Our mission to protect and revitalize indigenous language has already yielded amazing results
Indigenous languages have been the victims of especially destructive historical pressures whose effects are only now starting to be fully realized. Given current trends, an estimated 90% of the world’s 6000 languages will become extinct or near-extinct in the next 100 years.
In the United States alone, perhaps only a dozen Native American languages of the original 400-500 have a chance of surviving beyond the next thirty years. Government aid for this problem has been severely limited and the few grant-providing private foundations working on language revitalization have been strained by the demand. There are very few organizations working to raise funds for and revitalize the world’s endangered languages. The Language Conservancy (TLC) makes a very valuable contribution to indigenous communites by partnering with these communities in their stuggle to preserve their cultural and linguistic identities.
The Language Conservancy is one of the few organizations working to preserve the word’s linguistic diversity. We will play a crucial role in our world today.
The crisis of endangered language and the ground-breaking work being done to restore them in communities across the country, is one of today’s great untold stories. Since its founding, TLC has worked to give the public the information it deserves about our threatened linguistic and cultural heritages.
In 2009, TLC began the process of trying to tell these stories of hope and renewal- as young people try to re-learn the languages of their ancestors for the sake of their identity and for their own personal objectives. Partnering with Florentine Films/ Hott Productions, TLC began film production on its “Rising Voices” film project in 2012. The documentary is scheduled to be released for national broadcast on PBS in 2015.
The language of the Crow people of Montana, enjoyed a relatively high number of speakers as a percentage of total population. But because the tribe was not large, very few language resources were developed for the schools to teach the language sequentially and systematically from K-8.
Responding to a request from the tribe in 2012, TLC organized the adaptation of a successful Native American language textbook series into Crow and began the process of sponsoring the development a Crow Language authority that could lead the language to vitality in the years to come.