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Our companion Indigenous language websites:

languagegathering.org

ourmothertongues.org

Our partner and adviser Indigenous language communities:

The Euchee (Yuchi) Language Project

Euchee Language Project students participate in a seasonal round of classes and community gatherings.
"What we want, what we need in our communities, what our goal is, is to keep alive our languages so our young people will have breath-to breath knowledge of their traditions, of their ceremonies, of their medicines, of the stars," says Dr. Richard Grounds, who has chaired Cultural Survival's program council since 2005.

The Euchee people call themselves the "People of the sun," or "Tso ya ha," in their language. The Euchee language is a "language isolate" -- it is unrelated to any other Native language in the Americas.

Based in Sapulpa, OK, the Euchee Language Project (ELP) brings together its 4 remaining fluent elder speakers -- all Euchee first-language speakers now in their 70s and 80s -- on a daily basis to develop immersion curriculum, conduct afterschool language classes for young people in the community, and to engage in master apprentice training sessions with middle-generation speakers. Operating as a state-recognized tribe with some support from the federally recognized Maskoke/Creek Nation, the ELP struggles to maintain a predictable annual budget with nearly half of its staff serving on only a part-time basis. Current key funding needs include immersion curriculum development and support for master apprentice participants and teachers to sustain a weekly time commitment and ensure progress toward fluency for the dozens of students taught by the second-language learners.

Visit the Euchee (Yuchi) Language Project's website

Hinono'eitiino'oowu: The Arapaho Language Lodges

Arapaho Language Lodge
Scholars and community leaders estimate that fewer than 150 people on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming now speak Arapaho as a first language, and they are nearly all over 50 years old. The Northern Arapaho Tribe's language immersion preschools, Hinono'eitiino'oowu, "The Arapaho Language Lodges" each today's youth about the foundations of their identity as Arapaho people.

The Arapaho Language Lodges are also a gathering place for the elders to convene daily in their language -- a true rarity for them as their younger generations speak only English and are immersed in popular American culture, even on this rural reservation on the northern plains.

The challenges ahead are great: maintaining the tribe's funding for two preschool classrooms, plus acquiring new funds to expand the school to serve students up through the fifth grade.

Click here to read more about Hinono'eitiino'oowu from the Cultural Survival Quarterly

The Sauk Language Department

Sauk language immersion classroom
Despite the loss of over 99 percent of their fluent speakers, the Sauk people have a long history of working to save their language--beginning in the early 1970s with community-based language classes, and continuing with the founding of the Sauk Language Department in Stroud, OK.

The Sauk Language Department has made great strides in developing and piloting its pre-school language curriculum, and has mobilized widespread community participation in language materials production, educational gatherings such as weekly adult classes and community-wide "language bowl" competitions. A dcommunity course curriculum, a sample home study packet, and immersion game booklet have also been created. Meetings and recording sessions with Sauk speakers for the purposes of curriculum development, and expansion of an audio database are ongoing. Work on a teacher-training curriculum, a Sauk grammar workbook, and a Sauk pronunciation guide were also completed in recent years, as well as a new website called TalkSauk.com. Current efforts are focused on an intensive three-year Master Apprentice program pairing the community's handful of fluent speakers with committed language learners who are developing a Master Apprentice Teaching Book. The program is funded by Cultural Survival's grant from the federal Administratin for Native Americans.

target="_blank">Sauk Language Department's short film KîMÂCHIPENA: Let's Come Together

The Wôpanâak (Wampanoag) Language Reclamation Project

2008 Immersion Camp The Wôpanâak (Wampanoag) language was once spoken throughout eastern Massachusetts, but had no remaining speakers by the mid to late 18th century; however, because Wampanoag is a member of the large Algonquian language family, tribal citizens combined careful study of extensive historic document collections, and cross-linguistic comparisons to closely related spoken languages to yield rules of grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. A major resource was the King James Bible which was published entirely in the Wampanoag language in the mid-17th century, translated by their ancestors.

The awakening of Wôpanâak after seven generations without speakers is a uniquely inspiring story of cultural survival and tribal unity. Tribal citizens founded the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project (WLRP) in 1997, and its participants and students are the first Native American community to successfully reclaim a language after many generations without fluent speakers.

The project now has two MIT-credentialed Wampanoag linguists, six conversationally fluent teachers, a dozen advanced students, and has instructed hundreds of community members, including participants at annual 3-day family immersion camps, serving tribal citizens from the Wampanoag communities of Mashpee, Aquinnah, Assonet and Herring Pond. Cultural Survival has also helped to support two-week long summer language and culture camps in 2011 and 2012.

Click here to visit the WLRP's website

The National Alliance to Save Native Languages

Founded in 2006, The National Alliance to Save Native Languages is a coalition of stakeholders including tribes, schools, and individuals, as well as regional and national organizations, dedicated to advancing federal legislation to fund Native language immersion schools. 

Click here to download the Alliance's 2009 testimony submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

Click here to read about the 2010 National Native Language Revitalization Summit, co-organized by the Alliance