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Documents current information concerning languages indigenous to what is currently the United States of America.

UPS Gives 150k to American Indian College Fund

Posted By mathias on January 6, 2012

The Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company has given lots of money to Native language efforts via their American Indian College Fund donations, recently, UPS has done the same, awarding the fund 150k!

Recap of Native Language News Highlights

Posted By mathias on January 4, 2012

“Indian Country Today” published an article toward the end of 2011 recapping highlights in Native language news over the past year. SAIVUS reported on nearly all of them:







Event: From Language Documentation to Revitalization

Posted By mathias on January 3, 2012

Event: “From Language Documentation to Language Revitalization”

Sponsors: SSILA: Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas, CELP: Committee on Endangered Languages

What: Role of Linguistics in endangered language revitalization, as opposed to documentation. Six case studies will be discussed, and the film “We Still Live Here – ?s Nutayune?n” will be shown, which is about the Wampanoag of Southeastern Massachusetts.

When: January 5th-6th at 7:30 PM

Where: LSA: Linguistic Society of America meetings, Portland, OR

More Information: (invite), (University of British Columbia First Nations Program website), Patricia A. Shaw (President of SSILA)

Changes in SAIVUS 2012

Posted By mathias on January 3, 2012

SAIVUS Blog will pick up again.

SAIVUS Blog will be the only page associated with until a prototype lesson is completed.

All SAIVUS related news will appear in the SAIVUS Blog.

SAIVUS is taking a more media-oriented, less literary approach to language pedagogy.

Twin Cities Public Television Awarded Upper Midwest Emmy for Native Language Documentary “First Speakers”

Posted By mathias on October 26, 2011

On Sunday, September 25th, 2011, Twin Cities Public Television was awarded and Upper Midwest Emmy – having received 26 nominations in 20 categories – for Eugene Stillday’s (Ojibwe) Native language documentary “First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language, narrated by writer, Louise Erdric (Ojibwe). The project was funded through Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment and follows Anton Treuer and collaborating elders, as well as fluent speakers Eugene Stillday, Anna Gibbs, Rose Tainter, Susan Johnson, and Larry Stillday, in their struggle to revitalize Ojibwe. Specifically, it takes a look inside the full immersion schools: Niigaane Ojibwemowin Immersion School on the Leech Lake Reservation near Bena, MN and Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Immersion Charter School on the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation near Hayward, WI.

Around WWII, most Ojibwe spoke their language, but since then various conditions have contributed to its decline, and today there are only around 700 fluent speakers left in the US, the majority in Red Lake, and most of the rest in Ponemah. There are only a few hundred more speakers in neighboring states like Wisconsin, Michigan and North Dakota.

You can watch “First Speakers” online at until DVDs become available.

Google Maps in Cherokee

Posted By mathias on October 21, 2011

The Cherokee Nation language technology group has
created Google Maps in Cherokee
, which is currently in testing stages. So far, they’ve translated local place names around Tahlequah as well as some state hotspots, and are planning to include different countries.

South Dakota Counties no Longer Required to Provide Formal Language Assistance to Monolingual Lakota Voters

Posted By mathias on October 18, 2011

In 2002, 18 counties in South Dakota were required to provide bilingual voting materials in English and Lakota, i.e. written material, ballot machine reprogramming and onsite interpreters. In 2010, $2,400 was spent on those resources. However, the number of Lakota speakers who are not skilled in English (or at least, do not have a friend that speaks English to assist them) has dwindled so much the resources were virtually never used, and now, 20 counties in South Dakota are no longer legally obligated to provide them under the Voting Rights Act, which states that language assistance must be provided if by the U.S. Census Bureau over 5% percent of a county’s voting-age population, or more than 10,000 of its voting-age residents, need bilingual materials.

Overall, however, more American Indian languages will be accommodated in many parts of Alaska, Arizona and Mississippi.

2011 Indigenous Language Institute Symposium

Posted By mathias on October 14, 2011

The Indigenous Language Institute is holding a symposium at Hyatt Regency Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from Monday, October 24th – Tuesday, October 25th, 2011, organized into 45 minute sessions with 15 minute question/answer periods. Registration (through the ILI website) is $225, or $150 for students and elders.

This year’s symposium is focused on immersion. Notable speakers include:

• Leslie Harper (Ojibwe), director/founder of Niigaane Immersion School. Topic: what the Niigaane school is like on a daily basis.

• Mark Macarro, chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luise?o Indians. Topic: immersion in small communities.

• Margaret Cook-Peters (Mohawk), curriculum specialist with Akwesasne Mohawk School. Topic: multimedia tools for Native language immersion at the home.

The film Speaking in Tongues will be shown each day.

Fiction Writer Moves 1,100 Miles to Learn Ponca for Her Book Series

Posted By mathias on October 12, 2011

Barbara Salvatore Klopping – who for the past 8 years has been writing a fiction book on a Ponca woman entitled “Big Horse Woman” – moved over 1,000 miles from New York to Lincoln, Nebraska with her husband and children primarily to enroll in Omaha Language I at the University of Nebraska, to ensure she uses the highly related Ponca language accurately in her novels. Her dedication was praised by her professor, Mark Awakuni-Swetland, and the Director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, Judi Morgan gaiashkibos (Ponca).

Social-Media Booms in Ways Valuable to Native Language Revitalization

Posted By mathias on October 8, 2011

Phil Cash Cash (Cayuse, Nez Perce), who is very active on the ILAT: Indigenous Languages & Technology mailing list, was recently interviewed by RisingVoices giving a statement that social-media is influential in helping Native languages. He mentions he encountered one of the last 20-25 speakers of Nez Perce on Google Talk, and conversed with him in the language via text.

Meanwhile, the service Yiip premiered recently on the iPhone, which allows one to record short, Twitter-like statements only audio, and Facebook debuted a translate tool, for decoding posts written in other languages powered by Microsoft Bing. Such has exciting potential for Native languages, as Indigenous Tweets and Microsoft’s Local Language Program have shown great promise.

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