Native Voices Endowment Recipients - 2018
Kathryn Bridwell-Briner – Florida Atlantic University
Conversational Comanche for Language Revitalization Project – Comanche [com]
Comanche is a language in the central Numic branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family. It is spoken primarily in the southwestern Oklahoma. Comanche is closely related to Shoshoni and Timbisha and more distantly related to Kawaiisu, Ute, Mono, and Northern Paiute. There have been sporadic efforts to document the language, and two dictionaries were published; one with a short grammar and one with a word list. The field work continues in documenting the Comanche language and creating the official online Comanche dictionary (relational database), which is especially important because there are fewer than ten first-language speakers of Comanche.
Lance Foster (1st PI) – Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska and Jill Greer (2nd PI) – Missouri Southern State university
Baxoje Texts for Language Learning – Baxoje (Jiwere / Iowa) [iow]
The Baxoje–Jiwere Texts for Language Learning Project is a joint effort between the Primary Project Manager and the Linguistic Consultant to produce a series of short illustrated books of texts in the Baxoje–Jiwere language, to be used by individuals in their efforts to learn more about their heritage language, and to serve as supplemental material for the future tribal efforts at formal heritage language pedagogy. The three-year project will produce three distinct manuscripts organized by topic, which attracts attention from tribal members of all ages, and possibly, brings renewed interest into the unique aspects of their Prairie and Woodland culture.
Meriah Horseman – University of Montana
A'aniinin Language Research Project – Gros Ventre (A'aniinin) [ats]
The A’aniinin is an endangered language, especially since the last first language speaker, Ms. Theresa Lamebull, passed away in 2007. There are currently around 10 fluent speakers, and a handful of people involved in revitalization and documentation efforts, including fluent speakers and others interested in preserving the language. This has mostly taken the form of increasing the visibility of the language in the community and teaching in schools. For example, landmark signs have been installed at various locations on the reservation that have the A’aniinin orthography and the English translation. However, while language instruction is taking place in schools, the teachers do not have proper materials to fully support teaching in class. Therefore, the ultimate goal is to research the A’aniinin language and write descriptive and pedagogical grammars. Since language revitalization is a shared goal in the community, publication of a pedagogical grammar and other teaching materials will likely take place before the publication of a linguistic grammar.
Fred Jacko, Jr. (1st PI) and Mon-ee Zapata (2nd PI) – Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP)
Bodéwadmimwen Curriculum & Training Project – Potawatomi [pot]
The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP) is located in Southwest Michigan and assumes a geographically defined area of seven contiguous counties for implementation of a multitude of programs and services. The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi is an approximately 1,500-member Tribe whose federal recognition was reaffirmed in 1995. The tribe is headquartered on the Pine Creek Reservation and operates administrative offices in Grand Rapids. The intertribal language coalition collected community input and consulted with various first language speakers to develop the project, “200 Words to a Community” which served as the basis for the first language classes and programs offered through the NHBP Cultural & Historic Preservation Department. A partnership with the various language programs, speakers, and teachers is important to exchange and share previously developed language curricula and other learning materials.
Angel Sobotta – Nez Perce Language Program
Nez Perce Language Phrase Builder Coyote Level 1, 2, and 3 Games and Phone Application – Nez Perce [nez]
The Nimipuutímt or Nez Perce language is of the Sahaptin language group. The aboriginal homeland of the Nez Perce is in Idaho, Southeastern Washington, and Northeastern Oregon, and parts of Montana. The language of the Nez Perce Tribe has experienced a significant loss of its elder speakers due to declining health, aging, and death, as well as the pervasive loss of intergenerational transmission of the language. The tribe has only seven high level Nez Perce language speakers remaining. All these speakers are elders who are scattered across the reservation. Only three of these elders are currently involved with Nez Perce language revitalization efforts. Over the past two years, five very high fluent elders have passed; there are no remaining very high fluent speakers of the Nez Perce Language. ELF funding has allowed the tribe to develop a Nez Perece language game and phone app.
Carson Viles (1st PI) and Jerome Viles (2nd PI) – University of Oregon Northwest Indian Language Institute (NILI)
Piloting an Online Nuu-wee-ya' Language Learning App – Tututni [tuu]
Galice, Upper Coquille, Tututni, and Tolowa constitute a continuum of mutually intelligible dialects of Oregon Dene, historically located in what are now southwestern Oregon and far northwestern California. These varieties suffered a catastrophic loss of their speech community following colonization and forced removal to reservations in the late 1800s, and through the displacement of the 1950s Termination-era. Since then, revitalization efforts have been active and ongoing, including work with ethnographers to record elder speakers, the publication of a Tolowa dictionary, teaching classes in schools, and home-based revitalization efforts. The archival materials hold invaluable information about traditional homelands, cultural teachings within stories, prosody of Oregon Dene varieties, syntactic and morphological structure such as verbal and multi-clausal constructions, as well as new vocabulary. Elf supported the development of a pilot version of the Language Learning App.