August 07, 2007

High school adds Onondaga class

LaFayette to teach Onondaga languageStarting in September, LaFayette schools will for the first time teach the Onondaga's native language--Ongwehonwekha--in ninth grade, a critical step in the Onondaga Nation's effort to save its native language from extinction.

LaFayette High School will be one of a handful of high schools in the state to offer a Native American language class.

"This is a giant step forward for the kids who can continue learning the language, which helps keep it alive," said Danielle Rourke, LaFayette High School's Native American liaison who works with Onondaga Nation School eighth-graders transitioning to the high school. "You teach it to them when they're young and keep working on it because the more you use it, the more it's going to stay around."

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