Native Voices Endowment Recipients - 2016
Robert Brave Heart Sr. - Red Cloud Indian School
Mahpiya Luta Lakol Waunspe Wicakiyapi - Teaching Lakota to Red Cloud Students
ELF is proud to continue our support of the Red Cloud Indian School, which is developing a comprehensive K-12 curriculum in Lakota. This curriculum will include the development of grade-appropriate texts in Lakota and programming to help students hear and speak Lakota outside of school. Our funding supports school outreach programs including family language workshops, educational software development, and professional development for Lakota instructors. This year, the Red Cloud Indian School will publish their beginner-level Lakota readers, finalize the intermediate-level readers, host a Lakota-language summer camp, and involve high school students in a buffalo harvest. These programs and texts will help more than 600 Lakota students learn their community’s language and spread their knowledge to their families, guaranteeing generations of future speakers for this endangered language.
Virginia Beavert and Sharon Hargus - University of Oregon
Northwest Sahaptin Textual Transcription and Translation
Sahaptin is a highly endangered language, with less than 50 remaining speakers. This project, which has been supported by ELF since 2010, includes transcription of audio recordings of Virginia Beavert’s mother, Ellen Saluskin, speaking Sahaptin. The audio recordings include recountings of historical events from the early 20th century, as well as traditional stories. The transcription of these recordings has also revealed new Sahaptin lexical items, and this project will create example sentences so that these words can be included in a revised bilingual Yakima/Yakama Sahaptin dictionary. Many linguistically interesting grammatical items – such as first-position clitics – have also been discovered through transcription of these recordings and reported on in previous papers by Beavert and Hargus.
Barry Moses - Spokane Tribe of Indians Language Program
Spokane Language Elder-Apprentice Project
Barry Moses is an experienced language educator who has developed science textbooks in Kalispel and has taught Spokane in a variety of settings. He is currently a semi-fluent speaker of Spokane, and this elder-apprentice project will allow him to develop his language skills in order to create language instruction programs for other Spokane teachers. Barry will experience Spokane in an immersion setting by doing activities like housework and participating in ceremonial activities with Norma McCrea and Pat Moses, fluent Spokane speakers and tribal elders. By speaking with Spokane elders, Barry will have the opportunity to record Spokane vocabulary, personal histories and tribal stories. Fewer than ten people are fluent Spokane speakers, and all are over the age of 65, so it is crucial to document as much of the language as possible and work on new ways to encourage and enable fluency among younger generations.
Erin Griffin - Sisseton Wahpeton College
Sisseton Wahpeton College Dakota Language Mentorship Program
Dakota is a highly endangered language, with very few fluent speakers, most of whom are over the age of 65. There is therefore an urgent need to train younger speakers in the language so that it is not lost to future generations. This funding will allow a Dakota Language Instructor at Sisseton Wahpeton College to study Dakota with two fluent native speakers of the language, in order to reach fluency in the language and better understand the culture and worldview of Dakota speakers. Since all of the Dakota Language Instructors are second-language learners of Dakota, this kind of mentorship is crucial to improve the quality of language teaching at the college.
Lora Catches and Matthew Rama - Thunder Valley CDC
Lakota Language Initiative
The Lakota Language Initiative provides Lakota language instruction to children and adolescents on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The Initiative has six main programs, including wellness programming for adolescents, immersion programs in daycare and elementary school settings, and a second language learners program. ELF’s funding will support the Initiative’s continued development of multimedia resources for Lakota instruction. Over the next three years, ten ebooks and thirty educational videos will be created, increasing community access to Lakota media and providing employment opportunities for Lakota artists and authors.