June 20, 2007

Teaching conversational Ottawa

Woman tries to save Ottawa languageAccording to Minnesota-based Native Languages of the Americas, a nonprofit organization that aims to preserve and promote endangered Native American languages, there are only about a half-million native speakers of American Indian languages in Canada and the U.S.

So DiPiazza gathered about a dozen other Native Americans she knew who range in age from 22 to 78 who wanted to learn--plus a few of their spouses--and now is wrapping up a class teaching conversational Ottawa at Ada Park.

DiPiazza doesn't know the spellings of the words she teaches. She has made a key of hundreds of words, all spelled phonetically.

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