Native Language Revitalization Campaign

The problem


Misguided governmental policies that existed through the 1950s have led to the destruction of Native American languages. The practice of removing Native children from their communities and placing them in remote boarding schools was intended to break the transmission of language from one generation to the next -- and worked only too well. Now we must repair the damage to Native American languages while there is still time.

Expanding effective language revitalization techniques

Fortunately, there are effective techniques that work to quickly transmit language from elders to young people. The experience of Indigenous Peoples in Hawaii and New Zealand shows that immersion schools, language nests (a fluent speaker working with a group of learners), and master-apprentice programs (pairing an elder speaker with one learner) are very successful.

But many Native American communities are in need of funding, political support, and training to make these programs work.

How our partnership works

At the grassroots--beginning with a small core of programs to maximize immediate impact and showcase local successes and to strengthen Native American language programs' capacity to fund raise on their own behalf;

At the state and federal levels--to promote best-practices and adequate funding for Native language immersion and master-apprentice programs;

Internationally--to ensure that the promise of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is fulfilled.

Read more here.

Tags: conservation, culture, indigenous people, languages, speech, writing

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Replies to This Discussion

I still regret that I didn't take Algonquian in college.
Are you being serious? They offered Algonquian at your school?
Yep. I'm from north central Wisconsin. Lots of reservations there.
"Misguided"? Genocidal, more like. This is like putting a band-aid on an arm that's been cut off, but better something than nothing, I suppose. The stump can be saved.

I'm unable to connect to the site you linked to, Dallas. I'll try again later.
I can't either. Their server must be down.

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