What a Year 2014 Was! – Part 2

Rising VoicesImages from Rising Voices/ Hótȟaŋiŋpi (Florentine Films/Hott Productions/The Language Conservancy)

What else was TLC busy with this year?



This is the breakout project of the past 3 years: Rising Voices/ Hótȟaŋiŋpi — a documentary to tell the world why reviving a Native American language matters. Hótȟaŋiŋpi is a Lakota word meaning, “They will have their say.”

Vision Maker Media has been a production supporter from the start, and our Producer-Director is Lawrence R. Hott, head of Florentine Films/Hott Productions. Last year, the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a substantial grant, and the production is moving towards its finish, aimed at a national PBS broadcast in late 2015.

(Reuben Fast Horse speaks in Rising Voices/ Hótȟaŋiŋpi )

In October 2014, the fluent elders and teachers who were interviewed for the film in 2013 gathered in a hotel’s private dining room in in Rapid City, SD, to watch a rough cut. You can see selected footage at the Rising Voices/ Hótȟaŋiŋpi YouTube channel.

We’ll post a full update story soon, so keep watching our feed!




TLC built a new web site and got more active on Facebook and Twitter in 2014. Social media allows us to advocate swiftly for policy changes affecting Native American languages, like the two bills now before Congress. We can also share or retweet articles from around the world about endangered languages, preserving and teaching them. Like us and Follow us – we want to build a virtual village where endangered languages and language activists have their say.

TLC banner 2014


TLC built some hot buzz this year for its linguistically strong work with our partner Tribes. We had display booths at two important national conferences: the Linguistic Society of America’s annual conference in Minneapolis in January, and the National Congress of American Indians’ annual conference in Atlanta in October. At both, the various tribes’ textbooks and audio CDs were a focus of curiosity and admiration.

By virtue of its partnership in the Lakota Summer Institute, TLC participated in a significant meeting of Lakota leaders and educators with officials of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education (WHIAIANE), who made the LSI their first field visit to learn how tribal language education can improve Native education overall.


TLC gained print-on-demand capacity with the purchase of a printer-binder and adding new graphic design and production staff. We have published textbooks for the Crow, MHA languages and Maskoke/Creek in-house this year, plus CD packaging and other promotional materials.



In 2015 TLC will assist with publication of the Crow and MHA Level 2 Textbooks. We’ll be a visible presence at the Linguistic Society of America conference in Portland, OR in January and at the Indigenous Language Rights Council meeting in Bismarck, ND in June.  The Rising Voices/ Hótȟaŋiŋpi premiere will take up most of our focus in the Fall, as we put together premiere galas and push publicity.



As a tax-exempt non-profit, TLC does more than most, for less than anybody. TLC has increased its capacity this year with new printing equipment and new staff for graphics and IT, but now we need to sustain that capacity.

We have enjoyed support from the National Endowment for the Humanities for production and the administration behind Rising Voices/ Hótȟaŋiŋpi, but grants never fund anything 100%. We continue to depend upon our supporters’ ongoing donations, even if those are small. We welcome those donations fully – and we are working to make it easy for you to weave donating into the fabric of your life.  AmazonSmile will allow your online shopping to send a gift to us, and both PayPal and JustGive.com let you set up regular monthly gifts.  For a large gift, legacy plan, memorial donation, bequest, corporate or foundation grant or workplace donation, visit these links and then call us at 812-961-6360.

At the end of Rising Voices/ Hótȟaŋiŋpi, fluent elder Philomine Lakota says with a smile, “There are no goodbyes in Lakota – no goodbyes!”  So instead of Goodbye for now, we’ll say in Lakota,

Oíčhimaki kiŋ lé oíyokphiya uŋkáǧa-haŋpe ló.
Leháŋhuŋniyaŋ uŋkíye ób mayánipi čha wóphila uŋkéničiyape ló.

It has been a good journey, but we have much farther to go. Thank you for traveling with us for so far, for so long!



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