers to practice using Total Physical Response second-language teaching methods to teach the Level 1 lessons. The Crow also won a grant from the Administration of Native Americans (US Department of Health & Human Services) to develop and publish the Level 2 curriculum. TLC provided administrative management training to the staff of the new Crow Language Consortium.
In 2014 the MHA Nation of northwestern North Dakota announced their Language Initiative, which establishes a K-12 curriculum and Summer Institute teacher trainings for all three languages of the Three Affiliated Tribes, located on the Fort Berthold Reservation.
Dakota and Lakota are so closely related, Dakota words and variations are included in Lakota dictionaries. In 2014, a vibrant activist organization, the Dakota Language Society – better known as Dakhóta Iápi Okhódakičhiye (or DIO) published their Level 1 textbook.
Seminole Nation of Oklahoma (Maskoke/Creek)
In 2013, the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma opened the Pumvhakv School, an immersion school focused on the Maskoke Creek Language. With help from TLC, the Pumvhakv School developed a Level 1 Textbook and received training assistance. Again with TLC’s help, work is already underway for the Level 2 Textbook. TLC is committed helping the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma with its language infrastructure needs well into the future.
The Lakota language revitalization movement sparked TLC’s formation in the first place – because so many other tribes became interested in the comprehensive curriculum/training plan that the Lakota had initiated. This movement celebrated its tenth year of powerhouse growth in 2014 – and it is still the leading template for a successful revitalization plan. In 2014 the ever-busy Lakota published their Level 5 textbook, the Lakota Audio Series 10-CD set and an interactive desktop version of the New Lakota Dictionary. They also held the eighth annual Lakota Summer Institute, a proven professional development and community-building event (co-produced by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Sitting Bull College) that draws families and non-Natives for immersion in Lakota language and culture. TLC helped promote these works and also provided administrative management training to the staff of a Lakota immersion preschool on Pine Ridge.
Movies and More in Part 2.