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Hawaiian Immersion Program in Washington

Several Hawaiian educators recently traveled to Washington to talk to the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Specifically, they were talking about the success and worth of immersion programs in native languages.

“These languages are crucial to Native American literature, ceremonial life, spirituality, kinship practices, and overall indigenous identity,” said Namaka Rawlins, a liaison from ‘Aha Pu:nana Leo and UH Hilo College of Hawaiian Language.

“It is possible to restore these languages to communities to assure that the continuity of Native American identity and to bolster the academic achievement and college and career readiness of native students,” said Rawlins.

Hopefully, the word will spread. Hawaii has some very good immersion programs, and it also has one of the few communities in the world where an endangered language is being forbidden contact with other languages, on the privately owned island Ni’ihau.

For more information, consult the Maui Now article here.

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About The Author

Richard Littauer
I am a linguistics student interested in evolutionary linguistics, particularly involving Bayesian phylogenetics, typology, and computer simulations. I am also very interested in language endangerment, and what can be done to stop it. I joined SAIVUS to help out where I can, when I can.

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