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Endangered Languages Update: Summer Language Programs

Tribal language programs nationwide have begun summer program preparations for a range of community language immersion and teacher training opportunities. Among Cultural Survival’s advisor programs, the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project and Euchee (Yuchi) Language Project, will offer multi-week language camps for youth focused on building conversational skills and ceremonial vocabulary to engage students as future community cultural leaders. During Summer 2012 Cultural Survival helped sponsor daily youth classes at the Euchee House in Sapulpa, OK, and the first annual Euchee Language Bowl competition. On Cape Cod in Massachusetts, Cultural Survival’s Endangered Languages program co-sponsored the Summer Turtle Camp for three dozen students who participated in traditional tribal fishing, clambake, and other food ways, along with crafts, and daily language lessons including songs, prayers, and performances for their families—and the Governor of Massachusetts on the final day of camp. This summer Cultural Survival is again seeking donors to co-sponsor these invaluable summer youth language and ceremonial training opportunities which are creating new generations Indigenous language speakers and future community leaders.

Cultural Survival also helped sponsor two language apprentices’month-long attendance at summer language teacher training sessions at the University of Arizona in Tucson and the University of Alberta in British Columbia, Canada—at the renowned American Indian Language Development Institute and Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute.

Language educators nationwide once again have the opportunity to attend the biennial Washington, D.C. based Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages sponsored by the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Endangered Language Fund, and National Science Foundation.