This is the final part of a 12-part series.
It Does Matter
Setting out to learn an Indigenous language makes you a language activist – even if you feel like you’re taking two steps backward for every three going ahead. Just making the effort, you are modeling the kind of strength that makes a difference in people’s lives all around you.
You are a leader — Activate others!
If only a few people learn an endangered language, it still won’t survive.
Your positive passion for learning and speaking can help others become just as passionate as you are.
Help others to see how language learning changed your life for the better. Be a positive role model and helper to other learners.
Lakota language and the Sun Dance
Back in the 1960s and ‘70s the Lakota people worked to revive the sacred ceremony of Sun Dance. But during that same time, the language started dwindling, as speakers began to pass away in great numbers.
Today the Lakota people are still as strong , so if they have the same determination they will revive the language as well.
Because how can the sacred ceremonies, the culture and Lakota identity continue without the language?
Your work to learn the language matters — even if you are the only one you know who believes it can be done.
- Start today.
- Set up daily learning routines in your schedule.
- Choose various types of learning activities to alternate – vocabulary learning, reading, writing sentences, listening, etc. If you do only one kind of learning activity you will quickly become bored.
- Be aware of your smallest achievements, and be happy. Keep the long-term goals in focus, and persevere.
- Find ways to motivate yourself and be passionate about learning. Look forward to your learning activities as if they were your own personal treat; consider them your enjoyment time.
- Cherish every new word and phrase you learned — and put them to use.
Čhaŋté oyágnake háŋtaŋš tókhel waúŋspenič’ičhiya héči iyéyakiyiŋ kte.
Lakota: If you find passion, you will find the way to learn.
Good luck on your self-study path!